ESG | The Report

What Every Company in Quebec Needs to Know About Sustainability

 If you’re a business owner in Quebec, it’s important to be up-to-date on the latest trends in ESG and sustainability. Many companies are starting to make the switch to sustainable practices, and you don’t want to be left behind! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the basics of ESG and sustainability and how you can start making your business more environmentally friendly.

What are ESG and sustainability for businesses?

Businesses across the world are looking to adopt more sustainable practices. One way they are doing this is by integrating ESG into their business model. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance. It is a way for businesses to measure and manage their impact on key issues like climate change, human rights, and corruption. By managing their ESG risks, businesses can not only become more sustainable but also improve their financial performance and reputation.

In recent years, investors have become increasingly interested in sustainable investing, and many now believe that ESG integration can provide a competitive advantage. As businesses continue to grapple with the challenges of sustainability, ESG will likely play an important role in shaping the future of business.

Does ESG apply to private companies in Quebec?

In recent years, more and more companies have been incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into their business decision-making. Quebec is no exception, with a growing number of private companies adopting ESG principles. However, there is still some debate about whether or not ESG applies to private companies in Quebec.

There are a few arguments against the idea. First of all, private companies are not subject to the same climate-related financial disclosure requirements as public companies. This means that they are not required to disclose information about their environmental and social impact. Additionally, private companies are not typically held accountable to shareholders in the same way that public companies are. As a result, some critics argue that ESG is not as relevant to private companies in Quebec.

However, there are also a number of arguments in favor of the idea that ESG does apply to private companies in Quebec. For one thing, many private companies are now voluntarily disclosing information about their environmental and social impact. Additionally, more and more consumers are taking ESG factors into account when making investment decisions. This means that private companies that don’t consider ESG could find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. In short, it’s clear that ESG is relevant to both public and private companies in Quebec.

Is ESG reporting mandatory in Canada?

While there is no legal requirement for companies to report on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance in Canada, an increasing number of businesses are voluntarily disclosing this information to investors and other stakeholders. There are several reasons for this trend, including the growing awareness of the importance of sustainable development and the increasing pressure from investors to provide greater transparency around sustainability issues.

In addition, many businesses have found that reporting on their ESG performance can help to improve their brand image and create operational efficiencies. While there is no regulatory obligation to disclose ESG information, more and more companies are choosing to do so as a way to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development.

The Canadian government has announced that all banks, insurance companies, and trust/loan firms will have to publish climate-related risks by 2024. Financial institutions are also expected to assess information on their clients’ emissions of greenhouse gases as part of an effort from OSFI (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions).

In addition, there are plans for separate ESG disclosure requirements, including those related to environmental factors such as climate change which are being moved forward within federally regulated pension plans.

Quebec is a beautiful province with a diverse range of natural resources. It is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change, which poses a significant risk to both the environment and the economy. The main climate-related risks in Quebec include flooding, landslides, wildfires, and droughts. These events can damage infrastructure, disrupt transportation and communication networks, and lead to loss of life.

In addition, climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events in Quebec. As a result, it is essential for businesses in Quebec to be aware of the risks associated with climate change and to take steps to protect their operations from potential impacts.

What does the Canada Business Corporations Act say about sustainability?

Canada’s Business Corporations Act (CBCA) requires that directors of Canadian corporations consider environmental matters when making business decisions. While there is no specific requirement to achieve sustainability, the CBCA does require that directors take a “social responsibility” approach to environmental decision-making. This means that directors must take into account the impact of their decisions on both the environment and society as a whole.

In practice, this means taking into consideration the potential long-term effects of environmental damage when making business decisions. It also means taking a proactive approach to climate change rather than simply trying to minimize the damages caused by it. As climate change becomes an increasingly pressing global issue, it is likely that the CBCA’s requirements regarding sustainability will become more stringent. For now, however, the act provides a good framework for incorporating sustainability into corporate decision-making.

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How to include ESG in corporate governance?

There is a growing interest in incorporating ESG factors into corporate governance practices. Investors and consumers are increasingly interested in companies that take ESG issues into account, and this trend is likely to continue. SMEs in Quebec can benefit from considering ESG factors in their governance practices, even though there may only be one person wearing multiple hats within the company.

There are a number of ways to incorporate ESG into corporate governance. One way is to ensure that board members are aware of environmental and social issues and consider them when making decisions. For SMEs this could be an opportunity to make assessments of your decision-making process and find where your vulnerabilities are. This could include your vulnerabilities around the supply chain and cybersecurity issues.

Another way is to integrate ESG considerations into strategic planning. This can involve setting goals related to environmental or social impact and ensuring that these goals are taken into account in all decision-making.

Finally, it is also important to disclose information about ESG practices and performance. This allows investors, consumers, and other stakeholders to make informed decisions about whether or not to invest in a company. This could be in the form of posts on social media platforms or press releases.

