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Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group.

Responsible Investing Report


CC&L Financial Group at a glance

At Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group (CC&L Financial Group), we offer a broad range of traditional and alternative investment products, services and strategies to investors and advisors. Our platform of independent investment teams within our affiliates allows us to offer a breadth of products across various asset classes. As of December 31, 2023, our affiliates manage over $118 billion in assets.


In our 2023 Annual Responsible Investing Report, we are pleased to share with you highlights from across our different teams and products and also our firm level initiatives. Our affiliates believe that Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors can have an impact on investment performance across time horizons and asset classes. To that end, our affiliated investment teams continue to make significant progress to enhance their approach to incorporating ESG risks and opportunities in investment processes. Also, we take seriously our responsibilities as active asset owners, including participating in collaborative initiatives, engaging with our portfolio companies and voting our shares.

In managing our own business, we are committed to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), which means that we seek to have a positive impact on society beyond the financial interests of the firm alone.

Case studies

CC&L Financial Group’s affiliates integrate ESG factors in their investment decision making. As integration is specific to a particular investment strategy, approaches differ across our teams. We are pleased to share the following case studies that pertain to our affiliates’ investment processes.


Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure – Energy Transition

As long-term asset owners and stewards of client capital, CC&L Infrastructure focuses on managing its assets responsibly and has identified several focus areas as part of its responsible investment approach. One of these centres on “Climate & Transition,” whereby the firm seeks to invest in the clean energy transition and decarbonization.

Energy transition infrastructure is an emerging sector that is becoming increasingly important to society and that will require enormous new investment on a global scale. According to BloombergNEF, global energy transition investment totaled more than US$1.7 trillion in 2023 and capital requirements are only expected to accelerate in the coming years. Investment opportunities span the broad universe of infrastructure needed to shift away from fossil-based systems of energy production, storage, distribution and consumption to renewable energy sources.

In 2024, CC&L Infrastructure launched the CC&L Energy Transition Strategy to capitalize on these opportunities and leverage the team’s significant experience in the development, construction and active management of more than 1.5 GW of renewable energy projects. The Strategy targets investments in clean energy projects; sustainable solutions and enabling infrastructure; and the decarbonization of existing infrastructure assets. Potential transactions could be the build out of additional renewable energy capacity, clean hydrogen and other renewable fuels, energy storage, grid enhancements, electrified transportation assets, sustainable heating and cooling systems, and carbon capture projects, among others. The change that results from the active management of these assets and businesses, and the implementation of decarbonization initiatives and strategies, is expected to lead to risk compression, increased access to equity and debt capital and, ultimately, significant and capital appreciation. We expect appropriately structured and valued energy transition investments to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns while contributing to global decarbonization efforts1.

Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management – Wildfire risk

Wildfire-related losses are an important consideration when assessing Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers. Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management (CC&L Investment Management) views these types of events as severe but with low frequency. The wildfires of 2023 were intense in terms of incidence and magnitude; however, the investment teams expect the estimated losses to be manageable for one of our holdings, Intact Financial, as they currently stand, with only a one-time impact on profitability. P&C insurers, including Intact Financial, have been using reinsurance as a risk management tool, which effectively transfers a portion of the liability above an agreed-upon level to the reinsurance providers. However, due to various factors, including the increased frequency of extreme weather events as a result of climate change, reinsurance costs have also increased. Despite the increase in costs, this has been an effective tool in managing losses. Our investment teams expect these reinsurance costs will be passed on to the end customers, which will mean higher premiums over the medium term. Overall, CC&L Investment Management does not believe these events present a material impact within our forecast horizon and we are not adjusting our spread forecast or target return for Intact Financial. We recognize that losses could increase based on the changing conditions of the wildfires and weather, and our Fundamental Equity and Fixed Income teams are closely monitoring the situation. We also acknowledge that the cost of reinsurance is likely to continue to rise due to the ongoing impact of climate change, and we will continue to assess this impact over time.


Crestpoint Real Estate Investments – Zero Carbon Building-Performance

Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd., (Crestpoint) in joint venture with Vestcor Inc., KingSett and Reliance Properties Ltd., co-owners of Arthur Erickson Place, located at 1175 West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver, is pleased to announce that the building is officially Zero Carbon. In late 2023, Crestpoint achieved Zero Carbon Building-Performance (ZCB) Standard™ certification from the Canada Green Building Council. This achievement is the culmination of a three-year innovative retrofitting process – one that provides the building with the capacity to reach Net Zero beyond purchasing carbon offsets and to reduce carbon emissions by 97% by 2025.

