Barbara Turley-McIntyre
Vice President, Sustainability, The Co-operators Group Ltd

Representing UNEP FI member: The Co-operators Group Ltd (Canada)

Connect with Barbara Turley-McIntyre on LinkedIn


My experience with UNEP-FI initiatives include:
• actively participated on the UNEP-FI Insurance Commission from 2009 – 2012
• engaged in developing the Principles of Sustainable Insurance (PSI)
• hosted the North American PSI consultations in Guelph, Canada in 2012
• co-hosted the consultation for the Inquiry: Design of a Sustainable Financial System in Toronto, Canada in 2014
• member of the PSI Board 2012 – 2016
• co-chaired the North American Task Force (NATF) from 2011-2014
• member of the Global Steering Committee 2011-2014 & 2016-2018

Through these experiences, I have come to appreciate the critical role that the UNEP-FI plays in sustainable finance. As our changing climate, economic uncertainty and growing social divisions demonstrate, we cannot delay seeking global partnerships and solutions. The UNEP-FI is a powerful organization and with its global membership we have the opportunity to play an increasing role in these global systemic issues.

At present, I am the sole representative on the GSC from Canada and the co-operative sector. Canada is has positioned itself to become an active participant in building a sustainable financial future, with increased support from various levels of government to transition to a low-carbon economy. I have played an active participant in growing the Canadian UNEP-FI members.

As part of GSC, I would continue to bring my experience with UNEP-FI and the Canadian insurance sector. I ask for your support of my nomination to GSC and I would be privileged to represent position # 10 on the committee.


Throughout my insurance career, I have held various roles including independent insurance broker, underwriting manager, community and shareholder relations liaison. For the past 10 years I have been responsible for sustainability leadership at a national co-operative insurance and financial services group in Canada. I lead the enterprise-wide integration of the sustainability policy and strategy, and I have leadership responsibility for the Annual Integrated Report and activities leading to a low carbon economy.

I hold a Masters in Environment and Business and a Chartered Insurance Professional designation and am a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Waterloo, Faculty of Environment.

My experience with Sustainable Finance most recently includes the following:

1. Sustainable Financial Framework. I co-led the recent work in Canada on catalzying our national government to develop a sustainable financial framework for the country. By engaging leadership from the UN Inquiry, the UNEP-FI and specifically our Canadian UNEP-FI members both with financial resources and time commitments we were instrumental in having the federal Ministers of Finance and the Environment & Climate Change strike an Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance in 2018.

2. Introduction of a Flood Insurance Product for Canadians. Until April 2015, Canada was the only G7 country without flood coverage for its citizens. The Co-operators developed flood models that allowed us to bring a product to market for all Canadians – even those who are most vulnerable from the peril. Additionally, we developed the Partners for Action Network (P4A) at the University of Waterloo, a diverse group of stakeholders including insurers, re-insurers, developers, banks, NGOs and government leaders to build flood resiliency. I hold a position on the National Flood Advisory Council in Canada seeking to increase consumer awareness and action as well as seeking a sustainable flood funding model.

3. Launch of Impact Investments. In early 2016, The Co-operators committed that, by the end of 2018, 6-10% of its institutional investments will be directed to investments that have intentional, measured and publicly-tracked social and environmental impacts. We have exceeded this target and set a new target of 20% of our institutional investments in impact investments by the end of 2022.

4. Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy. The Co-operators Board of Directors passed a motion to support management’s public advocacy of pricing carbon. We continue to be an active public advocate engaging with government, business, suppliers and clients to transition to a low-carbon economy.