Energy efficiency: Good for your wallet, businesses and the planet

Walmart switched to LED lighting in its stores in America and Asia. In terms of reducing GHG emissions, this was equal to eliminating emissions from 68,000 passenger vehicles per year.

Rosalie Vendette | Desjardins Group

Climate change encourages us to reduce our environmental footprint and being energy efficient is a priority initiative. How do we make energy efficiency a priority by consuming less energy?

As citizens, we make an effort to improve energy efficiency by carpooling, using public transportation, improving energy efficiency at home, saving energy or using energy-efficient products. Businesses also have a role to play in energy efficiency. As an investor, you also help encourage businesses to make the same efforts.

LED: the Walmart example
Do you remember the first electric lamps (glass bulbs with an electrically charged metal filament)? These days, bulbs that use light-emitting diode (LED) technology are becoming more popular. LED is a low-energy light bulb that lasts 42 times longer than incandescent light bulbs1. LEDs also use 4 to 6 times less electricity, reducing energy supply costs (differs depending on energy source).

When retail giant, Walmart switched to LED lighting in its stores in America and Asia, they were able to cut energy costs by an average of 40% in 2014, or US$34,000 per store2

In terms of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, this was equal to eliminating emissions from 68,000 passenger vehicles per year. This is good for the company because of lowered costs; it's also good for the planet because of reduced GHG emissions.

Energy efficiency in your investments
It's also good for investors, too! You have access to these energy efficiency innovations. In fact, you probably already have them in your specialized savings products without even knowing it.

  • Desjardins SocieTerra American Equity Fund: 1.25% of fund assets are invested in Acuity Brands--a leader in the LED lighting sector--and in its services to reduce energy consumption from 35% to 75% compared to incandescent lighting.
  • Desjardins SocieTerra Environmental Bond Fund: 15% of fund assets are used to finance energy efficiency projects, including 1.8% in Green Bonds issued by Apple. With these bonds, the company will be able to stop emitting 191,500 metric tons of CO2 thanks to improved energy efficiency in its buildings and an electricity supply from renewable energy.
  • Desjardins SocieTerra Cleantech Fund: 32% of fund assets are invested in companies operating in the energy efficiency sector, including 1.6% in Dialight, a global leader in LED technology for industries, businesses and hazardous areas with ATEX- and IECEx-certified products. Dialight is also the world's largest manufacturer of LED traffic lights and has been specializing in this sector for more than 40 years.
To learn more about the new options in responsible investing and get the most accurate and up-to-date information, talk to your representative.

The Desjardins Funds are not guaranteed, their value fluctuates frequently and their past performance is not indicative of their future returns. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. The Desjardins Funds are offered by such registered dealers as the Desjardins Financial Services Firm Inc., a mutual fund dealer belonging to the Desjardins Group that distributes the Funds in caisses throughout Quebec and Ontario, as well as through the Desjardins Financial Centre.


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