1. These are potential outcomes only. There is no guarantee that such outcomes will be achieved. Note that such change is generally expected to occur at the asset level but may also be a direct outcome of the relevant sector in which the asset operates or the characteristics of the asset itself. The strategy’s primary objective is to establish a portfolio that seeks to achieve its stated return target.

Industry Collaboration

Some of CC&L Financial Group’s affiliates participate in collaborative initiatives with other investors, industry associations and advocacy groups to pool resources and speak with a stronger unified voice. CC&L Financial Group’s affiliates’ membership in collaborative initiatives makes up one component of their overall investing approach and are not a deciding factor for investment decisions. We are pleased to share the following highlights and initiatives undertaken by our affiliates over the last year.

Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG)

CC&L Investment Management Ltd. and PCJ Investment Counsel Ltd. (PCJ) are members of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG). The CCGG promotes good governance practices in Canadian public companies and the improvement of the regulatory environment to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of capital markets. In September 2023, in response to the Canadian Securities Administrator’s request for feedback from stakeholders on its proposed amendments to corporate governance disclosure requirements in Canada, the CCGG submitted a letter supporting the proposed diversity disclosure requirements beyond gender.

Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

PCJ proudly participated in the CDP 2023 non-disclosure campaign and science-based targets campaign. The objective of the campaign is to improve corporate environmental disclosure and encourage high-impact companies to set science-based targets.

Climate Engagement Canada (CEC)

Climate Engagement Canada (CEC) is a Canadian-led collaborative engagement platform that drives broader and more consistent dialogue on climate-related risks and opportunities between finance and industry. Baker Gilmore & Associates Inc. (BGA), CC&L Investment Management, PCJ and Scheer Rowlett & Associates Investment Management Ltd. (Scheer Rowlett), through their affiliation with member CC&L Financial Group, continued their involvement in the initiative. In December 2023, CEC released its Net Zero Benchmark, which will be used to guide further dialogue and set engagement objectives and priorities.

International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN)

As an affiliate of CC&L Financial Group, NS Partners Ltd, Global Alpha Capital Management Ltd. (Global Alpha), and CC&L Investment Management are members of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN). In June 2023, the ICGN submitted a feedback letter to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), supporting the publication of the globally aligned IFRS S1 and S2 sustainability-related disclosures, and welcoming the ISSB’s focus on decision-useful information for investors.

Responsible Investment Association (RIA)

As an affiliate of CC&L Financial Group, Crestpoint and Scheer Rowlett became members of the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), alongside CC&L Private Capital and CC&L Investment Management. The RIA promotes responsible investment in Canada’s retail and institutional markets on behalf of its asset manager, asset owner, service provider, and investment advisor members.

Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Forum

Global Alpha is proud to have become a member of the Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Forum in late 2023. The TNFD Forum offers a platform for organizations and financial institutions to stay abreast of the developments of the TNFD, signal its support to the cause as well as contribute to the development of additional guidance. As a member of the TNFD Forum, Global Alpha aims to signal its support to TNFD’s mission and in advancing the protection of natural resources, which is in line with its philosophy of enhancing long-term profitability by managing ESG risks.

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

In March 2023, Global Alpha and Vergent Asset Management Ltd. (Vergent) endorsed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) Advance Initiative. This stewardship initiative brings investors together to collectively influence companies to advance human rights and address social issues.

Stewardship & Engagement

At CC&L Financial Group, we believe that being active owners is a meaningful
way to influence the companies in which we invest to address ESG risks and opportunities.

Engagement highlights

Engagement refers to interactions with companies, such as meetings, calls and letters,
to exercise influence as a shareholder, particularly concerning ESG.

  • NexGen Energy Ltd

    PCJ Investment Counsel

    PCJ engaged with NexGen Energy Ltd prior to their Annual General Meeting in May 2023, regarding the upcoming vote and director elections. The company shared their perspective and approach with respect to various governance matters, including overboarding, non-executive director pay and board diversity. Following the dialogue, PCJ elected to vote against the election of certain directors due to concerns around non-executive director pay practices and overboarding. Finally, PCJ encouraged the company to continue its efforts to promote board gender diversity and implement a board diversity target.

