Chief Climate Officer
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Climate change poses significant risks to CMHC’s business and Canada’s housing stock and financial stability. As CMHC’s first Chief Climate Officer, Steve Mennill is leading the development of a robust climate change strategy that will support the company’s aspiration of housing affordability for all by 2030.
“It’s widely recognized that the financial world needs to take a more aggressive approach to mitigating exposure to climate change. In 2019, our Board of Directors identified climate change as a defining factor in our long-term outlook. We need to better understand how climate change could affect housing affordability in the coming years, and how the transition to a low-carbon economy will affect the housing finance system. ”
Climate change could, for example, change the economics of housing development and construction, as housing and communities are adapted to be more resilient. In addition, CMHC’s mortgage insurance and securitization businesses may be exposed to losses from climate-related events such as flooding and fires. There are also opportunities to mitigate the impacts of climate change by making our housing more energy-efficient, using less-carbon intensive materials and building processes, and planning our communities in ways that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“CMHC has lots of expertise in all of these areas. My job is to pull all of this together in a coherent strategy that is consistent with our 2030 aspiration and affordability strategy. We are committed to working with governments, organizations and individuals from all parts of the housing system on climate change.”
Steve has worked at CMHC for many years in a wide variety of roles, including most recently as Chief Risk Officer. He also has extensive experience in housing finance policy, mortgage insurance, social housing portfolio management and affordable housing research. Before joining CMHC, he worked as an urban planner providing consulting services to land developers and municipalities.
Steve holds an M.B.A. from the University of Toronto (Rotman), a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Urban Planning from the University of Waterloo and a Diploma in Urban Land Economics from the University of British Columbia. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP, RPP) and holds the ICD.D designation.
Steve enjoys golf, skiing, photography, camping and traveling with his family. He is also very active in his local community association in Ottawa.
Risk Management, Housing Finance, Urban Planning