ESG Remains Top of Mind for Canadian Public Sector Borrowers

By Alex Caridia
Published January 15, 2021 | 1 min read

The RBC Capital Markets Government Finance group facilitated a number of roundtable discussions with key bond issuers and investors in the Canadian public sector late last year. These discussions focused on a number of key themes, opportunities and challenges market participants faced throughout tumultuous markets in 2020. Without a doubt, ESG was a focus for 2020 and investors and issuers expect this to continue for 2021.

Takeaways related to public sector borrowing and ESG from the discussion and subsequently published report:


Sustainable Investing Poised to Evolve and Accelerate for Canadian Public Sector Issuers in 2021

Canadian government issuers recognize the benefits of incorporating ESG principles into their financing programs, responding to the increased focus on sustainable investment issues driven by domestic and international investors.


Issuers Increasingly focused on ESG as part of their borrowing programs

An increasing number of issuers are evaluating their borrowing plans with an ESG lens, with many borrowers assessing how they can support more ESG issuance and evaluating the different options and frameworks to access these markets.


More than just the “E”

Issuers and investors have shifted away from a purely climate focus towards embracing social, sustainable and transition themes in the market. Some issuers are considering revising their existing green framework to support a broader group of socially sustainable projects.


ESG Disclosure is Critical

The investors stress the importance of ESG disclosure and reporting for their customers and note that they are seeing a noticeable increase in demand for socially responsible investment products from their private client and high net-worth businesses. There is an expectation that these trends will become even more prevalent throughout 2021.

Click here to read the full 2020 SSA Maple Roundtable report.

Alex Caridia

Alex Caridia
Managing Director and Head, Government Finance, RBC Capital Markets