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Mar 29, 2022
The financial services co-operative and Iveson will work together to help build an investment market in Canada focused on climate resilience and adaptation
GUELPH, ON, March 29, 2022 – Co-operators, a leading Canadian financial services co-operative and insurance company with over $61 billion in assets under management, announced the appointment of former Mayor of Edmonton Don Iveson as Executive Advisor, Climate Investing and Community Resilience. This position was established to build momentum and capacity for a wave of new investments in Canada that will support climate adaptation projects and climate-resilient infrastructure in communities across the country.
The new position will advance Co-operators efforts to catalyze sustainable investing in Canada. Currently, over 21% of its invested assets – more than $2.6 billion – are invested in impact investments that provide solutions to pressing environmental and social challenges. Co-operators has a target to invest 60% of its total assets to support the transition to a sustainable, resilient, low-emissions society by 2030.
Co-operators and Iveson aim to help reduce risk in Canadian communities, in part by creating the conditions needed to increase capital flows to fund climate adaptation infrastructure in municipalities across the country. Communities will benefit tangibly from such investments both financially and in terms of environmental resilience and emotional peace of mind.
“As an insurer, we see the financial and emotional impacts of climate change on our members, clients and communities,” says Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of Co-operators. “As an investor, we can help build infrastructure and support initiatives that improve the resilience of our communities. Working together, with Don’s first-hand understanding of the challenges municipalities face and the opportunities that exist in terms of climate solutions, we can now lay the groundwork for a new model for climate-resilient investments in Canada.”
For Iveson, the strategic partnership was an intuitive next step in his career, and one that will build on his existing legacy as Mayor of one of Canada’s most climate-conscious cities.
“In my time at Edmonton City Hall, and as Chair of Canada’s Big City Mayors, I thrived on building coalitions to tackle complex challenges like climate change. I also know the aging infrastructure, the shortage of funding, and the gaps in capacity facing local governments in tackling the impacts of our already changing climate,” says Iveson. “I am grateful to be working with visionaries like Rob and his team at Co-operators who share strong purpose when it comes to community resiliency. Bringing big data risk modeling, engineering solutions and private investment to bear to help towns, counties and cities contend with climate risks requires precisely the kind of problem solving and coalition building I love.”
Wesseling and Iveson will be speaking together at an upcoming panel on the topic of resilience investing at GLOBE Forum 2022 on March 30, in Vancouver. On this panel, sharing the stage with leaders from the United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and Canada’s Infrastructure Bank, they will appeal to an array of multi-sector Canadian stakeholders on the importance of building capacity and collaboration for investments to flow towards projects that will make our communities more climate-resilient and sustainable, better equipped to face the increasing climate impacts that are already upon us.
About Don Iveson
Don served as Edmonton’s 35th Mayor from 2013 to 2021 with a guiding leadership principle to make things better for the next generation. This long-termism is now embedded in: Edmonton’s smart growth City Plan; City Council’s Energy Transition Strategy and first-in-Canada carbon budget, and Edmonton’s nation-leading City-Wide Flood Mitigation Strategy.
Since retiring from municipal office, Don continues to live in Edmonton. In addition to this role with Co-operators, Don has accepted an appointment as a School of Cities Canadian Urban Leader at the University of Toronto. He is also ramping up a public policy advisory practice working on climate, housing, regional governance and civic innovation projects with like-minded clients, including Co-operators. He also volunteers on the board of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
As Mayor, Don’s political leadership extended to the national stage, serving as Chair of Canada’s Big City Mayors for five years during an unprecedented rise in the prominence of cities in the national political landscape, as well as responding to the COVID crisis which hit municipalities especially hard. His advocacy helped to shape the National Housing Strategy and influence the Federal Government to commit to ending chronic homelessness nationwide — goals that cannot be achieved without robust partnerships with cities. He also served as an Honourary Witness to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and implemented the first trauma-informed all-staff Indigenous awareness and reconciliation training program at a major Canadian city.
Co-operators is a leading Canadian financial services co-operative, offering multi-line insurance and investment products, services, and personalized advice to help Canadians build their financial strength and security. The company has more than $61.5 billion in assets under administration. Co-operators has been providing trusted guidance to Canadians for the past 76 years. The organization is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. Achieving carbon neutral equivalency in 2020, the organization is committed to net-zero emissions in its operations and investments by 2040, and 2050, respectively. Co-operators is also ranked as a Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada and is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Kincentric. For more information, please visit: www.cooperators.ca.
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