What is Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)?
It is possible to invest in companies that respect your values and whose work helps to build a sustainable world for you and your family. SRI funds have to meet specific investment criteria that:
- Take environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into consideration, as well as financial analysis
- Combine the best of both worlds: superior growth potential and positive social and environmental impact.
We’re proud to offer you a new family of managed socially responsible investment solutions for your financial goals, your retirement, your children’s studies and more. A perfect balance between your values and your financial goals, whatever your budget!
Did you know?
- 77% of investors think that companies that have good ESG practices are good long-term investments.
- The total value of assets under management in Canadian responsible investment funds jumped to $3.2 billion in 2019; a 48% increase from 2017.
The benefits of our SRI (Inhance) funds!
Socially responsible investment funds are not all alike. Our partner Vancity Investment Management adheres to the highest quality standards when selecting funds, following several criteria including the exclusion of the following 6 sectors:
Superior potential performance:
Lower performance with socially responsible funds? Wrong! See our Fund Performance and Overview to see the performance of our SRI (Inhance) funds. You’ll see they’re more than a match for other types of funds!
How to spot a True SRI Fund
Funds selected with care!
We’ve chosen the wealth management firm Vancity as our socially responsible partner, because of three major advantages they offer:
- Full control over fund selection: In contrast to the “funds of funds” offered by competitors, which are managed by different managers with different approaches, the Vancity team and its manager Andrew Simpson always have the final say in the securities selected for the fund.
- Expertise: Vancity launched the very first SRI fund in Canada in 1986.
- Visionary: Vancity was the first management firm in Canada to adopt the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI).
To be considered for investment in one of our socially responsible investment (SRI) funds, a security must meet the strict requirements of the following analysis criteria:
1. Financial analysis
The investment management team analyzes:
- Several of the company’s financial characteristics
- Its business model
- Its competitive advantages
- The quality of its executive team
2. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis
The ESG analysis can reveal risks and opportunities that are not always apparent with traditional financial parameters and can identify strong, high-performing companies capable of weathering storms.
|Environmental protection||Fight against climate change||Work conditions||Executive compensation|
|Relationships with employees, clients and communities||Resource sustainability||Health and safety||Anti-corruption practices|
|Governance practices||Pollution reduction||Respect for local communities||Board of director diversity|
3. Exclusion criteria
In addition to the above selection criteria, our SRI fund selection excludes securities issued by companies with activities in the following sectors:
4. Inclusion criteria
Conversely, our SRI funds seek to invest in progressive companies in the areas such as development of renewable energy or water treatment infrastructure, or that are actively involved in medical research for the treatment of deadly diseases.
More specifically, for fixed-income securities for example, Vancity aims to invest in:
- “Green” bonds: environmentally friendly transportation, energy efficiency or conservation, etc.
- Bonds with social impact: affordable housing, basic infrastructure, poverty reduction, food security, etc.
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are examined from the perspectives of four stakeholders: the shareholders, the clients, the employees and the communities. For a company to be considered a socially responsible investment, it has to be able to balance the interests of these stakeholders, as well as balancing environmental performance, social responsibility and corporate governance with profit.
There are several questions we use to find out whether a company is eligible for the fund. We want to know, among other things, whether the company:
- Has a code of conduct or ethics
- Designs products that contribute to sustainable development
- Has significant environmental policies and objectives
- Contributes to a retirement plan and health insurance for its employees
- Is committed to increasing gender parity and ethnic diversity
- Donates a percentage of its profits to charities
- Has policies in place to protect employees and the community from human rights violations
Companies with securities in our socially responsible investment funds are monitored on a daily basis to ensure continued compliance with our responsible investment standards. Monitoring technologies are used to identify significant changes within companies and to identify exposure to emerging risks or serious incidents.
If a company deviates from these standards, the Vancity team engages in active dialogue with the management of the company concerned, either directly or in collaboration with other shareholders and stakeholders.
Proactive engagement with companies to achieve positive results
Vancity also maintains continuous dialogue with industry leaders to encourage them to increase their sustainability commitments. Their goal is to start a positive chain reaction throughout all branches of the industry.
Taking action in a positive and supportive way: more than just a fund offering for iA!
Did you know that iA Financial Group also has its own sustainable development strategy? For more information, visit ia.ca/sustainable-development.