SRI assets grow to more than $500 billion in Canada

    TORONTO, March 22 /CNW/ - Growing institutional interest in socially
responsible investment has propelled SRI assets in Canada to more than
$500 billion, according to a study released today by the Social Investment
    The study, entitled the Canadian Socially Responsible Investment Review,
estimates total SRI assets in Canada in 2006 at $503.6 billion. This is an
increase from $65.5 billion in 2004.
    The study is based on a survey of SRI assets conducted every two years.
It was sponsored by Acuity Funds Ltd., Alterna Savings, Desjardins Trust,
Meritas Mutual Funds and The Ethical Funds Company.
    The findings include $57.4 billion in assets invested according to Core
SRI Strategies, which incorporate values-based decisions about investment
selection and management with risk and return considerations.
    It also includes $446.2 billion in assets invested according to Broad SRI
strategies, which are primarily based on a fiduciary analysis of the risk and
return characteristics of environmental, social and governance issues. This is
a relatively new approach in SRI.
    The dramatic increase in SRI assets is largely the result of the recent
adoption of SRI policies and practices by several large public pension funds.
    "Issues such as climate change, human rights and international
development are generating enormous public and financial industry concern,"
said Eugene Ellmen, Executive Director of the Social Investment Organization
(SIO), which published the study. "Investment managers are now recognizing
this, and adopting socially responsible investment policies and strategies as
a result."

    Established in 1989, the SIO is the national trade association for the
socially responsible investment industry. Its members include financial
institutions, fund companies, asset management firms, investment consultants,
financial advisors and investors. Its members serve more than half a million
investors and depositors in Canada.

    To download a copy of the full report, visit

For further information:

For further information: Eugene Ellmen, Social Investment Organization,
(416) 461-6042,; Rachel Davies, Acuity Funds Ltd.,
(416) 867-2557,; Robyn Hall, Alterna Savings,
(416) 252-5625 x7654,; Helene Gagne, Desjardins Trust,
(514) 286-3100, x2330,; Gary Hawton, Meritas
Mutual Funds, (519) 624-6767,; Jane Mitchell, The Ethical
Funds Company, (604) 714-3843,

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