Investing in a better future
We will help our members invest for the future we need by offering only responsible investment options that can demonstrate the integrity of their Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) screening and stewardship process.
Why we’re doing this
Investors have the power to be important drivers of a just climate transition. What happens with the money you invest matters a great deal; it can be used to strengthen local economies and advance environmental wellbeing, or it could be used to further drive inequality and the climate crisis. Shareholders have the ability to push the companies whose shares they hold into addressing both climate risks and systemic inequities, as Vancity’s own investment management firm has long been doing on behalf of investors.
Socially responsible investing (SRI) can also provide stable returns with less risk. Investing in stocks that meet rigorous environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) criteria often provides investors with an island of calm amidst stock-market turbulence. During COVID, for example, ESG-linked stocks consistently outperformed stocks with low ESG ratings as well as leading market indices.
The Vancity advantage
None of this surprised us at Vancity. Since introducing Canada’s first SRI mutual fund in 1986, we have been a Canadian leader in SRI and ESG-investment. Our global equity investments have been divested from oil, gas or coal-producing companies since 2015, and we have a strong track record of using shareholder advocacy to strengthen the ESG practices of companies in which we invest the portfolios we manage.
Going forward, we will continue to build our leadership in ESG investing and shareholder advocacy. We will also enhance our focus on developing information and supports that allow members to make clean and smart investments.
Actions to date
Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB) acquired Co-Power Inc., Canada’s first sustainable investment platform and a leading provider of financing to clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
Our shareholder advocacy helped prompt big banks in Canada to report on gender pay gaps.
We launched our first fossil-fuel free investment fund. By 2019, we shifted all investment funds we were managing to be fossil-fuel free.
We worked with IA Clarington to divest oil, gas or coal-producing companies from the IA Clarington Inhance Global Equity SRI Fund.
We entered a strategic partnership with Industrial Alliance Clarington to manage and nationally distribute the Inhance SRI funds.
We became the first full-service financial institution to offer its own socially-responsible mutual funds - Vancity Circadian Funds.
We signed onto the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI).
We established Vancity Investment Management (VCIM), one of the first wealth management firms in Canada to focus on investments that deliver competitive returns while making a positive impact on the world.
We launched the Ethical Growth Fund, Canada’s first socially responsible mutual fund, giving SRI investment in Canada its start.
Financing an equitable climate transition
Unaddressed, climate change –like the pandemic – will change how we work and live, and will drive further inequality. We will focus our work in financial and social inclusion to provide banking and other solutions to help people who are affected by the climate emergency, as well as those seeking support in transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable living.
Net-zero by 2040
Our ambition is to make Vancity net-zero by 2040 across all our mortgages and loans. That means the carbon emitted from anything we finance will be eliminated or significantly reduced, with any remaining emissions being brought to net-zero. We’ll start this work by setting our first target for 2025.
Be transparent and accountable
We will encourage change within the financial services sector by accurately measuring and openly reporting on how our own actions are improving the well-being of people, communities and the environment. We aim to continue implementing, testing, and helping improve emerging international standards for climate and impact reporting.
Walk the talk in all we do
We will live our values in our daily decision-making in order to serve the diverse needs of our members, staff, and our communities and do our part across our operations to contribute to a just climate transition.