Socially Responsible Investing

What is socially responsible investing (SRI)?

Socially responsible investments are about using wealth to build a more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable world. More Canadian investors are choosing SRI for their portfolios and it’s one of the fastest growing segments in the financial services industry. It’s investing that reflects your values—at Kindred we like to call it Banking with Purpose.

SRI is known by many names such as green, ethical, or responsible investing, it engages with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analysis, and can include impact investing.

An investment can be considered socially responsible based on the nature of the business the company conducts. Screening is a filtering process based on social and environmental criteria that are used to identify if an investment can be deemed socially responsible. Negative screens strive to limit investing in companies that engage in practices such as gambling, military weapons, nuclear power, and pornography. Positive screens evaluate companies based on the good they do and strive to include those that engage in practices that support, for example, animal welfare, human rights, and the environment.

Shareholder advocacy is another aspect of SRI, which allows investors to have a say in the companies they invest in.

At Kindred, socially responsible investments can be made in both Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) and mutual funds.

SRI by Popular Demand

Kindred has been committed to providing members with investments that fit their values since…well, as long as we can remember! As a values-based financial cooperative, our members’ interest in, and demand for, ethical investing (as it was called at the time) grew in the eighties and nineties. Then, in 2001, Kindred and two other likeminded organizations launched Meritas Mutual Funds with the goal of offering investment options that aligned with investors’ social, ethical, governance, and environmental concerns.

The Meritas family of socially responsible investments embodied our historical Anabaptist commitments to mutual aid and peace. Members and other investors embraced this new SRI offering and Meritas flourished. In 2010 Meritas merged with Qtrade Financial Group and, while the brand no longer exists, the Meritas SRI legacy continues through Canadian-owned Aviso Wealth. Most importantly, our original desire to grow the impact of socially responsible investing across Canada continues today!

SRI is more than Mutual Funds

Our commitment to our members is to continue to look for ways to offer values-based products that connect faith and values with finances. With this in mind, in 2016 Kindred was the first – and, as far as we know, still the only – financial institution in Canada to have all our GICs validated as SRI.

Working with Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of environmental, social and corporate governance research and ratings, Kindred developed a values-based process and a best-in-class social and environmental screening approach to lending decisions. Since Kindred’s loans are funded by members’ GIC deposits, with the screens in place, all of our GICs become SRI validated. Pretty cool, right?

Kindred’s SRI GIC Screens

Kindred’s approach to lending enables us to validate our GICs as socially responsible, providing members with a unique way to connect their values and faith with their finances.

Our screens ensure that we do not lend to businesses with a record of unethical and/or illegal business practices or that operate in ways that negatively impact the environment or human rights, for example.

We exclude businesses that have considerable involvement in:

  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Tobacco
  • Cannabis
  • Gambling
  • Military and Weapons
  • Nuclear Power
  • Pornography

We include businesses that are making a positive contribution in these areas:

  • The Environment
  • Human Rights
  • Communities
  • Employees
  • Animal Welfare

Kindred Walks the Talk

Kindred doesn’t just encourage our members to invest in SRI, we do it too! In 2015, Kindred teamed up with Oikocredit, an international co-operative, to offer members a GIC that provides a local, secure, guaranteed investment and supports 
international sustainable development. Members invest in the GIC and, in turn, Kindred purchases shares in Oikocredit that match the principal amount invested.

Your investments can have a global impact! Visit our Oikocredit Global Impact GIC page to learn more.

 
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Kindred is an RIA Member

As an associate member of the Responsible Investment Association, Canada’s leading organization for socially responsible investing, Kindred takes a highly principled approach to investing.

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