Desjardins Group, a leader in socially responsible investing, has added three new investment funds to its SocieTerra line of products. The funds include the Desjardins SocieTerra Environmental Bond Fund, the Desjardins SocieTerra Cleantech Fund and the Desjardins SocieTerra American Equity Fund, the former two being the first of their kind in Canada.
The Desjardins SocieTerra Environmental Bond Fund is the first fund in Canada to invest in environmental bonds issued by governments and corporations from around the world. Investing in this type of debt security is a way to finance sustainable development initiatives or projects that offset climate change. In addition to making environmental criteria a part of security selection, Mirova, a fund manager that specializes in responsible investing, also looks at the social practices and governance of the companies it invests in to ensure the portfolio’s risk is managed effectively.
The Desjardins SocieTerra Cleantech Fund is the first mutual fund in Canada to offer individual investors the ability to finance innovative technologies and solutions in the areas of energy efficiency and the environment. Impax, the fund manager, invests in companies from around the world whose income is drawn primarily from clean technology activities, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, water treatment, pollution control, waste management, environmental services and sustainable agriculture.
As for the new Desjardins SocieTerra American Equity Fund, it uses environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to select securities from high-quality U.S. companies. The portfolio manager, ClearBridge, uses what is called a “Best in Class” strategy to select securities, choosing companies whose social, environmental and governance performance is better than that of other companies in the same sector. ClearBridge also maintains an ongoing dialogue with various companies and sector associations on behalf of the Fund and its shareholders.
If you are a client of Desjardins Online Brokerage, these three Desjardins SocieTerra funds are available in the Mutual Funds section of the secure website in the list of Desjardins Funds (DJT DESJARDINS FUNDS).