Canadian investors are less advanced in engaging with sustainability than issuers, but most institutions recognise the need to do more. 

Our survey indicates that 58% of investors take sustainability issues into consideration some of the time, while 10% consider these factors in all their investment decisions. The remaining 32% say they do not take sustainability into account. This third mostly comprises smaller investors with less than $5bn of assets under management.

Of all these groups, we asked a follow-up question to gauge how they expected their plans to change. Of investors not considering sustainability, 59% say they will start to do so in future; the rest believe they have no need to change this. That means overall, only 13% of the country’s investors are unwilling to factor sustainability into their decisions.

This confirms our earlier 2020 global survey, in which 7% of Canadian investors reported that environmental and social issues were not very important to them. A further 30% characterised these issues as somewhat important to them. 

Of the majority group in our Canada survey that take sustainability considerations into account some of the time, 36% regard what they are doing now as adequate. The rest plan to go further.

A quarter of them will continue to factor sustainability into only some of their decisions, but do so more deeply. Another quarter will eventually extend sustainability thinking to all their investments, while the other 15% will extend it to more of their investments. 

Of the 10% of investors that already consider sustainability all the time, 78% believe they have no need to increase their efforts. However, this divides into 44% who specify that they are already aligned with a zero carbon future and 33% who do not make that claim. The other 22% say they still have further to go in making their investments fully sustainable.