TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The vast majority of Canadian retail investors are concerned about climate change and want to see climate action reflected in their portfolios, according to a new survey from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).
The 2021 RIA Investor Opinion Survey, which is based on an Ipsos poll of 1,000 individual investors in Canada, found that 85% of respondents agreed that Canadian corporations should set goals for their businesses to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, and 78% agreed they would like a portion of their investment portfolio to be invested in companies that are providing solutions to reduce carbon emissions.
In a year that saw the emergence of a national dialogue on reconciliation, the survey found that 70% of respondents want Canadian companies in their portfolio to partner with Indigenous Peoples on decisions around a future energy transition.
The survey, sponsored by AGF Investments Inc. and Desjardins Group, also shows that 77% of respondents said they want their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investments that are aligned with their values, while only 27% said they had ever been asked if they were interested. About one-third of respondents said they currently own responsible investments, similar to last year.
“This research sends a clear message: Canadian investors want Canadian companies to align their businesses with a net zero future,” said Dustyn Lanz, CEO of the RIA. “It also shows that individual investors remain largely underserved by their advisors when it comes to responsible investing. There is a huge market opportunity for advisors who are willing to talk to their clients about sustainability issues.”
"For the transition to be just, it is critical that Indigenous voices be part of the decision process for the benefit of all Canadians," said Mark Sevestre, Senior Advisor and Founding Member of the National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association (NATOA).
“We are encouraged that the findings of this year’s survey indicate that Canadian investors are knowledgeable and supportive when it comes to the energy transition,” said Judy Goldring, President and Head of Global Distribution, AGF Management Limited. “As a leader in the development of sustainable investing, AGF is committed to providing solutions that support the transition to a more sustainable economy.”
“The survey clearly shows that Canadians want to take control of the impact their investments have on the environment,” says Éric Landry, Vice-President, Investment Solutions at Desjardins. “The financial industry can and must play a crucial role to educate and empower investors to make choices that align with their values and the needs of our environment and society – a goal that Desjardins has been working toward for more than 30 years.”
- 85% of respondents agreed that Canadian corporations should set goals for their businesses to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
- 70% of respondents reported that they want Canadian companies in their portfolio to partner with Indigenous Peoples on decisions around future energy transitions.
- An overwhelming number of respondents (85%) expressed concern about climate change and the environment.
- 80% of respondents would like their fund manager to encourage Canadian corporations to reduce their carbon emissions.
- 78% of respondents said they would like a portion of their investment portfolio to be invested in companies that are providing solutions to reduce carbon emissions.
- While 77% of respondents said they want their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investments that are aligned with their values, only 27% said they had ever been asked if they were interested. About one-third of respondents said they currently own responsible investments, similar to last year.
- Knowledge levels about RI are gradually improving over time. 69% of respondents said they know little to nothing about RI, including 20% who have never heard of RI. This is an improvement from last year when 75% said they knew little to nothing about RI, including 29% who had never heard of RI.
- Overall interest in RI is holding steady, with 73% of this year’s respondents expressing interest in RI. Interest among older investors showed a meaningful increase in interest compared to last year.
View the full report here.
About the RIA Investor Opinion Survey
The RIA publishes the RIA Investor Opinion Survey annually to track individual investors’ perspectives on responsible investment and various environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The 2021 Survey is based on data collected by Ipsos from 1,000 Canadian individual investors between September 13th and 16th, 2021. Investors are defined as individuals who currently own investments such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, stocks, bonds, or other securities. The poll has a Bayesian credibility interval of ±3.5%.
About the Responsible Investment Association (RIA)
The RIA is Canada’s industry association for responsible investment (RI). The RIA aims to drive the growth and development of RI in Canada, with a vision to align capital with sustainable and inclusive development as codified in the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The RIA’s membership includes asset managers, asset owners, advisors, and service providers. Learn more at www.riacanada.ca.