Sustainability symposium 2018

Sustainability is an increasingly important issue for business, communities and the world. Learn how embracing sustainability can help organizations not only contribute to society but also become more profitable and successful in the long term.

Event Details

Location and date:
Toronto February 28, 2018 - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST

The future success of organizations, generations, economies and the world depends on whether sustainable practices are engrained and adopted within society now.

Join us for the first-ever sustainability symposium where we will discuss how you can help lead, establish and maintain sustainability initiatives within your organization as a CPA.

View the agenda

Additional options and pricing may be available. See pricing and registration for more details.


8 CPD hour(s)
Pricing & registration

You will learn about:

  • what sustainability is and how it can impact your organization
  • risk and the strategic values of organizations who engage in sustainability
  • sustainability disclosures and what organizations can do to promote such initiatives

Who should attend?

  • accounting professionals
  • investors
  • controllers
  • management
  • corporate stakeholders
  • finance professionals
  • members of boards of directors

More Details:

Session Descriptions

Opening Keynote: Sustainability – A Business Case for the Future
Speaker: Dr. Sarah Burch, Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation
Sarah holds a Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Governance and Innovation, and is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. She is an expert on transformative responses to climate change at the community level, innovative strategies for making progress on sustainability and the unique contributions that small businesses can make to solving this complex challenge.

Sarah Burch

Accounting for natural capital – opportunities and innovation
Moderator: Geneva Claesson, Senior Manager, Deloitte
Panelists: Roy Brooke, Principal, Brooke and Associates; Robert Smith, Principal, Midsummer Analytics; Robyn Seetal, Manager of Sustainability and Climate Change Risk Advisory, Deloitte

Blockchain and sustainability

Sustainable and integrated reporting – Why CPAs should care
Moderator: Rosemary McGuire, Director Research Guidance & Support, CPA Canada
Panelists to date: William Murphy, National Leader, Climate Change & Sustainability Services, KPMG; Tom Ewart, Senior Manager, Sustainability, The Co-operators

As investors and other stakeholders increase their reliance on information outside of financial statements, this panel session explores the relevance of sustainable and integrated reporting to CPAs – What are the current trends in Corporate Responsibility Reporting? What are the differences between sustainability reports and integrated reports? How should CPAs be involved?

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – getting involved

Global financial stability – climate disclosure to the rescue?
Moderator: Sarah Keyes, Principal Research Guidance & Support, CPA Canada
Panelists to date: Brian Minns, Manager, Sustainable Investing, Addenda Capital; Julie Robertson, Vice President & Controller, Barrick Gold

Recognizing that climate change poses systemic and systematic risks to global financial stability. Increasingly, investors, regulators, stock exchanges, rating agencies and others are seeking enhanced disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities. In December 2015, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) established the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). TCFD final recommendations were released in June 2017, receiving statements of support from over 100 companies with a market capitalization of $3.3 trillion USD and financial institutions with $24 trillion USD in assets under management.

Sustainability – the next frontier for corporate governance
Moderator: Gigi Dawe, Director Research Guidance & Support, CPA Canada
Panelists to date: Judy Cotte, Vice President & Head, Corporate Governance & Responsible Investment, RBC Global Asset Management; Nathalie Francisci, Partner, Odgers Berndston (Montreal)

What is the role of governance in sustainability? Increasingly, sustainability issues are seen as material to strategy, risk management and performance. As a result, investors are seeking more information on sustainability issues in order to make informed investment decisions. Boards of directors and executive management teams are being asked difficult questions on how they are responding to environmental and social risks and opportunities, with a focus on long-term value. This session will highlight recent sustainability trends in corporate governance and explore how different performance evaluation, compensation and governance models are changing the dialogue in the boardroom. Panelists will discuss growing investor trends in proxy voting and shareholder engagement, as well as evolving expectations for corporate directors’ knowledge of sustainability.

Is climate change a catalyst for innovation?
Moderator: Meghan Harris-Ngae, Associate Partner, Ernst & Young
Panelists to date: Dr. Blair Feltmate, Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo; Stewart Dutfield, Project Lead Resilience, City of Toronto

Responsible Supply Chain Management – Creating Value and Shared Opportunities
Moderator:Henry Stoch, National Sustainability and Climate Change Lead and Partner, Deloitte
Panelists to date: Kiruba Sankar, Global Procurement Leader, IT Sourcing and Supply Chain, Supplier Diversity, RBC: Tan Gill, Walmart Responsible Sourcing International Markets

Risk intelligent companies are looking beyond their organizations’ immediate operations into their supply chains to ensure that they are not exposed in an ever complex chain of supplier relationships and stakeholder expectations. A growing number of companies are realizing that driving shared value through their supplier relationships returns major commercial and other benefits. This panel will explore the sustainability value equation, how it drives commercial benefit while safeguarding a critical component of how business is conducted.

Symposium adjourns at 4:30 pm

Thank you to our 2018 Symposium Program Advisory Committee
Valerie Cecchini, Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Investors Group - IG Investment Management

Julie Desjardins, President, Desjardins & Associates Consulting Inc.

Meghan Harris-Ngae, Associate Partner in Climate Change & Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young LLP

Robyn Seetal, Manager, Deloitte Risk Advisory - Sustainability and Climate Change

Sarah Keyes, Principal, Strategy, Risk and Performance, Research, Guidance and Support, CPA Canada

Andrew Kornel, Project Manager, Research, Guidance and Support, CPA Canada

Ian Y. Chan, Principal, Member Development & Support, CPA Canada

Mandeep Bains, Manager, Member Development & Support, CPA Canada

Venue[s] and Accommodation[s]


Arcadian Court
401 Bay St., Simpson Tower, 8th Floor, Toronto, ON M5H 2Y4

One of Toronto's most sought after venues, this event complex boasts historic charm and modern sophistication. The grand Arcadian Court has been restored to its art deco glory featuring modern new amenities.


Please contact:

Member Development and Support
Tel: 1-800-268-3793