Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Program consultative engagement

Consultative engagement objective

The landscape in which businesses operate is evolving due to increased awareness of environmental degradation and the importance of diversity and inclusion, changing the expectations for corporate behaviour. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) are three non-financial themes that can be used to inform the long-term risk or return of an investment. The rationale is that industries that are adequately managing their ESG risks will be less vulnerable to changes in regulations or societal expectations and will therefore perform better in the long-run.

There are gaps with respect to indicators related to ESG and Indigenous Peoples. The objective of engagement was to better understand the data needs of rights holders and stakeholders in relation to ESG and Indigenous Peoples and what role Statistics Canada could play in meeting these needs. The engagement was focused on understanding data gaps and analytical needs with respect to ESG and Indigenous Peoples.

Consultative engagement methods

The majority of organisations contacted about engagement were identified based on their interests in ESG and ESG's alignment with their scope of work (e.g., sustainable finance and ESG, resource development, Indigenous reconciliation and economic reconciliation). Other participants were drawn from earlier phases of project engagement, and some were referrals from current partners working with Statistics Canada. Contacts covered various interests from Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments, Finance, Resource, and Industry Organisations working with Indigenous communities, and National and Regional Indigenous Organisations.

Some participants received introductory presentations upon request to familiarise them with ESG and the objectives of the engagement process. Others moved directly to the official engagement activities. Close to 100 participants attended 25 discussion group sessions moderated over 2 hours per session.


Seven key findings were derived from the results of this consultative engagement initiative:

  1. ESG frameworks should be standardised and include Indigenous Peoples' values and interests
  2. Data should reflect direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts
  3. Data should reflect the interconnectedness of environmental, social and governance issues
  4. Engagement should be done early and often, on a continuous basis throughout the life-cycle of a project and should encompass consent and capacity building
  5. Data users should have access to a range of data products to suit their different needs
  6. Development of ESG indicators related to Indigenous Peoples should be Indigenous-led
  7. Data should be presented in a way that reflects positively on Indigenous Peoples and does not perpetuate colonial stereotypes

Statistics Canada thanks participants for their contributions to this consultative engagement initiative. Their insights will help guide the agency in providing information to support ESG and Indigenous Peoples.

You can read the entire report at Environmental, Social and Governance Project and Indigenous Peoples Engagement Report.

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