Your clients probably haven’t heard about responsible investing (RI), but if they do, about two-thirds of them will act on that knowledge.
RI is any investment strategy that offers both financial return and the opportunity to have a positive impact on communities and the environment.
According to a Desjardins Group survey, a significant majority of Canadians use recycling bins (94%), reusable bags (84%) and composting bins (56%). They prioritize buying locally (83%) and make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint (62%).
Yet, 72% of Canadians have never heard of RI, and only 14% have RI products in their portfolios. But a full 66% are willing to adopt the strategy once they learn the details.
“Independent analyses demonstrate that RI products offer comparable returns to more traditional products,” says Rosalie Vendette, a senior advisor in responsible investment at Desjardins Wealth Management, in a release. “And the survey shows that 84% of Canadians think they match up as well, which is good news.”
A 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 RI strategy is shareholder engagement, in which shareholders influence companies to improve corporate behaviour. In 2013, the top-three engagement issues were executive compensation, human rights and greenhouse gas emissions.