The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How IGM strengthens communities by promoting financial confidence

IGM Financial Inc. is a leading wealth and asset management company supporting financial advisors and the clients they serve in Canada, and institutional investors throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As a financial services company, one of the best ways IGM can strengthen communities is by offering its resources and expertise to help Canadians feel confident about their finances  Tweet This!, so they can achieve their goals and own their financial future.

This case study is based on the 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report by IGM published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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IGM’s IG Empower your Tomorrow focuses on assisting four key groups who are underserved, when it comes to financial guidance: Indigenous peoples, newcomers, seniors and youth. In order to strengthen communities by promoting financial confidence IGM took action to:

  • provide financial education to indigenous peoples and newcomers
  • support seniors and youth
  • update and re-launch the Money & Youth financial literacy textbook and website

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report IGM identified a range of material issues, such as client experience, diversity and inclusion, privacy and information security, environmental footprint. Among these, strengthening communities by promoting financial confidence stands out as a key material issue for IGM.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards                        

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups IGM engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics IGM engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Clients

 

 

·      Annual client and advisor surveys

·      Client service call centres

·      Advisory panels and focus groups

·      In person and virtual communications

Shareholders ·      Annual Meeting

·      Quarterly earnings calls

·      Five sell-side conferences, four road shows

·      Over 75 investor/analyst meetings, ad hoc communications

·      ESG Rating firm responses and discussions

·      Board engagement mechanism

Employees ·      Annual & ad-hoc surveys, focus groups

·      Employee forums, intranets

·      Performance & development discussions

·      Employee volunteer groups

Financial advisors

 

·      Surveys, meetings, focus groups

·      Client service teams & call centres

·      Conferences, training, webinars

·      Online collaboration platforms

Industry partners

 

 

 

·      Memberships on regulatory committees and industry bodies

·      Participation on regulatory roundtables, public submissions, industry working groups and technical committees

·      Meetings, conferences and events

Communities

 

 

·      Community partnership meetings, events

·      Financial confidence workshops

·      Focus groups, sustainability networks

What actions were taken by IGM to strengthen communities by promoting financial confidence?

In its 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report IGM reports that it took the following actions for strengthening communities by promoting financial confidence:

  • Providing financial education to indigenous peoples and newcomers
  • Indigenous peoples are a vital part of Canada’s culture, yet many face unique barriers to financial wellness on a daily basis. IGM partners with organisations like Opportunities for Employment to provide financial education and job training to Indigenous Peoples and funds scholarships for Indigenous students at both the local and national level, with organisations like Indspire. Additionally, as learning the financial systems of a new country can be daunting, IGM works with the Canadian Foundation of Economic Education (CFEE) to provide financial education in newcomers’ first language. IGM also has a longstanding partnership with United Way and supports local chapters across Canada so they can offer financial literacy programmes to newcomers.
  • Supporting seniors and youth
  • The seniors, parents and grandparents of various communities often face unique financial challenges that come with age. IGM offers support through financial planning workshops designed to guide seniors through financial considerations, in collaboration with national partners including the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In addition, IGM seeks to make sure that future teachers, caregivers, business leaders and professionals start off on the right financial foot. Accordingly, with the help of the CFEE, IGM distributed more than 500,000 copies of Money and Youth textbooks to students across the nation and hosted thousands of students at workshops. Recognising basic literacy as a precursor to financial literacy, IGM also supports Dyslexia Canada’s Mark it Read national campaign, which raises awareness and support for the 10% to 20% of Canadian children living with dyslexia.
  • Updating and re-launching the Money & Youth financial literacy textbook and website
  • In the fall of 2019, IGM updated and re-launched its Money & Youth financial literacy textbook and website, which reached more than 43,000 high school students across Canada. In addition, textbook usage by IG Wealth Management Consultants totalled approximately 6,300, a 96% increase over 2018. 50 CFEE/IG Wealth Management financial literacy workshops were also delivered to nearly 1,000 seniors and newcomers, with IG Wealth Management Consultants participating in about 60% of them.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts

Disclosure 203-2 Significant indirect economic impacts corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised Sustainability Course | Venue: London LSE

By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by IGM, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

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