TORONTO – October 30, 2019 – The vast majority of Canadian investors are concerned about single-use plastic in their portfolios, says a new survey from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).
The 2019 RIA Investor Opinion Survey, which is based on an Ipsos poll of 1,004 individual investors in Canada, found that 82% of respondents believe it is important for companies in their investment portfolio to reduce plastic waste.
The survey also found most investors view single-use plastic as financially material: 70% believe companies that reduce plastic waste from their products and packaging will be better long-term investments and 58% believe companies continuing to rely on single-use plastics in their products or packaging will suffer a reputational decline.
Most investors recognize plastic-waste reduction presents opportunities: 75% of respondents agreed that they would like a portion of their investment portfolio to be invested in companies that are providing solutions to reducing plastic waste.
The survey, sponsored by AGF Investments Inc. (AGF) and Desjardins Group, also shows 79% of respondents would like their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investment (RI) options. However, only 23% of respondents have been asked by their provider if they are interested in RI.
“The market has spoken,” said Dustyn Lanz, CEO of the RIA. “Canadian investors want companies to step up their efforts on plastic waste, and they want their advisors to help them with responsible investing.” Lanz added, “We’ve reached a point where having knowledge of responsible investing is simply table stakes for investment professionals seeking to earn clients’ business.”
“As a leader in the development of responsible investing initiatives, we are pleased to learn that Canadian investors want to know more about options for investing in companies committed to improving returns for shareholders and society at large,” said Martin Grosskopf, Vice-President and Portfolio Manager, AGF. “As the linkage between specific environmental issues such as plastic waste and business risks becomes better understood, investors are looking for real opportunities to connect their interest in improving environmental outcomes with returns,” added Grosskopf.
Interest in RI has grown since last year’s survey, while the desire for RI information holds steady.
- 72% of 2019 respondents expressed interest in RI, up from 60% in 2018. Knowledge continues to lag interest. However, 72% of respondents know little or nothing about RI, an improvement from 81% in 2018.
- 79% of respondents would like their financial services provider to inform them about RI options. However, only 23% of respondents have been asked by their provider if they are interested in RI.
- Overall, 26% of respondents said they currently own responsible investments. Young people are at the forefront of RI ownership, with 36% of respondents aged 18-34 owning RI, compared to 18% among those 55+.
- 82% of respondents believe it is important for companies in their investment portfolio to reduce plastic waste. 75% of respondents would like to invest in solutions to reduce plastic waste.
- 58% believe companies continuing to rely on single-use plastics in their products or packaging will incur a reputational decline.
- 70% believe companies that reduce plastic waste from their products and packaging will be better long-term investments.
View the full report here: https://www.riacanada.ca/research/2019-ria-investor-opinion-survey/
About the Responsible Investment Association
The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is a nonprofit, membership-based organization dedicated to the advancement of responsible investment in Canada. The RIA’s membership is composed of over 400 institutional investors and investment professionals who practice and support responsible investing. To learn more about the RIA, please visit www.riacanada.ca.
Responsible Investment Association
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Director, Corporate Communications
AGF Investments Inc.