Responsible Investing for a Sustainable Future

At Mercer, I feel privileged to work every day towards a more sustainable future as part of our Responsible Investment team. Climate change is an urgent issue, and it is so inspiring to work with clients, colleagues and industry peers to mobilize financial markets to steward capital towards a low-carbon, inclusive and resilient world.

My efforts on sustainability at Mercer focus on two key areas:

  • Sustainable Investing – Since the launch of Mercer’s Investing in a Time of Climate Change research report in 2015, I have worked on climate change-related engagements for asset owners in North America managing over $600 billion in assets. The annual Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Recommendations (of which Mercer is a supporter) has catalyzed investor action on climate change, and elevated the discussion around Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues to the Board level.  Mercer’s Framework for Sustainable Growth provides a road map for investors to develop ESG-related investment beliefs, establish policies and processes to put those beliefs into action, and to reflect them in portfolio decisions. Learn more about Mercer’s Responsible Investing offering on our global site.
  • Corporate Sustainability – Our colleagues and clients are increasingly expecting our parent company, Marsh & McLennan (MMC), to ‘walk the talk’ on sustainability when it comes to our own operations. I founded MMC’s Canadian Green Team and represent Mercer on our MMC’s corporate sustainability team.  I’m a firm believer in first looking for systemic solutions (i.e., working with corporate functions—technology, real estate, procurement—and key partners, such as property managers, suppliers) to identify sustainable solutions, and second, supporting employee education and awareness to inform behavior changes. Employee awareness also provides support for systemic changes.

In addition to the above, I’ve taken steps to reduce my own personal footprint (taking public transit whenever possible, plant-based eating, reducing water and energy use at home, reducing travel). It is clear to me that moving towards a sustainable lifestyle is not only dependent on individual behavior but also encouraging systemic changes. As such, it is important that we engage our city councilors, local businesses and neighbors on these issues. A question I commonly ask strangers now is “are you concerned about climate change?” Most people say yes, and some say “yes, of course – very concerned.”

My own efforts to progress sustainability efforts at Mercer within our Wealth business, and at home, have made it clear to me that incremental action will not suffice. We need transformational change now, and for that we need dialogue and collaboration.

Groups like Clean50, which recognizes and connects outstanding contributors to sustainable development and clean capitalism in Canada, keeps these important conversations going. I’m excited to have joined this esteemed group as a Clean50 2019 Award winner, and look forward to advancing Canada’s sustainability leadership on the global stage!

Karen Lockridge
by Karen Lockridge

Principal, Responsible Investment

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