Trends in Responsible Investment

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A growing segment, new opportunities for your practice

The institutional market is often a leading indicator of trends in the retail market. Moreover, retail investors are also increasingly aware of sustainable development issues, and most are ready to invest a portion of their portfolios in RIfootnote 1 .

Get your clients ahead of trends by talking to them about RI solutions.

  • 63% of investors would include RI in their portfolio and the majority would allocate half of their portfolio to RIfootnote 1.
  • 14% of investors have discussed RI with their advisorfootnote 1.
  • 50% of total assets under management in Canada in 2018 are invested in accordance with responsible investment (RI) principlesfootnote 2.
  • US$257.7B in environmental (green) bonds were issued in 2019, an increase of 51% compared to 2018footnote3.
  • 195 countries and territories have signed the Paris Agreement on climate changefootnote 4.
  • US$282.2B was invested worldwide in renewable energy in 2019footnote 5.

Responsible investing that also aims to deliver competitive potential returns

RI solutions offer your clients the opportunity to seize the growth potential of high-quality companies that are leading the way in the transition to a more sustainable economy. Furthermore, they can position you as the trusted advisor with cutting-edge yet disciplined strategies for tomorrow’s markets. The following data show that RI/ESG strategies can generate potential returns that are on par with or better than traditional investments.footnote 6

  • Don’t compromise on return potential!

    Responsible investment solutions offer a return potential that is just as attractive as what you would get with a traditional investment – sometimes even better! Confirmed by more than 2,000 Studiesfootnote 7.

  • Sustained growth

    Sustained growth. RI in 2018 represents 50.6% of Canada's investment industryfootnote2.

RI: promote your growth in your practice

Millennials, women and university-educated individuals are among the many high-potential market segments for RI. The market is experiencing significant growth in specific regions in Canada as well, notably Quebec and British Columbia.


Millennials are the biggest segment of Canada’s working populationfootnote 8 .

2 x as likely to consider RI than their parentsfootnote 9.

2 out of 3 think their advisor should know about responsible investingfootnote 9.

In 2017, 68% of American millennials bought a product with a social or environmental benefitfootnote 10.


By 2030, roughly 2/3 of the private wealth in the US will be held by womenfootnote 11.

In 2017 in United States, 84% of women expressed interest in sustainable investing, compared to 67% of menfootnote 12.

69% feel a sense of urgency to invest responsiblyfootnote 13.

Be proactive

Help clients take action today. Recommend Desjardins’s industry-leading responsible investment solutions.

Materials and training

Learn more about RI

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(For advisor use only)

  1. 1. Desjardins. Étude 2018 sur l’investissement responsable. [Survey of 2,212 Canadian respondents, including 1,214 from Quebec]. SOM Survey for Desjardins Investment inc., September 2018 [internal document].
  2. 2. Responsible Investment Association. 2018 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report; October 2018. - External link. Opens in a new window. RIA,2018 [cited April 28, 2020].  
  3. 3. Climate Bonds Initiative. 2019 Green Bond Market Summary. - External link. Opens in a new window. February 2020, p.1 [cited April 28, 2020].
  4. 4. United Nations. 7. d) Paris Agreement: Paris, 12 December 2015. - External link. Opens in a new window. UN, November 4, 2016, p. XXVII 7D. Environment 1 [cited March 23, 2020].
  5. 5. Bloomberg. "Late Surge in Offshore Wind Financings Helps 2019 Renewables Investment to Overtake 2018. - External link. Opens in a new window." Bloomberg NEF, (Blog), January 16, 2020 [cited March 23, 2020].
  6. 6. Friede, Gunnar et al. ESG & Financial Performance: Aggregated Evidence from More Than 2,000 Empirical Studies. - External link. Opens in a new window. Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, in Taylor & Francis Online, 2015) [cited March 23, 2020]. doi: 10.1080/20430795.2015.1118917.
  7. 7. Friede, Gunnar et al. ESG & Corporate Performance: Mapping the Global Landscape. - External link. Opens in a new window. Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, S11, December 2015. Responsible for the underlying research paper ESG & Financial Performance: Aggregated Evidence from More Than 2,000 Empirical Studies. November 2015 [cited March 23, 2020]. doi: 10.1080/20430795.2015.1118917.
  8. 8. Scott, Graham F. "Millennials are now the biggest generation in the Canadian workforce, - External link. Opens in a new window." Canadian Business, June 3, 2015 [cited March 23, 2020].
  9. 9. Responsible Investment Association. Millennials, Women and The Future of Responsible Investment. - External link. Opens in a new window. RIA, April 2016 [cited March 23, 2020].
  10. Porter Novelli/Cone. "2017 Cone Communications CSR Study. - External link. Opens in a new window." Cone Research, (Blog), 2017 [cited March 23, 2020].
  11. Nelund, Gloria. "Investing With Her, - External link. Opens in a new window." GreenMoney, 2015 [cited March 23, 2020].
  12. Morgan Stanley. Sustainable Signals: New Data from the Individual Investor. - External link. Opens in a new window. Institute for Sustainable Investing, 2017 [cited March 23, 2020].
  13. Woll, Lisa. "Women and Sustainable Investing: Driving Assets and Benefitting from a Gender-Lens Approach", Green Money, April 2019 [cited March 23, 2020].