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Sustainable Investing: What it is & how it works

It is often said that the best things in life are free and yet there is no free lunch. How unfair! But what about investments? The idea of sustainable investing may sound like an oxymoron, but this type of investment does exist and can offer many benefits for those who want to make their portfolio work a little harder.

More and more people are now turning to sustainable solutions. Whether it’s for the environment or their personal ethics, many people are starting to realize that there is a huge opportunity in the world of green investing. Americans alone invested several billion Dollars in environmentally friendly securities just last year. Sustainable investments offer many benefits for the investor and for society as a whole.

Though some might view sustainable investing as a recent phenomenon, the roots of this type of investment can be traced back to the Quakers in the 18th century. The Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers, was one of the first groups to practice what we now know as sustainable or socially responsible investing.

What is meant by sustainable investing?

Sustainable investing is an investment approach that considers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in addition to financial factors in order to build a more sustainable future. Sustainable investing has come to be known by many names, including “responsible investing,” “impact investing,” and even simply “doing good.”

The key to sustainable investing is that it is not simply about making a financial return but also about making a positive impact on the world. For example, an investor may choose to invest in a company that is working to find a cure for cancer or to develop renewable energy sources. While there is no guarantee that these investments will make money, the investor can take comfort in knowing that their money is supporting a good cause.

What are the 4 strategies of sustainable investing?

The four strategies of sustainable investing are:

1. Environmental screening

This strategy looks at how a company’s operations impact the environment.

2. Socially responsible investing (SRI)

This strategy looks at how a company treats its employees, customers, and the community.

3. Community investing

This strategy invests in projects and businesses that benefit the local community.

4. Impact investing

This strategy looks for companies with a positive social or environmental impact, even if they don’t have a perfect financial track record.

Sustainable investing is becoming more and more popular as people become increasingly aware of the importance of protecting our environment and investing in social causes. If you’re interested in sustainable investing, there are a number of resources available to help you get started. Find investment advice that suits you best and get on with it.

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How do you invest in sustainability?

The first step in sustainable investing is to understand what your goals are. Are you looking to make a financial return, or do you want to make a difference? Once you have clarified your goals, you can begin to look for investment options that align with them.

There are a variety of ways to invest in sustainability, and the options will continue to grow as this type of investing becomes more popular.

Some common sustainable investments include:

  • Green energy stocks
  • Clean technology companies
  • Sustainable real estate
  • Impact funds
  • Community development banks

Each of these options offers different benefits and risks, so it is important to do your research before making any decisions.

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What are Examples of Sustainable Investments?

There are many types of sustainable investments, but some examples include:

  • Renewable energy, such as solar and wind power
  • Green transportation, such as electric cars and public transportation
  • Sustainable buildings, such as LEED-certified buildings.

Many investors are also interested in sustainable food systems, which include organic farming, local food sourcing, and investing in companies that are working to create a more sustainable food system.

Sustainable investment can be made in many different sectors, and there are a variety of ways to invest in sustainability. For example, you can buy stocks or bonds in companies that are working on sustainable projects, or you can invest in funds that focus specifically on sustainable investments. You can also invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track indexes of sustainable companies.

What are the three main approaches to sustainable investing?

The three main approaches that make sustainable investing important are:

Negative screening

Negative screening involves avoiding investments in companies that are involved in activities that are harmful to people or the environment. For example, a negative screen might exclude companies that produce tobacco products, weapons, or nuclear power.

Positive screening

Positive screening involves selecting investments in companies that are doing good things for people and the environment. For example, a positive screen might invest in companies that are committed to renewable energy or have good environmental practices. You will also want to read What are Sustainable Investing Companies?

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Impact investing sustainably

Impact investing involves deliberately trying to create positive social or environmental outcomes as well as financial returns. For example, an impact investor might invest in a company that provides affordable housing or renewable energy.

There are many different ways to implement sustainable investing strategies, and no one approach is right for everyone. It’s important to find the approach that best aligns with your goals, values, and risk tolerance.

What are some of the best sustainable funds?

There are a number of sustainable funds available, but the best ones vary depending on your individual investment goals. Some of the most popular sustainable funds in Canada in terms of sustainability score are:

  1. NEI Canadian Enhanced Index Fund: Sustainability score 99.5%
  2. iShares Jantzi Social Index ETF: Sustainability score 99.4%
  3. SocieTerra Positive Change Fund: Sustainability score 99.2%
  4. RI Canada – Low CO2 Index ETF: Sustainability score 98.7%
  5. Mackenzie Global Environmental Equity Fund: Sustainability score 98.4%
  6. AGF Global Sustainable Growth. Equity Fund: Sustainability score 97.6%
  7. iShares ESG MSCI Canada Index ETF: Sustainability score 97.5%
  8. RBC Vision Canadian Equity Fund: Sustainability score 96.8%
  9. NEI Environmental Leaders Series A: Sustainability score 96.6%
  10. SocieTerra Canadian Equity Fund: Sustainability score 96.5%

There are several Canadian public companies that are improving on their past performance. Their corporate responsibility is to show due diligence to combat climate change and global warming. As values change frequently, sustainability issues still remain a part of these investment opportunities. It’s essential to look into all the available investment opportunities before making a decision.

