1. OUR UNION DNA PUTTING DOWN ROOTS (1983 TO 2000)
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s Incorporation Act: The importance that the Fonds places on jobs and economic development, economic training for workers and the involvement of workers in the development of companies is entrenched in the Act. For more details on the Fonds’ Incorporation Act:
Local development: The Fonds locaux de solidarité (FLS), created in 1991, and the Fonds régionaux de solidarité (FRS), created in 1995, form an investment network that is close to the communities, enables local people to participate in investment decisions and, in the case of FLS, offers entrepreneurial microcredit.
Appropriate tools: Starting in 1983, the Fonds developed effective tools to measure the risks and the social and economic impact of its investments:
- Social audit: This audit is performed before each investment in a potential partner company. Its goal is to analyze the extra-financial aspects of these companies, such as management, human resource management, workplace health and safety issues or the position of the company in the community where it operates;
- Exit audit: Concerned with the impact of its investments on the communities where it makes a commitment, the Fonds is highly transparent by performing, in addition to a social audit, an exit audit to appropriately assess the socio-economic impact that could result from its disinvestments;
- Economic training (see Economic training: a fundamental value);
- Due diligence review process: This is the traditional process undertaken before any investment to assess whether the company will generate a satisfactory return in the future. This process results in a good understanding of the operations, financial condition and strengths of a company and the challenges it faces in its economic and financial environment;
- Investment policy: In addition to the social audit and due diligence review, the Fonds adopted an investment policy that sets out the main principles and guidelines that orient its investments. It also includes all the issues related to the social, economic and environmental context. This policy is regularly updated, in particular to integrate the aspects related to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility.
2. MEETING SPECIFIC NEEDS (2001 TO 2008)
Adopting the Code of Conduct for International Business Dealings. Adopted several years ago, in the wake of globalization, the Code of Conduct for International Business Dealings was revised during the last financial year. This Code applies to the Fonds partner companies that have operations outside Canada, generally in emerging countries, and to their suppliers. It provides a solid framework for the activities of the Fonds based on, among other factors, compliance with the United Nations Global Compact principles.
Developing guidance on voting rights. As the shareholder of hundreds of listed companies, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ wishes to exercise its “ownership rights” to help these companies to, on one hand, adopt governance practices that are more modern and more respectful of their shareholders and stakeholders and, on the other hand, implement measures to become better corporate citizens. Accordingly, the Fonds adopted, several years ago, a series of guidelines on voting as a shareholder of listed companies. This guidance was revised once again during the last financial year as part of a continuous improvement process.
fondsftq.com/vote-entreprises (in French only)
3. THINKING GLOBALLY, ACTING LOCALLY (2009 TO 2013)
- Created a Sustainable Development and Socially Responsible Investment Multisectoral Internal Committee, which guides and supports the various business sectors of the Fonds.
- Adhered to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the essential reference for sustainable development and socially responsible investment disclosures, and the basis for the Fonds’ Annual and Sustainability Report.
- Adhered to the United Nations Global Compact (see the GRI Index).
- Adhered to the six Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) issued by the United Nations (see A Québec network of responsible investors).
- Carried out projects related to the Fonds’ environmental concerns: Green Committee comprised of Fonds employees, BOMA BESt and LEED EB certifications for the head office, measures promoting sustainable transportation, responsible procurement policy, etc.
- Developed guidelines for practices related to sustainable development and social responsibility in mining project management. In all of their exploration activities, the mining companies in which the Fonds invests must diligently take technically proven and economically feasible measures to adequately protect the environment and ensure the health and safety of workers (see the guidelines).
- Created the Carbon Credit Committee – This Committee’s mission includes monitoring legislation and markets to enable us to: develop our knowledge and expertise in the carbon credit sector; create tools to improve the Fonds specialists’ interventions with our partner companies in that respect; and inform the employees of the Fonds and its network on this topic.
- Adhered to the standards of the Hedge Fund Standards Board (HFSB) – The HFSB is a major standard-setting body for the hedge fund industry. Its standards, which are in addition to the rules already prescribed by public policies, are a powerful mechanism for creating a framework of transparency, integrity and sound governance. The Fonds encourages the managers of this asset class to apply these transparency principles.