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Desjardins continues to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into all its operations and cooperative business model

April 9, 2024

Montreal, April 9, 2024 – In March 2024, Desjardins Group released its Social and Cooperative Responsibility Report and its 2023 Climate Action at Desjardins Report. The cooperative produces these 2 reports annually to demonstrate its progress in integrating ESG factors into its business model and operations as well as its growing recognition of climate-related risks and opportunities.

Desjardins continues to work towards the climate ambition it announced in 2021, with a goal of net-zero emissions by 2040 for its operations and supply chain. It also set similar goals for its own investments and lending activities in 3 key carbon-intense sectors: energy, transportation and real estate.

To accelerate the pace of this transition and realize its ESG ambitions, Desjardins launched its ESG Program in 2023 to, among other things, continue to strengthen the quality and robustness of its ESG data, meet new regulatory disclosure requirements and enhance the risk management and control model.

Here are some examples of Desjardins's most significant environmental, social and governance achievements in 2023.


Desjardins is actively working to create a more inclusive and low-carbon economy in Quebec and across the rest of Canada.

  • The cooperative provided significant support to the Victoriaville region's Sustainable development and circular innovation initiative and the Université de Sherbrooke's Sustainable finance research chair. 
  • Desjardins joined the Quebec financial community in backing a COP28 initiative to encourage businesses to adopt International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) ESG disclosure standards.
  • Desjardins validated its greenhouse gas reduction targets with an independent third party, the Science Based Targets initiative, in line with the commitment it showed when it joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign in 2021. 

Moreover, Desjardins clarified its stance on the energy sector to better support members and clients and continue the transition to renewable energy. For example:

  • Desjardins provided $350 million in financing for Alliance de l'Énergie de l'Est to build wind farms.
  • Desjardins worked hand in hand with Boralex and Innu communities to provide financing for the Apuiat wind farm, which will provide a long-term source of clean energy to the Côte-Nord region.
  • Desjardins encourages business owners to invest with environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in mind as part of a new ESG swap offer and cash back program it launched in early 2023. 

Today's unprecedented housing crisis has triggered a decline in quality of life for many individuals and families. Desjardins has been working with its partners and the Government of Quebec to develop tangible solutions that draw on innovation and intercooperation.

  • Our objective is to make more than 1,750 affordable housing units available across Quebec by the end of 2025. Desjardins used a centralized model to quickly set up the necessary financing packages, including loans, patient capital and contributions from government and community groups.

Desjardins has been adapting to the times for nearly 125 years because it has always been determined to stay relevant for its members and clients. It brought in some significant changes at the 24th Congress of the Federation, in 2023:

  • Delegates voted in favour of a new mission statement that reflects Desjardins's commitment to support its members and clients.
  • Delegates voted to separate the roles of the president of the board of directors and president and CEO of Desjardins Group at the end of the March 2024 annual general meeting to maintain sound governance founded on best practices.

For more information about Desjardins's progress and initiatives, see its various ESG reports, including the Social and Cooperative Responsibility Report and the Climate Action at Desjardins Report.

For more information (media inquiries only):
Chantal Corbeil
Public Relations
514 247-0465