III. Investment Strategies Disclosure
CSA Staff Notice 81-334 ESG-Related Investment Fund Disclosure [Part G Guidance]
Part G Guidance
Section (a)

Use of proxy voting or shareholder engagement as an ESG strategy

Some ESG-Related Funds use proxy voting or shareholder engagement as ESG strategies. If a fund uses proxy voting or shareholder engagement as a principal investment strategy, the fund is required to disclose this in its investment strategies. Furthermore, funds that use proxy voting or shareholder engagement as a part of their investment selection process are required to disclose how they are used by the fund.

For both scenarios, in staff’s view, the disclosure should include the criteria used by the proxy voting or shareholder engagement strategy, the goal of the proxy voting or shareholder engagement strategy and the extent of the monitoring process used to assess the success of the proxy voting or shareholder engagement strategy.

For example, a portfolio adviser may choose to invest in a company that has poor environmental practices in order to improve those practices by way of shareholder engagement. In this scenario, the use of shareholder engagement should be disclosed in the fund’s investment strategies, along with the criteria used to determine whether a company has poor environmental practices, the aim of improving those practices through shareholder engagement and the extent of the monitoring process used to assess the success of the shareholder engagement strategy in improving the environmental practices of the company.

While staff acknowledge that for some IFMs, proxy voting and shareholder engagement are conducted at the IFM level rather than at the fund level, the above guidance is intended to apply specifically to funds that use proxy voting or shareholder engagement as an ESG investment strategy.