ESG Message from FCC Leadership
Hear from our President and CEO and the Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee about our ESG commitments, progress and future work.
We are committed.
That is an observation I have made in a number of different capacities since starting as FCC President and CEO on January 30. Whether it’s through our fierce dedication to serving our customers or our mission to positively impact the agriculture and agri-food industry – FCC is committed.
FCC’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) is no different. We believe that a sustainable agriculture and agri-food industry is vital to the success of our customers, the industry and our planet. I’ve been very excited to see the work our team has done to build the foundation for a strong and meaningful ESG program that reflects this belief and contributes to an even brighter future for the sector.
Before we look ahead, it’s important to acknowledge where we’ve been. Agriculture producers have been stewards of the land for hundreds of years. Not only this, but the agriculture and agri-food industry has always done well at focusing on best practices. As sustainable alternatives receive more global attention and priority, the world will turn to Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector for the standard we’ve set for innovation and adaptability.
This is why FCC is committed to supporting producers and the industry as they continue to develop advancements that will improve sustainability. Plus, we’re excited about our own contributions to this important work as well. This report showcases the progress that has been made this past year. I’d like to highlight some of the critical, foundational work that has been completed.
This year, FCC completed a materiality assessment, a process used to understand environmental and social focus areas for the company. Through this process, our team gathered feedback from stakeholders and prioritized key ESG opportunities and risks that are material to our unique position as a Crown corporation dedicated to Canadian agriculture and agri-food. This process will allow FCC to identify, monitor and address rising ESG topics over time. This year, seven topics were prioritized: climate change, under-represented groups, Indigenous Peoples, food insecurity, business ethics, information security and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).
We’ve begun with a focus on climate change. This past year, FCC has worked with customers to understand their needs and identify how we can enable them to transition to a low-carbon economy. Internally, we’re affirming our efforts to reduce our internal emissions. Externally, we understand that climate change creates both physical and transitional risks for the industry, including impacts from severe weather and market expectations.
There’s more work to come to support DEI, food insecurity, and Indigenous Peoples and we’re excited to continue making an impact in these important spaces. As a nation that produces more food than we eat, Canada can be a world leader in producing food in a sustainable way. FCC is excited to continue partnering with customers and stakeholders by assisting them while they lean into this opportunity.
I commend FCC’s current ESG program and I look forward to partnering with the industry to identify opportunities to invest in meaningful action. Although this is a long-term investment, it’s an important one. FCC is here to support that journey every step along the way.
You have our commitment.
Justine Hendricks, President and Chief Executive Officer
Since 1959, FCC has been supporting the growth and prosperity of the agriculture and agri-food industry. As the only lender that is 100% invested in Canadian agriculture and agri-food, we’re committed to helping those who contribute to our sector by powering ways for them to dream, grow and thrive. We build committed partnerships across all levels of the food value chain to not only fuel the industry, but to assist each other as we innovate and evolve during complex times.
This extends through FCC’s ESG journey. This year, a lot of progress has been made in establishing a solid foundation for the formation of an ESG program. The Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing the performance of FCC’s ESG program and we’ve seen how much thought, consideration and meaningful conversation has gone into building this framework. As indicated in the Guelph Statement, Canada has a goal to be recognized as a world leader in sustainable agriculture and agri-food production by 2028 and we recognize our role in making that happen.
The Board ensures that FCC is performing its due diligence by identifying and managing risks while integrating this thinking into its management processes and operations. It’s important for the Board to identify ways that this work is incorporated into FCC’s formal corporate decision-making while also prioritizing that results are measured and reported publicly through disclosures. A great example of this is the materiality and maturity assessments that were conducted this year. With the growing importance of ESG at FCC, the Board is dedicated to educating ourselves and taking training across various ESG-related topics to ensure we can authentically support and bring meaningful value to this area.
We’re proud of the progress that has been made in FCC’s ESG program and recognize that there is more work to do. We know that a sustainable agriculture and agri-food industry will take a long-term commitment from the entire sector. FCC is here to partner with the industry and Canadian producers on this journey so that Canada can set the standard for sustainable agriculture for decades to come.
Laura Donaldson, Corporate Governance Committee Chair