Our Distinctive Responsible Investment Approach

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An approach that demonstrates our convictions

Our responsible investing approach combines several strategies to allow your clients to use their savings as a lever for change.

Our RI conviction

Companies that care as much about their ESG practices as they do about their financial performance are well positioned to seize the opportunities presented by the transition to a more sustainable economy.

Companies selected for more than their financial value

RI security selection strategies*

In addition to analyzing the issuing companies' financial performance, responsible investing takes environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into account in selecting and managing investments.

Gestion professionnelle

Le gestionnaire de portefeuille dispose d’outils sophistiqués pour sélectionner les titres et saisir les meilleures occasions de placement.

Exclusion filters

Companies operating in these industries are excluded:

  • Tobacco
  • Civilian firearms
  • Nuclear energy
  • Producers and transporters of fossil fuels

ESG integration

In-depth assessment of ESG criteria:

e.g. climate change

e.g. occupational health and safety

e.g. board of directors’ diversity

Best in class

Active management to include companies that stand out based on ESG criteria and emerging leaders

Impact investing

Selection of performing companies in sectors that are directly related to an ESG theme and that generate measurable positive impacts.

Examples:

  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Water management
  • Board of directors’ diversity

Post-investment strategies*

Shareholder engagement

We use our shareholder rights and privileges to encourage companies to improve their business practices through:

  • Dialogue with the company
  • Shareholder proposals
  • Exercising voting rights

In 2019, Desjardins engaged in dialogue with 163 companies to discuss about ESG issues.

View our Annual Report on Responsible Investing

Measurable impacts

Your clients' investments have an impact, and we are committed to demonstrating them through:

*The application of RI strategies may vary depending on the type of investment solution.

Measurable impacts

An example: Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund

  • Positive impact for a CA$10M investment*:

    The Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund has invested in companies that have contributed to treat 3.4 millionfootnote 1 litres of water.

    The equivalent of 3 to 4 full Olympic-sized swimming pools.

    *Estimates based on an investment of CA$10M in the companies held in the Fund’s portfolio in 2019. Discover more positive impacts of our Desjardins Funds
  • The Fund invests in companies such as:

    Ecolab Inc.
    Issue - Water management

    Ecolab is globally known for its water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services. Its wastewater treatment programs help companies reduce toxic emissions resulting from their processes.

    The company estimates that in 2019, it helped its clients save 780 billion litres of water. The company also calculates that by using recycled plastic and reusing packaging, it cut waste by 51,260 tonnes.

    Discover more companies that take tangible action

Show clients they can be part of the solution

Share with your clients this series of videos on the sustainability issues we’re facing, the opportunities that RI represents and the companies that are creating change.

Agriculture

We select companies that develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the food and agriculture sector.

Text transcript of the video: Desjardins, Canadian leader in responsible investment – Agriculture

Note: The information in brackets describes the visual and audio content of the video, and the rest of the text corresponds to spoken content.

[On-screen image: Desjardins logo]

[Classical music plays in the background]

[On-screen text: Responsible investment and agriculture]

Narrator: When we invest, we’re thinking about the future…

[On-screen image: Fall. A man wearing a yellow tuque is seen from the back, walking through a forest with his baby on his shoulders.]

Narrator: our own…

[On-screen image: The mother is sitting in a pile of leaves, laughing and playing with the baby in her arms.]

Narrator: and that of our children.

[On-screen image: Close-up of the baby playing with fallen leaves. The camera cuts to a shot of leaves floating in the air.]

Narrator: But we may also be asking ourselves what this future holds…

[On-screen image: A sidewalk littered with garbage.]

Narrator: with a rising global population…

[On-screen image: Time-lapse video of Yonge Street, in Toronto; cars and pedestrians go by.]

Narrator: a changing climate…

[On-screen image: A multi-lane highway with cars going by in slow motion.]

Narrator: and all the adverse effects these can have on food and agriculture.

[On-screen image: The camera spans down the aisle of an empty grocery store. The scene cuts to a close-up of an empty shopping cart being pushed by somebody.]

Narrator: If you’re like most Canadians, you’re probably more than a bit concerned.

[On-screen image: A man holding a baby is standing up eating his breakfast at the kitchen counter. He is watching a video on his laptop.]
Narrator: That’s why at Desjardins, we take issues like these into account…

[On-screen image: Bird’s-eye view of an agricultural farm. A tractor is pulling a trailer that holds several boxes. A person holding a box is standing on the trailer. We then see a bird’s-eye view of a large vegetable garden.]

