To generate stability and promote growth in the decades to come, the Desjardins Group Retirement Committee ("DGRC") considers it is important to foster sustainable development. To that end, the DGRC promotes responsible investment which allows the Plan, along with the Desjardins Group, to play a proactive role in regards to challenges in environmental, social and governance matters.
Signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment
In January 2018, the DGPP reaffirmed its commitment to responsible investment by becoming a signatory of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment ("PRI"), an international group of assets holders, portfolio managers and service providers committed to integrating environmental, social and governance ("ESG") factors in their investment decisions.1
This should put the Plan in a better position to fulfill its engagements to members and beneficiaries while aligning its investments activities with society's interest.
The DGPP is committed to the environment. Its goal is that by 2020, the portfolios invested in public traded securities will have a 20% smaller carbon footprint than their stock and bond benchmarks. Moreover, 100% of DGPP's direct infrastructure investments, which amounts to $656M, are in the renewable energy sector. During the year 2018, the DGPP has begun the acquisition of an interest in a portfolio of three hydroelectric plants located in Canada.
An external provider has been hired to ensure that DGPP's voting rights policy is strictly enforced. The policy's guidelines deal with sound governance rules, as well as the organization's social responsibility (human rights, labour law, sustainability, community support and financial ethics).
Due diligence on partners
The Plan requires its partners to be transparent in ESG matters. To ensure compliance, the Plan's portfolio managers conduct due diligence on partners throughout the investment process.
1 To learn more about the Principles for Responsible Investment, go to:
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