Starting 6 September 2022, all new annuities purchased at ICMIF member Desjardins Group (Canada) will automatically go into investments that meet strict environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. This decision makes Desjardins the first financial institution in Canada to turn its entire range of individual savings annuities into responsible annuities. Whether it is a life annuity, a term certain annuity, an adapted life annuity or an annuity for artists, the securities selected will include or exclude issuers based on specific criteria, and investments will be monitored and managed to encourage issuers to improve their ESG practices.
“Desjardins is continuing to be a pioneer in responsible investment by turning its entire range of annuities into responsible annuities,” explains Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group. “The more rigorous financial institutions are in applying strict ESG criteria, the more issuers will have to adapt to remain attractive to investors. These kinds of actions put us on the path to a more sustainable economy.”
Managers of responsible annuities premiums do not invest in companies that earn a significant portion of their revenue from extracting or producing oil, natural gas or thermal coal, operating infrastructure to transport or store oil and gas, refining oil or producing coal-based energy. See the Desjardins Group’s Responsible Investment Policy for more information about responsible annuities.
This announcement is in line with other recent announcements and shows how important responsible investment is at Desjardins. For example, in May, Desjardins announced that it had added 10 new funds, increasing the number of available SocieTerra products to 30. Over 12 months, the assets under management from responsible investment products grew significantly from CAD 10.1 billion on 31 December 2020, to CAD 12.2 billion on the same date in 2021.