  • Ormat Technologies

    Global Alpha Capital Management

    In January 2023, Global Alpha met with Ormat Technologies prior to the company’s annual meeting. The company was open to feedback as Global Alpha explained its custom voting policy and guidelines on gender diversity, director compensation and over-boarding. Additionally, Ormat shared its efforts to align its reporting with the TCFD recommendations, including its work to identify gaps based on a reassessment of climate change related opportunities. Global Alpha participated in the company’s materiality assessment in February 2023 and provided feedback on their sustainability report.

  • Linamar Corporation

    Scheer Rowlett & Associates Investment Management

    In May 2023, Scheer Rowlett met with Linamar Senior Members and Investor Relations to discuss business progress and various corporate governance matters. During the call, Scheer Rowlett shared its views on good governance practices with respect to board independence and executive compensation, specifically the company’s profit bonus. Scheer Rowlett elected to vote against certain directors for these concerns and communicated its decision to the company, which were similarly shared by other shareholders.

  • Lockheed Martin Inc.

    NS Partners

    In April 2023, NS Partners engaged with Lockheed Martin prior to its Annual General Meeting regarding a climate-related shareholder proposal requesting that the company issue a report on its efforts to reduce its full value chain GHG emission, in alignment with Paris Agreement goals. While NS Partners recognized the company’s efforts and progress on climate disclosure and targets, particularly its efforts to estimate Scope 3 emissions, the investment team noted that additional disclosure on the company’s plans to reduce its emissions would provide shareholders with further insightful information. Additionally, as participants in Climate Action 100+ collaborative engagements with Lockheed Martin, NS Partners considered the proposal to be aligned with the expectations and goals of Climate Action 100+. As such, NS Partners supported the proposal, which received 35.4% of shareholder support.

  • Air Canada

    Connor, Clark & Lunn Investment Management

    In November 2023, CC&L Investment Management met with management at Air Canada to discuss various environmental and governance matters. During the call, Air Canada shared progress towards its 2030 GHG reduction targets and 2050 Net Zero target, noting the importance of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in its decarbonization approach, which can reduce lifecycle GHG emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. Due to the limited supply of SAFs in Canada, the company shared its actions to accelerate the production and supply of these fuels, including its status as a founding member of the Canadian Council for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (C-SAF) and investment of $50 million towards low-carbon technologies. CC&L Investment Management also noted Air Canada’s progress towards meeting its 40% gender diversity target by 2025, with 38% of the board currently comprised of female directors.

  • Century Pacific Foods Inc.

    Vergent Asset Management

    In November 2023, the Vergent Asset Management team engaged with Century Pacific Foods Inc., one of the Philippines’ largest fast-moving consumer goods producers and a core portfolio holding. Vergent discussed with the management team at Century the successful achievement of its 2019 targets to increase solar energy usage to 15% of total consumption, while also achieving a 30% reduction in the water intensity of its coconut processing plants. Century’s management also discussed the success of the company’s ‘protein delivery’ pillar of sustainability performance, where it aims to further entrench its position as the lead supplier of affordable and nutritional food products for all segments of the rapidly developing Filipino population. Vergent also discussed Century’s ‘InSpire 2.0’ Sustainability plan, which will set new and more ambitious decarbonization targets for the coming three years.

  • Equitable Bank

    Baker Gilmore & Associates

    Baker Gilmore met with Equitable Bank in 2023 regarding its Scope 3 emissions disclosure and other climate-related topics. The company shared its progress quantifying its Scope 3 emissions, and that its next objective would be to set a Scope 3 emissions target. Baker Gilmore enquired regarding the company’s net zero objectives and whether it had considered the Science-based Targets Initiative (SBTi) framework to guide its efforts. The company shared that it had not yet considered the SBTi but would discuss internally. Finally, the company shared details regarding its approach to integrating climate change considerations when making loans.

Centralized Stewardship & Engagement team

CC&L Financial Group has a centralized Stewardship & Engagement (S&E) team to support our investment management teams’ active ownership activities. To that end, the S&E team works with the investment management teams on engagements, proxy voting, collaborative initiatives, and keeping abreast of existing and future sustainability-related regulations.

Proxy Voting Highlights


company meetings voted


proposals voted


shareholder proposals voted

2023 Proxy votes by region

Proxy vote examples



Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

PCJ Invesment Counsel
ESG Topic: Diversity

In April 2023, PCJ engaged with Canadian Natural Resources to discuss an election of a director due to gender diversity concerns of having less than 30% women on the board. During the call, the company explained that one of the board’s female directors had stepped down halfway through 2022 and had accepted a position as CEO at another Canadian oil & gas company leading to potential conflict of interests. The company echoed its commitment to gender diversity through its target of 40% female independent directors and assured their search of a new female director. Given the explicit commitment to diversity, PCJ decided to vote in support of management and monitor the company’s progress in the following year. This proposal received 75% shareholder support.


