Submitted by: Export Development Canada
Posted: May 06, 2008 – 06:00 PM EST
OTTAWA - May 6, 2008 - Export Development Canada (EDC) today issued its fourth Annual Report on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The report summarizes EDC's performance in meeting its CSR commitments in five key areas: the environment, business ethics, transparency, community investment and organizational climate.
"The more business we do around the world, the more we see that sustained success comes from doing business responsibly. This is why we have embedded CSR as an operating principle at EDC, and why our practices and policies continue to evolve and grow," said Eric Siegel, President and CEO of EDC.
In January 2008, EDC created a new Chief CSR Advisor position to provide greater corporate focus to CSR. EDC’s commitments have taken on greater prominence as more Canadian businesses invest abroad or participate in global networks. Over the past year, EDC facilitated record volumes of Canadian exports and investments around the world, with the most dramatic rise occurring in fast-growing emerging markets. These markets are where some of the largest infrastructure projects in the world are taking place and where EDC customers confront some of the most challenging environmental and social issues.
"This report includes clear objectives to focus the evolution of EDC's CSR framework, not only for all EDC employees, but also for our wide range of stakeholders," said Greg Radford, EDC Chief CSR Advisor. "EDC has made considerable progress and remains a leader amid our peer financial institutions in the area of environmental review. However, CSR is an evolution, a journey of continuous improvement. We are excited to take on the task of further evolving our CSR principles and programs."
In 2007, EDC engaged Canadian Business for Social Responsibility to gather and collate feedback and identify the benefits and risks of its Annual Report on CSR verification. The results and recommendations have been used to inform EDC's understanding of materiality and report scope and have led to changes in both content and design. As a result, EDC this year also took the additional step of having the report assured by an independent audit review firm, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, to identify improvements to management systems and enhance credibility in reporting.
In 2007, EDC reviewed its CSR program against other export credit agencies (ECAs) and leading private financial institutions. Overall, EDC measured up well against its peer institutions. In some important areas, such as in the assessment of environmental risks for large projects, EDC continues to play a leadership role. In 2007, EDC became only the second ECA to adopt the Equator Principles, voluntary guidelines for environmental practices followed by the world’s leading financial institutions, including Canada’s major banks. In adopting the Principles, EDC can play a distinct role in facilitating the harmonization of the leading environmental practices of ECAs worldwide with those of private financial institutions.
In the area of transparency, EDC's Disclosure Policy proactively provides information on the operations and projects it supports, to enhance public accountability. EDC became subject to the Access to Information Act in 2007, enhancing the balance between providing the public with more information on EDC's general administration while information that is truly commercially confidential to our customers remains protected.
For more information about EDC's Annual Report on CSR, visit www.edc.ca/csrreport2007
EDC is Canada's export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC's knowledge and partnerships are used by nearly 7,000 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining, is a recognized leader in financial reporting and economic analysis, and has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for seven consecutive years.