New measures to fast-track the use of ESG criteria

Lévis, June 6, 2020 - All 17 Desjardins SocieTerra Funds and Portfolios are now 100% free of oil production and pipeline holdings, reducing the exposure of these investment products to fossil fuel producers and specialized transporters from 5% to 0%.

The Desjardins SocieTerra lineup no longer has any shares in companies that earn a significant portion of their revenue from extracting or producing oil, natural gas or thermal coal, or from specialized oil and gas transportation (including pipelines), oil refining or coal-based energy production.

This is another step forward in the energy transition for SocieTerra and demonstrates Desjardins's continued leadership in the move toward a low-carbon economy. It also provides investors who are looking to do more with a product that better responds to their changing needs.

For Canadian Environment Week, which runs through June 7, Desjardins is highlighting its commitment to the fight against climate change. "For nearly 30 years, Desjardins Group has been one of the country's leading proponents of responsible investing. We're doing our part to fast-track the transition to clean energy and will continue to support our members and clients along the way--because we all have a role to play," said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group.

With more than 30 products, Desjardins offers the most comprehensive range of responsible investment products in Canada, including SocieTerra Funds and Portfolios, the Priority Terra Guaranteed Investment, and responsible investment ETFs.

Fast-tracking the use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria

In recent months, Desjardins reviewed its positions in certain sectors in order to pull out of those that no longer fit with its sustainable development goals, such as coal as an energy source, tobacco and vaping.

"We're committed to completely divesting from the thermal coal industry by the end of the year and supporting our partners who have a serious transition plan ready to go that's in line with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations. And since tobacco and vaping products harm both consumer health and the environment, we're eliminating our holdings in that industry as well," added Mr. Cormier.

Desjardins was the first financial institution in North America to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance, a coalition of governments, businesses and organizations supported by Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations that is working to advance the transition from unabated coal power generation to clean energy.

It was also one of the first North American signatories to the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge, developed in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative to support global anti-tobacco efforts.

"We are thrilled to welcome Desjardins as a signatory to the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge. As the leading cooperative financial group in Canada, this move by Desjardins sends a clear message to the community that the financial sector is rapidly aligning business with the Sustainable Development Goals," said Dr. Bronwyn King, CEO of Tobacco Free Portfolios.

Additional information

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