Caesarstone Ltd.

Global Alpha Capital Management
ESG Topic: Climate

Following engagement in October 2023, Global Alpha voted in line with management in Caesarstone’s Annual General Meeting after discussing the company’s oversight of climate-related risks, progress on its ESG reporting and their compensation program. Global Alpha’s customized voting policy flagged proposal items as there were concerns on the lack of adequate climate disclosure and oversight. Caesarstone noted that it had to delay the launch of the 2023 report due to the ongoing conflict in Israel, which resulted in out-of-date proxy recommendations. The company shared enhancements that had been made to its 2023 report, such as measuring and disclosing GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3), provided an update on various ESG initiatives, such as its focus on moving to electric machinery, engaging with a green energy producer in Israel and conducting investigations in carbon offsets. Due to the delay in its ESG report and given that the company has made progress in its ESG reporting, Global Alpha voted in line with management.

http://Two%20women%20in%20a%20warehouse Inc.

NS Partners
ESG Topic: Social and human rights

In May 2023, NS Partners engaged in dialogue with Inc. regarding the shareholder proposals in its Annual General Meeting. NS Partners supported a proposal calling for independent verification on how the company assesses and prevents human rights impacts from business operations and product end-use and services. NS Partners also supported the proposal on a third-party report to disclose whether the company’s customer use of its products and services with surveillance, computer vision or cloud storage capabilities, contributes to human rights violations. With regards to climate, the proposals to further disclose community relations issues related to the transition to a low-carbon economy and risks related to the creation of plastic waste were also supported.


Royal Bank of Canada

CC&L Investment Management
ESG Topic: Diversity

In April 2023, CC&L Investment Management supported a shareholder proposal at Royal Bank of Canada submitted by B.C. General Employees’ Union and SHARE urging the company to publish a third-party racial equity audit. In 2020, RBC expanded its $1.5 million commitment to a $150 million commitment towards investing in the futures of black youth and redefining inclusive leadership. However, there has been insufficient transparency and reporting on the progress towards this commitment. The company instead expressed that such an audit should be explored through the Canadian Bankers Association to create a standard approach. CC&L Investment Management elected to vote against management and for this proposal as it would strengthen the banks commitment towards addressing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. It would further allow shareholders to assess the effectiveness of said efforts.


Cenovus Energy Inc.

Scheer Rowlett & Associates
ESG Topic: Climate

In April 2023, Scheer Rowlett supported a shareholder resolution at Cenovus Energy Inc., requesting that the company issue a report outlining how its lobbying and public policy advocacy align with its net zero goal. Scheer Rowlett voted in line with management’s recommendation in support of the resolution, as the investment team felt that the report would provide shareholders with information to assess Cenovus’ lobbying activities and alignment with their climate objectives.

Corporate Social Responsibility


CC&L Financial Group is committed to being responsible corporate citizens and we strive to have a positive impact on the communities where we live and work. Through our business practices working group (BPWG), we focus on socially responsible business practices, and through the CC&L Foundation, we focus on philanthropic initiatives.

Our BPWG is focused on three areas:

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB);
  • The health and wellness of people who work here; and
  • Environmentally sustainable business practices.

Through the CC&L Foundation, we aim to enrich the communities in which we live and work by creating opportunities for both providing funding and volunteering in support of causes that are important to our employees, partners, clients and other stakeholders.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging

We are committed to workforce diversity, promoting equity and creating a culture of inclusion. To ensure our people feel a sense of belonging, we strive to foster a culture that unites people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, in an environment where everyone has the opportunity to achieve personal and professional success.

Our 2023 DEIB initiatives focused on education, communications and events to promote a culture of inclusion, celebration and learning throughout the year. Some examples of our DEIB initiatives in 2023 include:

