When we adopted our RI policy in 2005, we chose to assign responsibility for monitoring this policy to a specialized committee of the Board. Thus, the investment committee had no control over ESG issues and the RI committee had no control over investment issues.
In December 2017, our Board merged the two committees into one (IRIC) responsible for both dimensions of the investment activity. Since this committee meets ten times a year, rather than four times in the case of the RI committee, ESG and RI issues are now addressed twice as frequently.
As a result, we expect ESG integration by our portfolio managers to be taken more seriously by them as their ESG performance is monitored by the same group that monitors their financial performance.
Persuant to the implementation of this merger, we notice that every IRIC meeting covers both financial and extrafinancial themes. As well, committee members have developed a culture and a narrative about investment management and ESG integration. This has facilitated the strong support demonstrated by the IRIC when the expansion of our impact investments was put forward and had to be decided upon.