Responsible investing, more than a trend

August 2021

Think responsible investing is a fad? Think again. It's the way of the future. Read on to learn how businesses, investors and Desjardins Global Asset Management (DGAM) are dealing with some of the profound changes in today's world.

More and more, companies today must consider non-financial issues to ensure sustainable growth. Businesses are facing real challenges, ranging from social inequality and corruption to climate change and human rights. That's why investors are making a set of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria a fundamental part of their strategy—one that fosters inclusive, resilient and sustainable prosperity.

A movement that's picking up steam

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), launched in 2006, currently has more than 3,000 signatories with more than $103 trillion in assets. A report by Morningstar estimated assets invested in sustainable investments to be CAN$8.8 billion at the end of the second quarter of 2020, while the estimate of net cash flows to ESG funds for the second quarter as a whole remained positive at CAN$135 million.

Five approaches to responsible investing

The number one priority when it comes to responsible investing is incorporating ESG criteria into security selection and asset allocation. There are many ways to do that.

  • Screening: Avoiding certain types of investments, like those linked to weapons manufacturing or tobacco products
  • Integrating ESG criteria: Evaluating a company based not only on financial criteria but also on its ESG practices
  • Thematic approach: Targeting securities that meet one or more ESG criteria—for example, the securities of companies that work to protect human rights
  • Impact investing: Investing in businesses that could have a positive and measurable environmental or social impact
  • Shareholder engagement: Influencing the behaviours of companies in a portfolio to promote sustainable development

A continuous process

DGAM uses an innovative approach to integrate responsible investing into its investment solutions and remain a leader in this field. DGAM's portfolio managers and the responsible investment team assess the financial health and ESG practices of companies. In other words, DGAM professionals believe that responsible investing is a continuous process that starts even before a security is selected and continues for as long as the security is held and afterwards.

Want to learn more about responsible investing and our approach?

Read our white paper on RI (PDF, 842 KB)


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  1. Source: About the PRI, PRI, 2021
  2. Source: Le paysage de l'investissement durable pour les investisseurs dans les fonds canadiens (in French only), Morningstar, July 16, 2020.

The information in this article is for illustrative purposes only. It should not be considered as investment advice, as a recommendation to buy or sell securities or as a suggested investment strategy.