EY Canada is proud to announce the appointment of Kent Kaufield as ESG Markets Leader & Chief Sustainability Officer, effective immediately. In this newly created role, Kaufield will be responsible for spearheading the Canadian sustainability strategy, while helping clients adopt innovations and technologies to create long-term value and realize sustainable growth.
“The pandemic has put a spotlight on dynamic forces such as climate change, human capital and social injustice that are quickly accelerating the need for businesses to respond to new expectations and demands from all stakeholders,” says Jad Shimaly, EY Canada Chair and Chief Executive Officer. “Businesses that are putting ESG at the heart of their recovery strategy coming out of this pandemic will be in the best position to build a long-term competitive advantage, enhance resiliency and attract a growing socially conscious group of talent, consumers and investors.”
The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer finds that issues such as improving healthcare, addressing climate change and closing the economic divide have become increasingly important year-over-year — and the market is relying on companies to respond. In fact, 66% of people expect companies to lead the charge, rather than wait for government to impose change and regulation.
“Organizations are recognizing they have an increasing role to play in delivering meaningful change to combat environmental, social and governance issues,” says Kaufield. “To be true agents of change, you have to walk the talk. At EY, that means actively deploying internal sustainability programs, while building the skills and solutions needed to help businesses do the same. Through thoughtful debate, purposeful action and a prevailing spirit of collaboration, together we can deliver outcomes that future generations can celebrate.”
In addition to driving ESG strategies, investors are seeking more quantitative data around ESG metrics to demonstrate performance — with 98% of institutional investors indicating they’re taking a disciplined approach to evaluating companies’ non-financial performance when making investment decisions.
This appointment is the latest step towards helping companies respond to stakeholder expectations by developing comprehensive ESG strategies, identifying emerging opportunities and enhancing disclosures. Coupled with advanced technology and analytics, EY Canada can help clients solve business challenges, drive value and establish a sustainability strategy fit for now, what’s next and beyond.
The role will also focus internally to develop and drive policies and programs within Canada, including delivering on the firm’s ambition to be carbon negative by the end of 2021 and reduce total emissions by 40% to become net zero in 2025.
“Having Kent’s knowledge and expertise at the table will be critical to help drive sustainable business strategy, decision-making and stakeholder engagement,” says Shimaly. “We’re excited to take the next step in advancing our commitment to becoming a more sustainable organization by improving environmental performance and driving long-term growth for our stakeholders.”