Sustainability goes beyond investing for Canadians says Mackenzie

The firm's third annual Earth Day study reveals actions beyond investing

Sustainability goes beyond investing for Canadians says Mackenzie
Steve Randall

More than half of Canadian investors already hold sustainable investments or are planning to do so in the next few years, making these assets a near certainty in portfolios.

A new study from Mackenzie Investments ahead of Earth Day tomorrow (April 22) shows that that 71% of those who are already investing in the space plan to increase their holdings.

A report earlier this week shows that Canadians have a growing choice of sustainable investment products to choose from with close to a record number of new products launched in the first three months of 2022.

Climate change and the environment is the main focus, with 57% of investors holding investments that support this cause, with lower levels of focus on human rights (27%), fair labour practices (23%), and gender equality (19%).

“Canadians continue to show strong interest in promoting sustainability through their investing, and that’s great news on multiple levels,” said Andrew Simpson, portfolio manager and head of the Mackenzie Betterworld Team.  “As sustainability issues grow more salient throughout the world, it’s encouraging that Canadian investors are identifying sustainable investments as an opportunity to reinforce their portfolios while also aligning their investments with their values.”

A recent report from IBM highlighted international engagement with sustainable investing but highlights how time to research and a lack of reliable data continue to be barriers to adoption for many investors.

However, former BoC governor Mark Carney says that there needs to be an acceleration in one key area of the drive towards a greener planet – clean energy.

Speaking in a Bloomberg TV interview, Carney, who is Brookfield Asset Management’s head of transition investing, urged the world to do more, with investment in clean energy currently running at a third of the pace needed to meet climate goals.

He said that we need to up our game, especially as clean energy projects take time to start providing the energy required.

“Any source of energy -- whether its clean or conventional -- that’s meaningfully going to move the dial on energy sources is going to take three to five years to come on stream whether it’s a new liquefied natural gas train or wind or solar or hydrogen,” he said.

Beyond investing

Mackenzie’s research found that Canadians actions go beyond investing with more than 9 in 10 separating recyclables from garbage and a similar share reusing shopping bags.

Donating to charities, helping neighbours, and volunteering are all small actions taken that contribute to collective changes – and Canadians want organizations to act too.

Canadians are calling on corporate Canada (79%) and governments (77%) to do more to develop and encourage a more sustainable world.

“We’re not just asking ourselves to be changemakers, but also challenging companies and governments of all levels to play a greater role in building a better future.  Canadians are telling us that everyone has a role to play- and they’re right,” concluded Fate Saghir, head of sustainability at Mackenzie Investments.