Canadian ESG-related investment assets surge to $3.2 trillion: report

Investments that incorporate environmental, social and governance factors are growing rapidly in Canada, according to a new survey by the Responsible Investment Association.

It found these investments grew from $2.1 trillion at the end of 2017 to $3.2 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2019, a 48 per cent increase in responsible investment assets under management. In addition, responsible investing accounted for 61.8 per cent of Canadian assets under management in 2020, up from 50.6 per cent just two years earlier.

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The survey also found 97 per cent of investors expect moderate to high levels of growth in responsible investment over the next two years.

“This research confirms that responsible investment isn’t a trend, it’s a paradigm shift,” said Dustyn Lanz, chief executive officer at the RIA, in a release. “The investment industry is undergoing a secular transformation, stewarding assets towards more sustainable and inclusive outcomes for society while protecting long-term shareholder value. For asset managers and financial advisors, [responsible investment] expertise is no longer a ‘nice to have,’ it’s table stakes.”