A bold step forward in the right direction: switch to responsible investments

April 27, 2021

Libro has a purpose beyond profit. Purpose isn’t an after thought or something we do simply when it’s convenient. Purpose is at the centre of our vision to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario and is integrated into everything we do.

Supporting that vision, Libro Credit Union is committed to making money better for our Owners, our communities, and our planet. Libro is proud to share that as of May 1, 2021 all new mutual fund accounts will use only responsible investments offered through our existing partnership with Northwest and Ethical L.P. (NEI) Investments.

Why is Libro focusing exclusively on Responsible Investing?

Libro was among the first Canadian credit unions to provide access to mutual funds back in 1995. Today, Libro is the first Canadian credit union to offer exclusively Responsible Investing options through NEI. We believe we are among the first financial institutions in the country to only offer Responsible Investing options, joining other like-minded advisors, and independent investment firms. This bold initiative strengthens Libro’s commitments to both B Corp and the Responsible Investment Association of Canada.

As proud members of the Responsible Investment Association, Libro believes Responsible Investing can benefit investors and society through:

  • Higher long-term financial returns
  • Lower investment risk
  • Positive societal change

What is Responsible Investing?

Responsible Investing refers to including environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) into the selection and management of investments. It’s also more than just screening for “good and bad” companies. It’s actively working with these companies to improve their practices, and their impact. These are not just activist concerns. These are important issues with significant implications for everyone, including issues like supply chain security, water scarcity, food availability, etc.

Responsible Investing has boomed in recent years as investors have recognized the opportunity for better risk-adjusted returns, while at the same time, contributing to important social and environmental issues.

Why the exclusive partnership with NEI?

For 30 years NEI’s leadership has helped define, shape, and integrate Responsible Investing into the hearts and minds of Canadian investors. NEI has proven that it’s possible to make money better, as companies that combine strong financial performance and rigorous ESG practices have the greatest potential to outperform over the long-term.

In 2021, NEI’s corporate engagement activities will centre around three key themes:

Human Rights
Ensuring companies are proactive in assessing, evaluating and addressing human rights risk in:
– Supply chains
– Tech governance
– Indigenous rights

Inequality
One way to bridge the inequality gap is for shareholders to advocate for a broader, stakeholder-centric approach to business with a focus on:
– Human capital
– Equitable compensation
– Diversity and inclusion
– Equitable access

Energy Transition
Climate change and the energy transition have been central to NEI’s corporate engagement strategy for the past 20 years and 2021 will be no different. Under the high-level theme of energy transition, the focus areas include:
– Net zero commitments
– Alignment to the task force on climate related financial disclosures framework
– Plastics circularity

Hands holding a tablet showing the Libro website

If you are interested in investing alongside a like-minded organization such as Libro, or simply learning more about Responsible Investing, click here to book an appointment with one of our investment Coaches. Together we can work to invest in a better tomorrow, and together we can help make money better.

Mutual funds are offered through Credential Asset Management Inc. NEI Investments is a registered trademark of Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P. Northwest & Ethical Investments Inc. and Credential Asset Management Inc. are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Aviso Wealth Inc. (“Aviso”). Aviso is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aviso Wealth Limited Partnership (“Aviso Wealth LP”), which in turn is owned 50% by Desjardins Financial Holdings Inc. (“Desjardins”) and 50% by a limited partnership owned by the five Provincial Credit Union Centrals (the “Centrals”) and the CUMIS Group Limited.

By Paul McQueen