Using shareholder rights to prevent greenwashing.

Climate change truly is an emergency. From devastating floods and forest fires to heat domes, the need for businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and take climate action has never been greater.  

Vancity Investment Management (VCIM) helps clients invest in responsible, progressive  companies by curating trusted portfolios of socially responsible investments (SRI). Long after a company is selected, VCIM, Vancity’s wealth management subsidiary, watches out for greenwashing and uses its rights as a shareholder to engage with management if an issue arises.

One way of holding companies to account is through disclosure—through corporate reporting and document submission, organizations must prove they are doing as they claim. VCIM regularly audits its portfolio to identify companies that do not disclose to  the Climate Disclosure Project (CDP). CDP is the world’s largest investor-led initiative, supported by 680 institutional investor signatories with a combined $130 trillion (US) in assets.

In 2020, VCIM engaged with Constellation Software (16,000 employees; 2019 revenue of $3.1 billion US) to improve climate-related disclosures via the CDP disclosure campaign. In early 2022, this escalated to filing a shareholder resolution requesting climate-related disclosures from the company. VCIM withdrew the resolution after Constellation Software committed to improving their disclosure approach in the coming year. VCIM will continue to work with the company and monitor its progress.

VCIM itself agreed to various additional disclosures when joining The Net-Zero Asset Managers initiative in 2021, deepening its commitment to helping build a clean and fair world while continuing to exclusively offer fossil fuel-free investments. Joining more than 235 signatories supporting a goal to reach net-zero by 2050 or sooner, this pledge holds the power of $7.5 trillion (US) in assets under management.

VCIM believes that engaging with the companies that produce our goods and shape our world is vital to facilitating the net-zero transition. Learn more in the most recent VCIM Shareholder Engagement Report. VCIM is part of the Vancity Group, which is committed to become net-zero by 2040 across all mortgages and loans.

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