Narrator: when developing responsible investment strategies…

[On-screen image: Close-up of a man cultivating plants in a greenhouse.]

Narrator: It’s our way of supporting companies with their eye on tomorrow…

[On-screen image: A woman and a man are talking as they walk down the aisle of a greenhouse. The scene cuts to two farmers, seen from the back; one has his arm around the other. They are walking beside a tractor in a field.]

Narrator: and more modern environmental…

[On-screen image: Close-up of hands picking up a basket of freshly picked Swiss chard.]

Narrator: social…

[On-screen image: Bird’s-eye view of an outdoor market stocked full of fruit and vegetables.]

Narrator: and governance practices in mind.

[On-screen image: A table with a group of women discussing.]

Narrator: Companies that are developing solutions…

[On-screen image: 2D animation. Two tractors are towing a plow along a bright yellow field.]

Narrator: to increase crop productivity while using less fertilizer, less water and fewer pesticides…

[On-screen image: Two farmers follow the tractors; one of them is holding an electronic tablet. They stop to look at the flowering corn that sprouts up.]

Narrator: all while cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.

[On-screen image: Three circles appear above the field; one shows a graph, another shows a thermometer and the last shows a sheaf of corn.]

Narrator: Investing in these companies can be just as beneficial to you as it is to the planet.

[On-screen image: A leaf falls away from one of the plants; it floats in the air until it lands behind a house surrounded by trees. In front of the house is a body of water with fish swimming inside. The animation creates a circle inside which a city sprouts up around the house. A cyclist goes by.]

Narrator: At Desjardins, we are a leader in responsible investment…

[On-screen image: Close-up of hands planting a seedling in the ground.]

[On-screen text: Canada’s leader in responsible investment]

Narrator: and we’re offering you the opportunity to invest in your future—in the future of us all.

[On-screen image: A woman feeds her daughter, who is sitting in her lap.]

Narrator: It’s a win-win situation…

[On-screen image: A man with a reusable bag slung on his shoulder is picking out fruit in a grocery store.]

Narrator: that turns your investments into agents of change.

[On-screen image: A family is surrounded by trees in an orchard. The son, in his father’s arms, is eating a piece of fruit.]

Narrator: Be part of the solution. Talk to your representative about responsible investment.
[On-screen image: A bird’s-eye view of a forest in the fall. The camera zooms out through the clouds to show the Earth as it is seen from space.]

[Music: Desjardins jingle]

[End of video. The Desjardins Wealth Management logo and official animation appear on the green background indicative of Desjardins.]

 

Energy

We select innovative companies whose products and services contribute to the energy transition.

Text transcript of the video: Desjardins, Canadian leader in responsible investment – Energy

Note: The information in brackets describes the visual and audio content of the video, and the rest of the text corresponds to spoken content.

[On-screen image: Desjardins logo]

[Classical music plays in the background]

[On-screen text: Responsible investment and energy]

Narrator: When we invest, we’re thinking about the future…

[On-screen image: A woman is lying down on a blanket laid out on a lawn. She is holding a dog and playing airplane with a young boy wearing a cape. There are toys strewn about. She puts the child down.]

Narrator: our own and that of our children.

[On-screen image: We see the child running toward the dog, then playing in a pile of leaves. He throws some leaves up in the air, and they float slowly in the air.]

Narrator: But we may also be asking ourselves what this future holds…

[On-screen image: We see an overflowing garbage bag on a sidewalk littered with garbage and dead leaves. A passerby throws a paper cup on the pile, and it makes other pieces of garbage fall to the floor.]

Narrator: with a rising global population…

[On-screen image: Time-lapse video of a busy New York street full of people; cars go by.]

Narrator: a changing climate…

[On-screen image: A refinery near a body of water, with mountains in the background.]

Narrator: and all the adverse effects these can have on our energy consumption.

[On-screen image: A bird’s-eye view of a forest with a dead tree in the centre.]

Narrator: If you’re like most Canadians, you’re probably more than a bit concerned.

[On-screen image: The young boy is sitting at his desk, drawing evergreens on a white sheet of paper.]

Narrator: That’s why at Desjardins, we are offering responsible investment solutions.

[On-screen image: The camera spans over a forest of evergreens. This cuts to a hydroelectric dam in the heart of the forest, with snow-capped mountains in the background.]

Narrator: It’s our way of supporting companies with their eye on tomorrow…

[On-screen image: A man, seen from the back, is facing a wind farm while taking notes on an electronic tablet. We then see him from the side, looking off into the distance.]