What is a sustainable impact fund?

A sustainable impact fund is a type of investment fund that specifically aims to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. Sustainable impact funds seek to invest in companies, projects, or initiatives that have the potential to create tangible and lasting improvements in people’s lives while also generating financial returns for investors.

There are a growing number of sustainable impact funds around the world, and the number is expected to continue to grow in the years ahead. Many of these funds are managed by for-profit investment firms, though there are also a growing number of nonprofit organizations that manage sustainable impact funds.

One of the key advantages of investing in a sustainable impact fund is that it allows investors to align their values with their investment portfolios. For many people, the idea of making money while also doing good in the world is an appealing proposition. In addition, sustainable impact funds often focus on investments that have the potential to create positive social and environmental change in developing countries or regions. This can be an attractive option for investors who want to make a difference in the world but don’t necessarily have the time or resources to do so themselves.

What is a sustainable equity fund?

A sustainable equity fund is a type of investment fund that focuses on investments in companies with sustainable and responsible practices. This type of fund can offer investors the potential for competitive returns while also promoting positive environmental and social outcomes.

Sustainable equity funds can be found in both public and private markets. Some examples of sustainable equity funds include the Goldman Sachs Sustainable Equity Fund, the Calvert Green Bond Fund, and the Domini Impact 400 Index.

Sustainable equity funds can be a great option for investors who want to support sustainable practices while also earning a return on their investment. By choosing a fund that invests in companies with responsible practices, investors can feel good about where their money is going while also potentially earning a profit.

What is the difference between a sustainable equity fund and a sustainable impact fund?

The difference between a sustainable equity fund and a sustainable impact fund comes down to the focus of the investment. Sustainable equity funds focus on investments in companies with sustainable and responsible practices, while sustainable impact funds focus on investments in companies that have the potential to create tangible and lasting improvements in people’s lives while also generating financial returns for investors.

Are sustainable investments profitable?

The short answer is yes; sustainable investments can be profitable. In fact, a growing body of evidence suggests that companies and investment portfolios that take environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into account can outperform their traditional counterparts.

There are a number of reasons why sustainable investing can lead to superior financial returns.

1. Value creation

Companies that focus on ESG considerations tend to be better managed overall, with a sharper focus on long-term value creation.

2. Innovation

Sustainable companies are often at the forefront of innovation and thus can benefit from a first-mover advantage in emerging markets.

3. Low investment risks

They tend to have lower exposure to reputational and regulatory risk.

4. Safety

Sustainable investing can help avoid losses in the event of a market crash.

There are a number of ways for investors to go about incorporating sustainability into their portfolios. One popular approach is to invest in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that focus on sustainable investments.

Alternatively, investors can build their own portfolio of individual stocks and bonds that meet sustainability criteria.

Is sustainable investing the same as ESG?

There is some overlap between sustainable investing and ESG, but they are not exactly the same thing. Sustainable investing refers to any investment strategy that considers environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when making decisions. ESG integration can include things like climate change, human rights, and corporate ethics.

Sustainable investing strategies can take many different forms, but all of them aim to achieve financial returns while also having a positive impact on society and the environment.

ESG investing, on the other hand, is a more specific type of sustainable investing that focuses specifically on environmental, social, and governance factors. ESG investing goes hand-in-hand with responsible investing, which is the practice of investing in companies that meet certain social and environmental criteria.


Sustainable investing is the practice of investing in companies and funds that focus on environmental, social, and governance factors. These factors can include climate change, human rights, and corporate ethics. Responsible investment aims to create positive change and generate long-term financial returns.

We hope you enjoyed this post on sustainable investing. We’re curious to hear what your thoughts are about the various aspects of it that we highlighted in our article and how they might apply to your own business or career goals. If you want help implementing these principles, let us know!

Sustainable Investing: FAQ

What is the role of a global sustainable investment alliance?

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) is a coalition of organizations that promotes sustainable investment practices worldwide. The Alliance seeks to mobilize capital to support sustainable development and to scale up the impact of sustainable investments.

What is the difference between socially responsible investing and sustainable investing?

Socially responsible investing (SRI) screens companies based on social, environmental, and ethical criteria, while sustainable investing (SI) takes a more holistic approach that considers a company’s impact on society and the environment.

What are climate-related financial disclosures?

Climate-related financial disclosures (CRFDs) are voluntary disclosures that companies can make to investors about the risks and opportunities they face from climate change.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The SDGs, also known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure

How do ESG factors impact mutual fund investments?

ESG factors can impact the investment process in mutual funds in a few ways.

  • Funds that focus on ESG factors may be less likely to experience governance-related problems.
  • Sustainable funds have outperformed the broader market in recent years, indicating that they can provide strong financial returns.
  • Investors who care about ESG issues may prefer to invest in funds that align with their values.
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