Banking on a Dual Transition: Sustainable Finance for Petrochemical Plastic Producers

The Conference Board of Canada, 31 pages, August 17, 2021
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This impact paper demonstrates how performance-based sustainable finance offers advantages to petrochemical plastic producers in their transition to a circular plastics economy, and alignment with Canada’s net-zero-emissions goals.

Document Highlights

Ninety-nine per cent of plastics are produced from fossil fuels. As Canada and other advanced economies reach for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the emissions trajectory of petrochemical plastic producers needs a drastic course change.

With rising plastic pollution globally, this must be complemented by a transition to a circular plastics economy. A circular plastics economy is a regenerative economy. It harnesses natural resources sustainably and eliminates waste by design. It reuses and recycles its outputs and adopts innovative business models with minimal environmental and social drawbacks.

This impact paper explains how performance-based sustainable finance offers petrochemical plastic producers advantages in a transition to a circular plastics economy, and alignment with Canada’s net-zero goals. The paper proposes performance metrics for plastic producers seeking sustainable finance.  

The paper also demonstrates that government investment incentives linked to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, can accelerate the transition of plastic producers, while enhancing economic competitiveness. The paper recommends three actions for Canadian governments to build investment incentives for plastic producers that include circular economy and ESG performance metrics.

Table of Contents

Key findings
Introduction
Circular and net-zero transitions: Complementary but distinct
Plastics: A thousand uses
Money is going plastic
Circular blind spots in ESG disclosures
Guiding change: ESG and circular metrics
Aligning public capital with ESG metrics
Circular ESG investment incentives for plastic producers in Canada

Appendix A—Methodology

Appendix B—ESG frameworks and investment incentive eligibility

Appendix C—Bibliography

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