Good news for our common future!
More individual Canadians are choosing to invest their savings in responsible investment funds! According to the Canadian Responsible Investment Association’s newest Responsible Investment Trends Report, individual Canadians collectively hold $61.9 billion in responsible investments held in responsible investment (RI) mutual funds and responsible retail venture capital funds (the only two of the later being Fondaction and Fonds de solidarité, both in Québec).
The Trends Report further states that RI mutual funds are increasing at a faster rate than non-RI funds – RI mutual funds have increased by 52.3% over the last two years while non-RI funds grew by only 29.8% during the same period. (For a list of RI mutual funds in Canada and what RI strategies they use, see Ethiquette’s RI Mutual Funds table).
This is good news for our common future because the future wellbeing of each of us depends on the wellbeing of the whole.
…The money our investments make for us needs to be financing companies that are working towards reducing inequalities (by ensuring good work conditions and respect of human rights) so that in our retirement, we don’t have to worry about safety.
…The money our investments make for us needs to be financing companies that are working towards, or a part of, an energy transition so that in our retirement (or before), we don’t have to worry about clear air, extreme weather conditions and refugee issues resulting from melting glaciers and rising sea levels.
Fortunately, Canada is not the only country where citizens are making more of these types of choices. According to data from the Sustainable Business Institute, sustainable mutual funds in the German-speaking countries are growing in numbers and volume. As of September 2014, they report 397 sustainable mutual funds in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The combined volume of the funds investments stood at around 45 billion euros (approximately equivalent to 62.8 billion Canadian dollars) – up about 5 billion euros from the previous year.1
While the direction is good, these numbers are still small. Fortunately, many pension funds around the world are also adopting responsible investment practices on our behalf. 2
The challenge I’d like to put out to you is to help raise the Canadian numbers by making sure that you consider making your next investment one integrates social, environmental and governance considerations.
For concrete tools to do this, consult the Ethiquette Taking Action section.
2For Canadian numbers on responsible investment among institutional investors, see the full Trends Report : http://riacanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/RI_Trends_Report2015_EN.pdf