Report highlights gap in sustainable finance skills, need for coordination

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TORONTO — A new report is highlighting the need for more skills development in sustainable finance to meet the expected growth in demand as regulatory and stakeholder pressures increase.

The report, released by Toronto Finance International, Financial Centres for Sustainability and consulting firm Deloitte Canada, says 68 per cent of finance professionals surveyed reported that their organization is currently being impacted by a shortage of skills in areas of environmental, social and governance specialization.

It says that of those experiencing a shortage, 85 per cent said the impact was moderate or significant.

The report is based on a survey of more than 100 financial services professionals responsible for developing sustainable finance competency, and comes as many organizations work to integrate action on climate change and other issues into their operations.

The survey found 73 per cent of respondents said sustainable finance strategies were becoming integral to their organization, while all respondents said skills and talent in the specialization are important.

The report says that to help close the skills gap, there needs to be more coordination across the financial industry, government, and post-secondary schools on training as all play a role in growing the sustainable finance talent pool.