McMillan's ESG Strategy Sessions - Part Three

Part Three: ESG Governance in Canada - The need to adapt, communicate, and pivot in a changing business world

The COVID-19 pandemic and increased concerns over environmental, social, and governance issues have prompted conversations throughout global capital markets. In Canada, the focus on governance continues to grow, and governance is an increasingly dominant factor for all stakeholders, including issuers, financial institutions, regulators, governments, and other market participants.

Join us for the third webinar in our ESG Strategy Sessions to understand and explore governance trends in Canada. This session will discuss governance considerations in Canada for public companies emanating from increased expectations of regulators, proxy advisors, and stakeholders. We will also focus on ways in which to communicate effectively governance strategies to key stakeholders and tips and trends in evaluating governance of issuers in the context of M&A transactions and by investment funds.

Governance Considerations

Now more than ever, public companies are expected to implement robust governance mechanisms related to ESG risks and opportunities and to frame and expose their assessment of these scenarios in their continuous disclosure documents. Public companies now need to report on at a minimum climate-related risk and organizational diversity. We will discuss recent legislative changes and market trends with respect to such disclosure. In addition, we will explore the liability dilemma boards of directors may experience in crafting such new disclosure. Finally, we will also provide a framework for reviewing corporate governance codes for best practices related to sustainability matters and outline effective strategies for communicating their assessment of such risks and opportunities in public disclosure.

Communicating Strong Governance Programs

Stakeholders are increasing their focus on how ESG is being implemented within an organization. Not only do issuers need to develop and implement strong governance programs, they also need to ensure that these efforts are effectively communicated to key audiences. We will discuss how your business can benefit from aligning corporate behavior and values in the context of ESG, and communication tips and strategies.

M&A Transactions

ESG factors are of key importance to the success of M&A transactions. Effective due diligence and evaluation of a company’s governance programs are critical to mitigating risk and successfully closing the transaction, and also will play a key role in ensuring that the resulting business has a strong and effective governance program. We will discuss considerations in evaluating governance in the context of M&A transactions and best practices in implementing a cohesive post-closing governance strategy.

Investment Funds

Evaluating the governance practices of companies in a fund’s portfolio can be challenging in the current myriad of overlapping ESG frameworks and standards, and the variance in the ways in which funds evaluate how the “G” in ESG is being implemented by issuers. We will provide an overview of frameworks being used to evaluate governance practices of issuers and tips and trends in this space.