Desjardins Funds joins the Boreal Leadership Council

LÉVIS, QC, May 21 /CNW Telbec/ - As International Biodiversity Day approaches, Desjardins Funds is pleased to announce that it has officially joined the Boreal Leadership Council (BLC) and become a signatory to the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework.

The BLC, supported by the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI), first convened in December 2003 and comprises a diverse collection of conservation groups, First Nations, resource companies and financial institutions, all of which have an interest and a stake in the future of Canada's Boreal Forest.

"We are very happy to be joining the Boreal Leadership Council. For Desjardins Funds, becoming a part of this group of leaders is in keeping with the socially responsible investing initiatives made in recent years. With the support of other endorsers, this will allow us to actively participate in the development of initiatives designed to conserve and promote Canada's Boreal Forest, an ecosystem that plays a key role in climate stabilization and in biodiversity preservation," explains Hélène Gagné, Director, Marketing, Wealth Management, at Desjardins Group.

"We are delighted to have Desjardins Funds as a new member of the BLC," said Larry Innes, Executive Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative. "We are confident that its expertise in the area of responsible investment and experience as a financial institution will greatly contribute to the Framework's vision and objectives. This will help to preserve the cultural, economic, and ecological integrity of the Boreal Forest."

Desjardins Funds has had socially responsible investing as a priority since 1990, when the Desjardins Environment Fund was launched. In January 2009, SocieTerra Portfolios were released, and more recently, Desjardins Funds signed on to the Principles for Responsible Investment, an initiative led by the United Nations. By becoming a member of the BLC, Desjardins Funds confirms its role as a Canadian leader in the area of socially responsible investing.

About Canadian Boreal Initiative

Established in 2001 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) is a national convener for conservation in Canada's Boreal Forest. CBI works with conservation organizations, First Nations, industry and other interested parties - including members of the Boreal Leadership Council (BLC) - to link science, policy and conservation solutions across Canada's Boreal Forest. CBI serves as the secretariat of the BLC.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world, with assets of over $165 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty Insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 42,200 employees and the commitment of over 6,200 elected officers. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: For further information: (for journalists only): Caroline Phémius, Advisor, Media Relations, Desjardins Group, (514) 281-7000 or 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7646, caroline.phemius@desjardins.com; Suzann Fraser, Director of Communications, Canadian Boreal Initiative, (613) 552-7277, sfraser@borealcanada.ca


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