InfluenceMap Score
for Sustainable Finance
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Toronto, Canada
Official Web Site:

Sustainable Finance Lobbying Overview: The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) appears to have had limited engagement on sustainable finance policy, and, where it has engaged, it has taken mixed positions.

Top-Line Messaging on Sustainable Finance: Scotiabank has acknowledged the risks climate change poses to the financial sector but its communications focus on institution-wide action rather than systemic reform to combat climate risk. Scotiabank has stated support for the Paris Agreement and the goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, however, in a 2020 press release it stated support for a continued role for oil and gas in energy and economic systems. In October 2021, Scotiabank joined the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero's banking arm, the Net-Zero Banking Alliance. In December 2020, Scotiabank announced its partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Finance, which is working to implement the recommendations of the Canadian government’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance. In its 2021 ESG Report and 2021 Public Policy Activities page, Scotiabank mentions engagement with regulators and policymakers on sustainable finance policy, but the details of this engagement are unclear. Jarislowsky Fraser (JFL), an asset management subsidiary of Scotiabank, has also reported engagement on sustainable finance policies in Canada and globally, but details of this engagement are similarly unclear.

Position on Regulated Corporate ESG Disclosure: In its 2020 CDP response Scotiabank appeared to be broadly supportive of Canada implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). In February 2022, both Scotiabank and Scotia Global Asset Management submitted comments to the Canadian Securities Authorities on its proposal for climate disclosures. Scotia Global Asset Management took a mixed position on the proposal, supporting some aspects while advocating for a longer time for phase-in and increased flexibility in the final rulemaking. Scotiabank’s comments were consistent with the proposal, supporting the Authorities’ decisions to not require scenario analysis, require Scope 3 disclosure on a “comply or explain” basis, and phase in requirements. In July 2022, Scotia Global Asset Management commented on the International Sustainability Standards Board’s proposed climate disclosure framework, outlining several objections to the guidelines including financial reporting, scenario analysis, and Scope 3 emissions disclosure requirements.

Position on Taxonomies and ESG Standards/Labels/Benchmarks: Scotiabank has repeatedly taken the position that Canada needs a transition-focused taxonomy, but what exactly “transition-focused” entails is still unclear. In 2019, Scotiabank Director of Social and Environmental Risk told media sources that it would be difficult for Canada to adopt a taxonomy like the EU taxonomy, and any Canadian taxonomy should have more leniency for transitional activities. In a 2020 insights paper, Scotiabank supported the idea of a voluntary taxonomy and in its 2022 Net Zero Pathways report Scotiabank supported a taxonomy that would direct capital toward a “smooth and just energy transition.”

Scotiabank and JFL have been cautiously supportive of the need for policy on ESG labels and standards. A 2020 JFL insights paper suggests support for policy on ESG and transition bond labels. A 2021 Scotiabank market insights paper states support for harmonization of definitions of sustainable activities via frameworks like the EU Taxonomy and EU Green Bond Standard, but cautions against overly strict requirements.

Position on Incorporating ESG Factors Into Risk Management/Prudential Regulation: In its 2022 CDP response Scotiabank states support, with minor exceptions, for the Canadian Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ efforts to incorporate climate risk into prudential regulation and risk management.

Industry Association Governance: Scotiabank has disclosed a non-exhaustive list of its industry associations with little detail of the sustainable finance policy positions of these groups or actions taken to address misalignment.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.