Earth Day is always a good reminder for us to step up our efforts to address the climate and environmental crisis.
At Desjardins, sustainability is in our DNA. Desjardins has been recognized by Mediacorp External link. This link will open in a new window. as one of Canada's greenest employers for the 9th year in a row. This recognition highlights all the progress we've made towards sustainable development.
We want to go even further. As a socioeconomic leader, we have a duty to be there for people and support our communities.
Net zero emissions by 2040
In 2021, Desjardins presented its climate action plan, with a goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2040. Set to hit its first target by the end of 2025, this plan builds on the commitment and engagement of all our stakeholders, including our suppliers, employees, and our members and clients to whom we offer responsible finance solutions to help the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Check out the progress we've made towards our end-of-2025 targets
Mandatory sustainability training
In light of our efforts, it's important for Desjardins employees to be aware of the principles of sustainable development too. In 2022, we introduced mandatory sustainable development and responsible finance training, which has already been completed by 93% of our 59,000 employees. Given the popularity of this initiative, in November 2022 we launched Climate School, a series of self-directed training modules, to give employees the opportunity to dive even deeper.
Innovative products for businesses
Desjardins has also developed some innovative products for businesses to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable economy. Plus, Desjardins just introduced a cash back initiative to encourage businesses to invest according to ESG criteria. This new ESG swap is designed to cover the debt's interest rate risk and reward the company for achieving ESG performance objectives.
Desjardins has also earmarked up to $1 billion to support green projects by medium-sized and large businesses. This financial support is made possible through EDC's Sustainable Finance Guarantee program. The risk-sharing solution was developed to increase the financing available to businesses that want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and do their part to help Canada transition to a low-carbon economy.
More SocieTerra investment funds for our members and clients
When our members and clients tell us they want more product options for investing responsibly, we listen. At the end of 2022, 42% of Desjardins Funds unitholders held a SocieTerra Fund or Portfolio, up from 38% in 2021. This represents more than $7.4 billion in assets under management.
To keep pace with demand, we've taken the SocieTerra investment fund lineup to the next level with 10 new Desjardins SocieTerra Funds and 1 new Desjardins SocieTerra Portfolio. With these fossil fuel-free responsible investment funds, Desjardins now has nearly 30 SocieTerra products in all, making it a Canadian leader in responsible investment.
It is important to raise awareness among our employees, businesses, and individuals but also with our suppliers.
In 2022, we started working with our 100 biggest suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of our supply chain. We've set an engagement campaign in motion with them.
To learn more about our actions and progress, visit our various ESG reports (including the Social and Cooperative Responsibility Report and the Climate Action Report External link. This link will open in a new window.).
Together, we are making progress towards a more low-carbon economy. Your contribution is valuable.