By taking steps to incorporate ESG into corporate governance, SMEs in Quebec can position themselves as leaders in sustainable business practices. This can attract investment and consumers, improve your reputation, and build long-term confidence.

What is ESG risk management?

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks are often considered to be major concerns for large corporations. However, these risks can also have a significant impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In fact, ESG risks can pose a particular challenge for SMEs due to their limited resources and lack of experience in managing these types of risks.

ESG risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing ESG risks. The goal of ESG risk management is to protect and enhance value for shareholders. This process typically involves four steps: identification, assessment, control/mitigation, and monitoring/reporting.

Identification is the first step in managing ESG risk. SMEs should identify the ESG risks that are relevant to their business and assess the potential impact of these risks. Common ESG risks include climate change, water shortages, human rights violations, corruption, and bribery.

Once the relevant risks have been identified, they must be assessed in order to determine the potential impact on the business. The assessment should consider the likelihood of the risk materializing as well as the potential severity of the impact. After the assessment is complete, controls or mitigation measures can be put in place to reduce the likelihood or severity of the identified risks.

Finally, it is important to monitor and report on the progress of implementing risk management measures. This will help to ensure that the controls are effective and allow for necessary adjustments to be made if necessary.

ESG risk management is a challenging but essential process for SMEs. By taking steps to identify and assess their exposure to environmental and social risks, companies can put in place controls or mitigation measures to protect their business and enhance shareholder value.

What does the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) have to do with sustainability?

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is committed to supporting the transition to a more sustainable economy. In particular, the AMF promotes responsible investment practices and encourages companies to disclose ESG information. The AMF also strives to integrate sustainability considerations into its own operations.

For example, the AMF has made climate change a priority in its risk management activities and has adopted a Green Bond Framework to support the development of green finance in Quebec. Ultimately, the AMF’s goal is to create a regulatory environment that facilitates the shift to a more sustainable economy.

Why does sustainability matter for private companies in Quebec?

For Quebec businesses, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword – it’s essential to meeting both the needs of the present and the demands of the future. A sustainable business is one that takes into account the environmental, social, and economic impact of its activities and strives to minimize negative impact while maximizing positive outcomes. This approach can help businesses save money, build customer loyalty, attract top talent, and position themselves for growth in a rapidly changing world.

In short, sustainability matters for Quebec businesses because it’s good for business. By taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint, improve working conditions, and support the local economy, Quebec businesses can not only do their part to create a more sustainable world – but they can also create a stronger foundation for their own success.

Who is responsible for sustainability in a company in Quebec?

In Quebec, corporate sustainability is the responsibility of the board of directors and management. The entire board is responsible for setting the tone for the organization and ensuring that sustainable practices are engrained in the company culture.

Additionally, the board should ensure that sustainability is incorporated into the company’s strategic plans and business models. Management is responsible for implementing sustainable practices throughout the organization and ensuring that employees are properly trained on sustainable procedures. Together, the board and management are responsible for ensuring that a company is sustainably operated.

What is an ESG checklist for SMEs in Quebec?

ESG factors are key considerations for any business. SMEs in Quebec can use this ESG checklist to ensure that they are taking steps to protect the environment, support social responsibility, and promote good governance practices.

First, businesses should consider how they are impacting the environment. Are they taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint? Do they have programs in place to recycle or reuse materials? What kind of energy-saving practices do they have in place? How much water do you use?

Second, businesses should think about their social responsibility. Do they provide fair wages and benefits for employees? Do they give back to the community through charitable programs or volunteerism? Are they promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

Finally, businesses should examine their governance practices. Do they have clear policies and procedures in place? Do they adhere to best practices for financial, AND nonfinancial reporting and disclosure? Are their board members, owners, and executive team members committed to ethical standards of conduct? By taking these factors into consideration, SMEs in Quebec can ensure that they are operating responsibly and sustainably.

What are the 3 principal ESG strategies for SMEs?

While the term “ESG” only recently entered into common parlance, the concept has been around for many years. SMEs in Quebec can take advantage of several programs and strategies to help them increase their focus on ESG matters. Below are three of the most popular:

  • The UN Global Compact is a treaty that requires businesses to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies. More than 12,000 companies from over 160 countries have signed on to the Compact, pledging to integrate its principles into their operations.
  • The Global Reporting Initiative is a collection of guidelines that helps businesses report on their ESG performance. These guidelines are used by more than 6,000 organizations in over 170 countries.
  • The Carbon Disclosure Project is a voluntary program that encourages companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. More than 7,000 organizations from over 165 countries participated in the project.

Each of these programs provides valuable resources for SMEs looking to implement ESG strategies. By taking advantage of them, Quebec businesses can position themselves as leaders in sustainable and responsible business practices.

How do Quebec companies implement ESG?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. However, there are some general steps that all businesses can take to make sure they are incorporating ESG into their operations.

