What is Responsible Investing? Most Ontarians have no idea.

Desjardins Group survey reveals more than half of Ontarians are intrigued by RI even though 75% don't know what it is

LÉVIS, QC, Oct. 13, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - More than three quarters of Ontarians have never heard of responsible investing (RI) yet 55% are willing to adopt the strategy once they learn the details. Those are some of the results of a recent Desjardins survey that also found 16% of Ontario residents already have RI products in their portfolios.

Responsible investing is any investment strategy which offers investors both financial return and the opportunity to have a positive impact on their communities and the environment. Desjardins has 27% of the Canadian responsible investment market, and assets that surpassed the $2 billion mark this year (20% of Desjardins Funds holders have responsible investment products). Desjardins believes this investment approach will maintain its strong growth in the coming years.

The recent online survey of 2,120 Canadians, including 532 Ontarians, commissioned by Desjardins Wealth Management found that for people in Ontario, RI is an expression of their interest in sustainable development and environmental awareness. A significant majority use recycling bins (93%), reusable bags (86%) and composting bins (64%). They prioritize buying locally (83%) and make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint (65%).

"Independent analyses demonstrate that RI products offer comparable returns to more traditional products. And the survey shows that 86% of Ontarians think they match up as well, which is good news," says Rosalie Vendette, a senior advisor in responsible investment at Desjardins Wealth Management.

The survey reveals the following RI principles are important to people in Ontario:

 

RI principles                                                 

Air quality

85%

Human rights

82%

Nature and forest conservation

78%

Workers' rights

77%

Waste management

77%

Climate change

76%

RI in Canada: 68% growth in three years

RI entails strategically selecting and managing investments based on environmental, social and governance criteria. Many people feel that RI offers more effective risk management; at the very least, it's no more risky than traditional investing.

The 2015 Canadian RI Trends Report, published by the Responsible Investment Association, reveals that RI grew 68% in Canada between 2011 and 2013, passing $1 trillion in assets under management and making up 31% of the Canadian investment industry.

According to the report, the dominant strategy is shareholder engagement, in which shareholders influence companies to improve corporate behavior. In 2013, the top three engagement issues were executive compensation, human rights, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Desjardins Wealth Management survey methodology

The online RI survey polled 2,120 Canadians, including 532 Ontarians, on behalf of Desjardins Wealth Management between January 7 and 12, 2016. Survey results have been weighted by sex, age, region and first language to reflect the overall makeup of Canada's adult population.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest cooperative financial group in the world, with assets of more than $260 billion. It has been rated one of the Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt. To meet the diverse needs of its members and clients, Desjardins offers a full range of products and services to individuals and businesses through its extensive distribution network, online platforms and subsidiaries across Canada. Counted among the world's strongest banks according to The Banker magazine, Desjardins has one of the highest capital ratios and credit ratings in the industry.

 

SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: (media inquiries only): John Bordignon, 416-801-6078 or 905-750-5567, john.bordignon.pgr8@statefarm.com

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