Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Power Corporation rejects full emissions disclosure

Desmarais Family Residuary Trust has 51.3% voting control

(Montreal, May 9, 2024) Today, Power Corporation shareholders voted on the company’s first ever shareholder proposal on climate filed by Investors for Paris Compliance, a net zero shareholder advocacy group. The proposal asked the holding company to measure and disclose its financed emissions, including those of its major subsidiaries. Despite positive actions taken by some of its subsidiaries such as Power Sustainable, Power Corporation has considerable exposure to fossil fuels.

While the company announced the proposal had not passed, it is yet to release detailed voting results.

Power Corporation, majority owner of Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, has a dual-class share structure. This means that despite owning a minority stake, the Desmarais Family Residuary Trust has voting control over director elections and shareholder proposals at the company.

“Today CEO Jeffrey Orr defended the state of Power Corporation’s emissions disclosure, but the reality is that the company is only disclosing a fraction of its financed emissions,” said Renaud Gignac, a senior advisor at Investors for Paris Compliance. “We are disappointed that Power Corporation opted to reject the proposal, but hope that the company will commit to improving in the future.”

The proposal was supported by a statement citing Investing in Climate Chaos’ data which suggests Power Corporation is the third largest fossil fuel investor in Canada, through its subsidiaries. Power Corporation only discloses partial emissions data from Great-West Lifeco, meaning that only 16% of its AUM is covered.

“We hope that Power Corporation begins to see its status as a holding company as an opportunity for leadership rather than as an excuse for inaction,” said Michael Sambasivam, Senior Analyst at Investors for Paris Compliance. “Other holding companies have emerged as climate leaders and we call on the Desmarais family to follow suit.”


UPDATE: Released late yesterday, the voting results from Power Corporation of Canada‘s AGM show that our proposal for annual disclosure of financed emissions captured 18.4% support from non-family voters. (Despite the Desmarais Family Residuary Trust’s minority stake, they have voting control.) Beyond the trust, the call for stronger climate leadership from Canada’s third-largest fossil fuel investor is undeniable.

Join Our Mailing List