2018 Canadian RI Trends Report

Canadian Responsible Investments Surpass $2 Trillion

The 2018 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report reveals that responsible investment (RI) is continuing to experience rapid growth in Canada. Survey data collected from more than 100 asset managers, asset owners, and publicly-available sources indicates that Canadian investors increasingly view environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as important components of their investment decisions. This report describes how RI is growing and developing in Canada. All figures are stated in Canadian dollars as at December 31st, 2017.

Canadian RI Growth (Billions)

Key Highlights

  • $2.13 trillion in RI assets under management (AUM).
  • 41.6% growth in RI AUM over a two-year period.
  • RI represents 50.6% of Canada’s investment industry, up from 37.8% two years ago.
  • Retail RI mutual fund assets increased from $8.26 billion to $11.07 billion, or 34% over two years.
  • The most prominent RI strategies by AUM are: (1) ESG integration, (2) shareholder engagement, (3) norms-based screening and (4) negative screening.
  • Survey respondents reported the top four reasons for considering ESG factors are: (1) managing risk, (2) improving returns over time, (3) meeting client/beneficiary demand, and (4) fulfilling fiduciary duty.
  • 87% of respondents expect moderate to high levels of growth in RI over the next two years.

According to survey responses and secondary research conducted by the RIA, assets in Canada being managed using at least one RI strategy increased from $1.5 trillion at the end of 2015 to $2.1 trillion at the end of 2017. This robust growth represents a 41.6% increase in RI assets under management over a two- year period. Responsible investing now makes up a majority of Canada’s investment industry, as RI assets now account for 50.6% of all Canadian AUM – up from 37.8% two years earlier. This marks a major milestone in the history and development of responsible investing in Canada.

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