Latest Desjardins survey shows a growing interest from Canadian investors but some challenges remain.

Montreal, April 25, 2019 - A survey conducted on behalf of Desjardins shows that Canadians are increasingly interested in responsible investments (RI). However, this choice isn't always available to investors who want to take concrete action that aligns with their values. The goal of the survey was to find out Canadians' opinions on and perceptions of RI.

RI includes investing in funds that contribute to social causes like affordable housing or climate change. Desjardins is a leader in this field having 22 green and responsible financial products available, the largest offering of green products and services in the country.

The survey found that between 2016 and 2018, Canadians became more familiar with, and interested in, these types of investments:

43% of respondents said this was the first time they had heard of RI; that number was 72% two years earlier.

While only 13% of respondents in 2016 said they were familiar with RI, that number was up to 34% two years later.

The percentage of Canadians who said they were interested in RI increased from 66% to 72% over the same two-year period. 

When asked if they planned to invest in RI in 2018, 63% of them said they would probably, very likely or definitely choose this option, 7% increase.  

"At Desjardins, sustainability is in our DNA. We're proud that we've been offering RI products for over 25 years. It's clear to us that responsible investing isn't just a passing fad; it's a concrete way for people to effect social and environmental change through their financial choices. The survey reveals that we must continue our financial education initiatives in RI, which have been very successful. We've partnered with the Responsible Investment Association to provide training to 500 RI advisors, who will then be able to offer our members and clients better decision-making support," says Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group.

Other survey highlights

18% of respondents said they had discussed RIs with their financial advisor (up from 13% in 2016).

24% of respondents believe that the returns on RIs are lower than those on traditional investments--8% more than in 2016. 16% of respondents believe that RIs are riskier than traditional investments, which represents a 3% increase.   

Respondents identified cybersecurity, human rights and protection of nature and forests as their top three social and environmental concerns.

The main reasons respondents gave when asked why they would choose responsible investments were: positive impact on society and the planet, attractive return potential and aligning their investments with their lifestyle and beliefs.

Attractive return potential, concrete evidence that RIs lead to social or environmental benefits and positive impact on society and the planet are the top three factors that would convince respondents to choose RIs

For journalists only: Jacques Bouchard
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