New President and CEO, Mairead Lavery takes over at EDC

by Keith Powell
Mairead Lavery, new President and Chief Executive Officer for Export Development Canada.

Mairead Lavery, new President and Chief Executive Officer for Export Development Canada. — Photo courtesy EDC

Editor's note: Here are two recent EDC media releases, reflecting the Development Corporation's new policies and announcing a new president and CEO.

In revealing its new Climate Change Policy, Export Development Canada (EDC) took another significant step in contributing to the global transition to a lower carbon, sustainable economy.

The new policy commits EDC to measuring, monitoring and disclosing climate-related risks and opportunities, integrating climate change considerations into business decisions, and encouraging partners to do the same. In so doing, EDC joins a growing number of industry leaders acting to understand, address and disclose business risks and opportunities related to climate change.

“At EDC, we recognize we can contribute to creating a sustainable economy through the policies we set and the choices we make, while honouring our mandate,” said Catherine Decarie, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs. “This revised policy clarifies the principles that guide our approach, articulates our explicit climate-related commitments and ensures EDC is keeping pace with leading players in the global financial services sector.”

The policy is a result of consultations with external stakeholders, customers and experts, as part of the Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) Policy Review announced in May 2018. EDC regularly reviews this framework to ensure it remains relevant, reflects current practice and keeps pace with industry best practices. This new climate change policy strengthens EDC’s position on thermal coal and commits the corporation to begin setting targets to reduce the carbon intensity of its lending portfolio.

As Canada’s export credit agency, EDC has a mandate to support and develop Canada’s export trade and its capacity to engage in that trade, as well as respond to international business opportunities. EDC supports the Government of Canada’s efforts to address the climate change challenge, including its commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement.

EDC’s large and diverse portfolio includes companies operating in carbon-intense sectors that are important to the Canadian economy alongside businesses on the cutting edge of clean technologies. EDC believes that companies across this spectrum will need to play a vital role in the transition to a lower carbon and climate-resilient economy.

EDC’s commitments in the new Climate Change Policy include:

  • No new financing for coal-fired power plants, thermal coal mines or dedicated thermal coal-related infrastructure – regardless of geographic location.
  • Measuring, monitoring and, commencing in 2020, setting targets to reduce the carbon intensity of EDC’s lending portfolio.
  • Increasing transparency around EDC’s climate-related risks and opportunities, including working toward implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
  • Integrating climate-related considerations, such as carbon intensity, into EDC’s risk assessment processes.

Already, EDC is Canada’s largest financier of clean technology companies. In 2017, EDC provided $1.5 billion in support for clean technology companies – a record year surpassed in 2018. Last year, EDC became the first export credit agency to announce its support for the TCFD recommendations, signaling its commitment to help advance the availability, consistency and comparability of climate-related information.

Other EDC News: Appointment Mairead Lavery as New CEO

Export Development Canada (EDC) and its Board of Directors welcome the Government of Canada’s appointment of Mairead Lavery as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective February 5, 2019.

Ms. Lavery joined EDC in 2014, as Senior Vice President (SVP), Business Development Group. As SVP she has led a team responsible for connecting with Canadian companies and equipping them to grow and diversify their international business. During her time at EDC, the corporation has seen its relevance to Canadian companies grow, with over 13,000 customers being served in 2018 – a record number.

“I am very pleased that Ms. Lavery has accepted to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of EDC. Her extensive experience in finance, strategic planning and corporate transformation, along with her passion for EDC’s mandate, will be invaluable assets when leading the corporation as it continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of Canadian business,” said Martine Irman, Chair of EDC Board of Directors.

“This is an exciting and important time to be a part of EDC. Today, Canadian businesses have greater exporting opportunities globally yet are facing increasing complexity and risks. Trade has never been more important and our Board of Directors is looking forward to working alongside Ms. Lavery to support the corporation with its mandate to help Canadian companies of all sizes go, grow and succeed internationally.”

Ms. Irman also extended her gratitude to Mr. Benoit Daignault for his steadfast dedication during his 15-year career at EDC, which included serving proudly as the President and CEO over the last five years.

“Mr. Daignault’s vision to expand EDC’s relevance to Canadian companies and grow their impact in the global marketplace has been unwavering. His commitment to evolve and adapt for today’s modern exporter while upholding EDC’s strict commitments to sustainable and responsible business practices has been nothing short of exceptional,” said Ms. Irman.

Quick facts

  • Ms. Lavery came to EDC from Bombardier Inc., after sixteen years in various leadership roles including Vice-President (VP) Finance, VP Strategy, Business Development and Structured Finance and VP Transformation and Shared Services.
  • Ms. Lavery is a native of Northern Ireland and holds a degree in Management and Accounting from Queen’s University Belfast.
  • EDC is Canada’s official export credit agency (ECA), providing a range of solutions, which help Canadian companies of all sizes diversify and take on the world, including financing, insurance, bonding, trade knowledge, and matchmaking connections. It also helps Canadian companies sell and invest abroad.
  • EDC has been supporting Canadian trade for 75 years. The corporation has 19 offices across Canada and a network of representations around the world, all with the focus of connecting with Canadian companies and helping them go, grow and succeed internationally.
  • In 2018, EDC served over 13,000 Canadian companies through its knowledge, connections, financing and insurance solutions – a record amount for the corporation.
  • In 2018, EDC donated to 35 charitable organizations across Canada including its participation in EDC’s annual community investment day where more than 1,100 employees volunteered their time in support of 53 charities.

About EDC

EDC helps Canadian companies go, grow, and succeed in their international business. As a financial Crown corporation, EDC provides financing, insurance, bonding, trade knowledge, and matchmaking connections to help Canadian companies sell and invest abroad. EDC can also provide financial solutions to foreign buyers to facilitate and grow purchases from Canadian companies.

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