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Chapter 2
Environment

Explore the environment

Responsible companies

Companies today are more sensitive to the importance of environmental challenges than they were in the past. While they have always had the freedom to change their operation methods, they now also have the desire to do so. These companies are influenced by investors willing to act to limit climate change, safeguard access to drinking water and preserve biodiversity in order to shape a better future.

Take fossil fuels as an example: coal, tar sands and shale gas are important fuel sources for companies, now more than ever. We are barely scraping the surface of mining these resources and there is much debate surrounding their energy potential and the consequences of mining, transporting, storing and securing them.

Desjardins’ responsible investment program integrates environmental issues in its investment fund selection. Our objective is to finance companies that promote and employ sustainable development methods to protect our ecosystem’s fragile equilibrium.

Climate Change Changements

Changements

Taking a stand against Global Warming

Global warming and the worldwide increase in energy demands, particularly for fossil fuel-based energy, should worry us all. Companies today are taking a growing interest in climate change-related issues; important battles have been won since the launch of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in 2003. Now is the time to join the movement and take action as an investor!

Changing mindsets about global warming is a long and frustrating process. Even in 2014, several governments are still at the stage of establishing goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt transparency measures.

Fortunately, the struggle is now also in the hands of investors. Because of their engagement and the pressure they exert on the administrative boards of companies, opinions are evolving.

With Desjardins’ responsible investment solutions, your money has the power to affect real change. By choosing RI funds, you are not only securing a future for yourself through your investments, you are also contributing to a better world!

Biodiversity Biodiversite

Biodiversite

Protecting our natural heritage

The Boreal Forest is the natural heritage of every Canadian. It is a complex ecosystem — built from forest zones, lakes and wetlands — that produces the oxygen we breathe and the water we drink. It is also the natural habitat of myriad animals, birds and insects, and of luxuriant vegetation. It is our collective duty to protect this precious and fragile resource.

The Boreal Leadership Council, one of our partners, is in charge of promoting sustainable business practices and has been advocating for the protection of more than 50% of Boreal Forest lands.

The preservation of biodiversity is an issue that transcends borders. Unchecked industrial development is triggering dramatic changes in natural environments and throwing them off balance. We must remember that our ecosystems are fragile and complex: development can cause irreversible damage.

By choosing responsible investment solutions, you are choosing the only investment fund in the country that hires a group of independent experts to evaluate companies based on their environmental policies. These experts verify if concrete environmental measures are being properly enacted.

Water access related issues Enjeux D'eau

Enjeux D'eau

Issues of access and sustainable use

The increasing scarcity of water could lead to problems of unforeseen magnitude. Energy production, mining activities, biodiversity, and various other critically important socio-economic spheres will be affected by a water shortage. From an economic standpoint, this will affect both investors and the production and employment markets of several countries, which will in turn have direct repercussions on economic competitiveness.

As of today, close to 1.2 billion people do not have access to drinking water and nearly 2.4 billion people lack access to acceptable sanitation services.

This is the cause of between 3 and 5 million deaths every year, according to the UNEP. The numbers are unsettling. Happily, it is now possible for us to do something about them.

RI funds are a proactive way of reinforcing the efforts of numerous NGOs fighting to keep water an essential public right and not a mercantile production item. Protecting both the economy and human lives is a cause that motivates investors to take their responsibilities more and more seriously.

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Environnement