Responsible investment: A lever for change

Benefit from great return potential while having a positive impact on society and the environment.

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What is responsible investment?

Responsible investment (RI) means taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into account when selecting and managing investments, without compromising investors' financial returns. By doing this, we favour companies that contribute to sustainable development.

We then establish long-term relationships with the selected companies to encourage them to improve their ESG practices. We do this by using 3 levers of change: the exercise of our right to vote, dialogue, and when appropriate, shareholder proposals.

RI in 3 words

  • Popular 72% of the population is interested in RI
  • Sustainable Selecting companies that actually work toward addressing social and environmental concerns
  • Competitive 2,000 studies confirm that companies that incorporate ESG criteria into their practices perform just as well, and sometimes better, than companies that do not

Environmental, social and governance criteria

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of issues companies are potentially exposed to. For SocieTerra Funds and Portfolios, we select companies that adopt practices that meet these criteria.


We favour companies that respect the environment through concrete and durable policies and measures.

These include policies that:

  • Fight against climate change
  • Protect forests and biodiversity
  • Reduce greenhouse gases

We favour companies that are involved in their communities and treat all their workers fairly.

These include companies that:

  • Respect and protect the rights of children
  • Respect the rights of workers
  • Provide healthcare, food security and education

We select companies that have healthy management practices.

These practices might include:

  • Diversity on boards of directors
  • Fair compensation for management (incentives and bonuses)

Products that create a real positive impact

Choosing to invest in one of our responsible investment (RI) products allows selected companies to make positive impacts on the community and environment.

For example, based on an estimated investment of CAN$10 million in 2020, companies that Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund invested in contributed to:

  • 555 fewer metric tons of CO2e emitted, equal to 134 cars during 1 year
  • 6.3 million fewer litres of water used, equal to the water consumption of 52 Canadians during 1 year
  • Disease prevention for nearly 4,799 people

4 reasons to choose responsible investment

Return potentials that are just as good

RI potential returns are just as good, and sometimes better, than those of traditional investments. You don't need to sacrifice returns to stay true to your values.

Better risk management

RI tends to decrease risk, as companies that are concerned with ESG issues are better equipped to manage their risks, thereby improving their return potential.

Carefully selected companies

Each company is subject to a review of its ESG practices and its financial health. SocieTerra products exclude companies that specialize in fossil fuels, as well as those who operate in the arms, nuclear energy and tobacco industries.

Shareholder engagement

We ensure that the selected companies follow through with their commitment by engaging with them to encourage improvement of ESG practices. We vote at shareholder assemblies and submit shareholder proposals when appropriate.

Our products

We care about responsible investing. In keeping with our mission, values and cooperative nature, we wouldn't have it any other way. Count on our 30+ years of experience in the sustainable development field.

SocieTerra Funds and Portfolios

Investments with an innovative responsible investment approach that meet environmental, social and governance concerns.

  • Simple investment solutions
  • Medium- and long-term investment horizon
  • Available with a minimum investment of :
    • $500 for SocieTerra Portfolios
    • $1,000 for SocieTerra Funds

Learn more about SocieTerra Funds and Portfolios

Contact us


Get a SocieTerra Fund or Portfolio directly on AccèsD.

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Contact us to choose an investment fund or portfolio tailored to your profile and goals.

Monday to Friday: 8 PM to 9 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 8 PM to 8 PM


We also suggest

  1. Learn more about calculating the CO2 emissions of a car with annual kilometrage of 20,000 km by viewing the 2021 Fuel Consumption Guide External link. This link will open in a new window..
  2. Learn more about the average water consumption in Canadian households by reading this McGill University article External link. This link will open in a new window..
  3. Gunnar Friede, Timo Busch and Alexander Bassen (December 2015), ESG & Corporate Financial Performance: Mapping the global landscape, Aggregated Evidence from More Than 2,000 Empirical Studies, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management and Hamburg University. External link. This link will open in a new window.
  4. Internal study. Responsible investment - Survey of Canadians. 2020 edition with 2,864 respondents. Survey conducted between November 25 and December 14, 2020. The maximum margin of error is ± ± 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
  5. 2020 RIA Investor Opinion Survey External link. This link will open in a new window.
  6. Automatic or semi-automatic weapons intended for civilian use.
  7. See the responsible investment policy External link. This link will open in a new window. for more information.
  8. For SocieTerra Funds and Portfolios, a minimum balance of $1,000 at all times after the first year is required.
  9. Desjardins Funds are not guaranteed, their value fluctuates frequently and their past performance is not indicative of their future returns. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Desjardins Funds are offered by registered dealers.
  10. Baillie Gifford Overseas Limited. Contributions are based on the full-year impact of portfolio holdings as at December 31, 2020. For those holdings that have been in the portfolio for less than the full year, no attempt has been made to pro-rate the contribution. However, as we have a long time horizon and aim to invest in our holdings for 5-10 years or longer, portfolio turnover will be low. Headline Impact Data, while providing an indication of the impact of the portfolio, is vulnerable to inconsistencies. This may be due to underlying assumptions. How companies measure and report is not always uniform and, in some cases, requires conversion to allow for aggregation across the portfolio. Where information is not available, we do not include a company's contribution within the Headline Impact Data snapshot. In time, we hope to be able to encourage companies to increase their reporting. Data for CO2e saved is based on company reporting which is either in CO2 or CO2e; the aggregate data is presented as CO2e as this is the most conservative approach. Data related to healthcare, prevention and disease expenses are up to date, covering multiple years.