  • Introduced an augmented parental leave policy, expanding the length of our maternity leave policy and offering a competitive leave to non-birth parents.
  • Hosted an International Women’s Day internal event focused on expanding leadership talent by addressing issues that have contributed to gender imbalances.
  • Celebrated Pride Month, which included a webinar from and a donation to Rainbow Railroad, a global not-for-profit organization that helps LGBTQI+ people facing persecution based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics.
  • Promoted an art auction supporting Indigenous Artists with proceeds donated to the Future Generations Foundation.
  • Recommendations from CC&L Investments Management’s multi-year Women in Leadership (WiL) initiative were made to the CC&L Investment Management Board and an action plan was developed. This objective of this initiative is to identify the key symptoms, root causes and propose solutions to proactive tackle the gender-based leadership gap that exists in the finance industry generally and in our firm. For more details on this initiative, please see the full report here.
  • Crestpoint’s Women at Crestpoint Committee established a mentorship program at Crestpoint, promoted careers in real estate to female students as part of the Toronto Crew Real Job Day and to students more broadly through University networking events and speaking engagements, and engaged the team at Crestpoint in various volunteering initiatives including Habitat for Humanity and the Period Purse, among others. The objective of this Committee is to ensure voices are heard and respected in a safe environment at the firm.
  • In October 2023, $30,000 was allocated for the Global Alpha Capital Management Bursaries to support women studying finance at the John Molson School of Business with two annual undergraduate bursaries of $3,000 each over five years. For Global Alpha, diversity, equity and inclusion have been a guiding principle since the founding of the firm in 2008.

Health and Wellness

We believe the health and wellbeing of the people who work here is critical to maintaining our collective performance. We are committed to undertaking initiatives that support a safe and healthy work environment within a culture where everyone feels secure and supported.

Our 2023 activities targeted mental and physical health through in-office activities, education sessions and employee engagement. Some examples of our health & wellness initiatives in 2023 include:

  • Highlighted Mental Health Month by hosting an education session from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on burn out and delivered education to employees regarding CC&L’s employee benefits package.
  • Hosted an overall fitness month with a company wide fitness challenge, guided meditation sessions, yoga and stretching sessions, and educational webinars on gut-brain connection as well as identifying and managing burnout.

Environmental Stewardship

We believe that through our actions we can contribute to the vitality of our environment, and we are committed to undertaking initiatives that support ongoing environmental stewardship.

Our 2023 activities were designed to bring greater awareness to the impact of our actions on the environment as well as researching industry wide initiatives, including:

  • On an annual basis, CC&L Financial Group retains an external consultant to assist with the measurement of our corporate carbon footprint. In 2022 (latest measurement available), the total GHG emissions from the operations of CC&L Financial Group and its affiliates were approximately 540 tCO2e. This total footprint is relatively small: less than 1 tCO2e per person working at the company versus the average Canadian at approximately 14, average American at approximately 16 and average for the UK of approximately 10. Thus, our corporate contribution is less than 10% of an average individual’s total footprint.
  • Implemented actions to reduce disposable kitchenware in our offices globally.
  • Engaged with CC&L Financial Group’s landlords regarding the addition of hand dryers in our facilities to reduce our environmental impact and reliance on paper-based products.
  • Promoted Earth Day, creating engagement opportunities for team members to support local cleanup efforts across our cities.

CC&L Foundation

We aim to enrich the communities in which we live and work by creating opportunities for both philanthropy and volunteerism through CC&L Financial Group and its affiliates in support of causes that are important to our clients, employees, partners and stakeholders.

The CC&L Foundation actively supports our employees’ and clients’ philanthropic endeavors by making donations focused on the environment, education, science and medicine, communities and the arts. In 2023, the CC&L Foundation donated nearly $2 million, supporting over 175 organizations. Some of our 2023 philanthropic and volunteering opportunities included:

  • Continued our Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) partnership, through a significant donation and by volunteering with CAMH patients to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and addiction.
  • Organized an employee-led Week of Giving campaign focused on strengthening communities, alleviating poverty and addressing food insecurity. This initiative supported CC&L Financial Group’s community partners, including the United Way. This firmwide initiative has raised almost $8 million over the years.
  • Aided students through bursaries and scholarships, including Indspire’s Building Brighter Futures program.
  • Made a multi-year commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta along with volunteering at one of Ronald McDonald’s ‘Home for Dinner’ nights, preparing and serving meals to families in need.
  • Supported the Canadian Red Cross in its effort to provide relief and support to those impacted by the Alberta wildfires.
  • Held an internal fundraiser to support global equality and human rights during Pride Month, with donations directed to Rainbow Railroad.
  • Participated in a Canada-wide blood drive campaign in partnership with Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec.
  • Helped organizers from the Canada-Ukraine Foundation raise over $300,000 for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
  • Became a Moisson Montreal ambassador, volunteering our time and contributing financially to address food insecurity.
CC&L Financial Group Ltd.
April 26th, 2024