Co-operators launches Sustainable Investment Portfolios to help investors build wealth while making an impact on the things that matter most

12 October 2022

Hiking man in Canadian mountains. Hike is the popular recreation activity in North America. There are a lot of picturesque trails.

Canadian ICMIF member Co-operators continues to lead the industry in using the power of its invested assets to help bring about a more sustainable society. Taking its mission a step further, the company has launched Co-operators Sustainable Investment Portfolios, a new investment product for retail clients currently distributed exclusively through Co-operators Financial Investment Services Inc. (CFIS). The latest addition to Co-operators range of wealth products aims to enable Canadian investors to achieve their financial goals while actively supporting society’s biggest environmental and social issues.

By the end of 2021, Co-operators had 21.2% (CAD 2.64 billion) of its total portfolio invested in impact investments, which measurably address pressing environmental and social issues, like climate change, community development, health and wellness, and education. This represents the most significant proportion of impact investments by any financial institution in Canada. The company has also set targets to commit 50% of its total portfolio to impact investment and climate transition by 2026, and 60% by 2030.

“Our goal is to be a leader in the transition toward the economy of the future. To help do that, we developed a solution to allow Canadian investors to build wealth, while also addressing long-term environmental and social challenges through the same framework we use in our own investments,” said Rob Wesseling, CEO of Co-operators. “We believe Canadians want to be responsible investors and this empowers our clients to invest in a way that aligns with their risk tolerance, while aiming to contribute to positive, meaningful change for future generations.”

Co-operators Sustainable Investment Portfolios – managed by Addenda Capital, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies and a pioneer in the Canadian impact investing space – are comprised of five portfolios at different risk levels that leverage mutual funds from Addenda Capital.

“With major environmental and social matters before us, standing idle isn’t an option,” says Roger Beauchemin, President and CEO at Addenda Capital. “We endeavour to enhance investment analysis with the consideration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors to better assess risks and opportunities that could impact performance. We also try to leverage the assets entrusted by our investors to create positive outcomes for a better world.”

There is legitimate financial opportunity in prioritising ESG factors and impact investing strategies. More than ever, companies are implementing projects to reduce emissions and advance climate solutions. By supporting the transition to net zero through investments, Canadians can help shape the sustainable economy of the future.

“We believe that when asked the question, ‘Do you want cleaner air, more affordable housing, and more beds in long-term care?’ Canadians will respond by saying ‘yes.’ It is our obligation to provide an investment vehicle that has the potential to enable investors to join us in contributing to that outcome,” Wesseling said.

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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