Narrator: and more modern environmental…

[On-screen image: Two workers are seen installing solar cells on a rooftop.]

Narrator: social…

[On-screen image: A streetcar passes down a busy street.]

Narrator: and governance practices in mind.

[On-screen image: Two women are working on an apparatus inside an IT laboratory.]

Narrator: Companies that are developing alternatives to fossil fuels…

[On-screen image: 2D animation. We see a factory in the middle of a cleared forest. A bulldozer comes along and removes the factory.]

Narrator: by focusing on wind and solar energy, energy efficiency … and many other innovations that can speed up our transition to clean energy.

[On-screen image: Nature within the forest begins to regenerate; we see wind turbines pop up and birds fly by. Close-up on one of the leaves of a tree.]

Narrator: Investing in these companies can be just as beneficial to you as it is to the planet.

[On-screen image: The leaf falls from the tree and floats in the air until it lands behind a house surrounded by trees. In front of the house is a body of water with fish swimming inside. The animation creates a circle inside which a city sprouts up around the house. A cyclist goes by.]

Narrator: At Desjardins, we are a leader in responsible investment…

[On-screen image: We see a tree full of leaves.]

[On-screen text: Canada’s leader in responsible investment]

Narrator: and we’re offering you the opportunity to invest in your future—in the future of us all.

[On-screen image: The young boy plays with a figure made of twigs, brushing it up against a tree. The boy, smiling, plays on the lawn with the woman.]

Narrator: It’s a win-win situation that turns your investments into agents of change.

[On-screen image: A bird’s-eye view of a forest in the fall. The camera zooms out through the clouds to show the Earth as it is seen from space.]

Narrator: Be part of the solution. Talk to your representative about responsible investment.

[Music: Desjardins jingle]

[End of video. The Desjardins Wealth Management logo and official animation appear on the green background indicative of Desjardins.]

 

Water management

We support innovative businesses that are tackling water management and sanitation issues.

Text transcript of the video: Responsible investing; A long-term trend that powers growth. Water: Challenges and opportunities

[Context: You can hear a narrator speaking throughout the video.]

Did you know that if something isn’t done by 2030, we’ll only be able to meet 60% of the global demand for drinking water?

[On-screen legal text: The United Nations World Water Development Report 2015, Water for a Sustainable World.]

Some of them are looking for more efficient, cost-effective ways to turn sea water into fresh water. Others are developing treatment methods that require fewer chemicals.

It’s projected that $7.5 trillion need to be spent on water infrastructure until 2030.

[On-screen legal text: McKinsey Global Institute, Bridging Global Infrastructure Gaps, June 2016.]

It’s not surprising that there are businesses that have seized this opportunity to improve infrastructures, and others that are developing new systems to detect and prevent leaks.

Responsible investing targets businesses that anticipate risks and seize opportunities.

Your investment portfolio can capitalize on the growth potential of these businesses now.

Talk to your advisor about responsible investing.

 

Waste management

We select innovative companies that design circular production solutions to limit waste production.

Text transcript of the video: Responsible investing; A long-term trend that powers growth. Waste management: Challenges and opportunities

[Context: You can hear a narrator speaking throughout the video.]

Did you know that if something isn’t done, there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050?

[On-screen legal text: World Economic Forum, 2016. The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics.]

Clearly, we’re facing some huge challenges.

It’s projected that by 2050, global waste production will increase by 70%.

[On-screen legal text: World Bank Group, What a Waste, 2018.]

To deal with this issue, some businesses have committed to reducing waste at the source. They are moving from a linear economy that produces unnecessary waste to a circular economy. Waste is designed out of the system or injected back into the production cycle. It’s a win-win solution that optimizes resources and reduces waste.

Responsible investing targets businesses that anticipate risks AND seize opportunities.

Your investment portfolio can capitalize on the growth potential of these businesses now.

Talk to your advisor about responsible investing.

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  1. Baillie Gifford Overseas Limited. The contributions are based on the annual impact of the assets held in the Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund portfolio on December 31, 2019. 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 time horizon and aim to invest in our holdings for five to ten years or longer, portfolio turnover will be low. Headline Impact Data, while providing an indication of the impact of the portfolio, are 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.
    Learn more about the size of an Olympic pool (3,750 m3 or 3.75 megalitres) - External link. Opens in a new window.

The 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. The Desjardins Funds are offered by registered dealers.

The Desjardins brand is a trademark of the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec, used under licence.