First and foremost, it is important to align company goals with ESG objectives. This means setting targets and KPIs that reflect a commitment to sustainable practices. It also means engaging employees in the ESG process, creating meaningful internal policies, and making sure they understand how their work contributes to the company’s overall sustainability goals.

Second, it is important to identify the specific areas where company operations can have an impact on ESG issues. This might include everything from energy use and waste management to employee recruitment and retention. Once these areas have been identified, the board and management structures can then put in place specific policies and procedures to address them.

Finally, it is important to monitor progress on implementing ESG initiatives and adjust courses as necessary. This requires regular reporting and communication on ESG progress, both internally and externally. It also means being open to feedback from stakeholders and adjusting plans in response to changing circumstances.

By taking these steps, Quebec companies can ensure that they are incorporating ESG into their operations in a way that is both effective and practical.

Why should Quebec companies focus on ESG and sustainability?

As a province, Quebec has always been at the forefront of sustainable development. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on ESG and sustainability by businesses in the province. This is due to a number of factors, including consumer pressure, regulatory requirements, and the growing importance of sustainability as a business driver.

There are numerous benefits associated with incorporating ESG and sustainability into business operations. For example, it can help to improve brand reputation, attract and retain employees, and reduce costs. Additionally, focusing on ESG and sustainability can help businesses to tap into new markets and growth opportunities.

With all of this in mind, it’s clear that Quebec SMEs should focus on ESG and sustainability. By doing so, they will be able to reap the many benefits associated with this approach to business.

Why is ESG important to private equity in Quebec?

Private equity firms have long been major investors in Quebec businesses. In recent years, however, there has been an increasing focus on ESG factors when making investment decisions. This is due to a number of factors, including the growing awareness of the risks associated with climate change and other environmental issues, as well as the changing preferences of millennial investors.

Additionally, many private equity firms are now based in Quebec, which has a strong tradition of responsible investing. As a result, ESG considerations are playing an increasingly important role in the private equity industry in Quebec.

How is Quebec sustainable?

Quebec is a province in Canada that is known for its beautiful scenery and friendly people. It is also a province that is committed to sustainable living. The government of Quebec has made it a priority to reduce the province’s exposure to material climate-related risks and to disclose any threat to businesses and investors.

The government has also developed a corporate climate change strategy that includes risk oversight and mitigation measures. As a result, Quebec is a province that is well-positioned to withstand the impacts of climate change and to continue prospering in the years to come.

SMEs in Quebec are also playing a role in making the province more sustainable. For example, many SMEs are focused on reducing their energy consumption and waste production. Additionally, many SMEs are working to develop more environmentally friendly products and services.

By taking these steps, Quebec is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable living. This is good news for the environment and for the economy of the province.


ESG and sustainability are important considerations for businesses in Quebec. There are a number of benefits to implementing ESG strategies, including improved brand reputation, reduced costs, access to new markets, increased consumers, and other growth opportunities. Additionally, private equity firms in Quebec are increasingly focusing on ESG when making investment decisions. As a result, it is more important than ever for Quebec SMEs to focus on ESG and sustainability.


What is Quebec’s carbon footprint?

Quebec’s carbon footprint is one of the lowest in Canada. In 2020, it was estimated at 76.2 megatonnes, and per capita emissions were only 8.9 tonnes of CO2e. This means that Quebec businesses have a smaller environmental impact than many of their counterparts elsewhere in the country. There are a number of factors that contribute to this low carbon footprint, including the province’s large hydroelectric power capacity and its focus on renewable energy sources. Additionally, Quebec has been successful in reducing emissions from sectors like transportation and manufacturing. As a result, doing business in Quebec is not only good for the SMEs but also for the environment.

Is Canada net zero?

As a country, Canada has made great strides in reducing its overall carbon footprint. In fact, it is now one of the world’s leading proponents of clean energy and climate change mitigation. But despite these efforts, Canada still has a long way to go before it can be considered a “net zero” country.

Is Canada a carbon sink?

Canada is not a carbon sink. A carbon sink is a natural reservoir that stores more carbon than it emits, such as an ocean or forest. Canada’s landmass stores the same amount of carbon that its ecosystems emit each year.

In conclusion on sustainability in Quebec…

If your business is in, or operates within Montréal, Québec, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Chicoutimi, Jonquière, Saint-Jérôme, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Châteauguay, Gatineau, Drummondville, Granby, Beloeil, Saint-Hyacinthe, Joliette, Victoriaville, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Shawinigan, Rimouski, Sorel, Saint-Georges, Val-d’Or, Hudson, Rouyn-Noranda, Magog, Sept-Îles, Varennes, Alma, Les Coteaux, Rivière-du-Loup, Buckingham, Thetford Mines or any other part of QC, then we encourage you to start reviewing your vulnerabilities around the issues of sustainability.

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