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Environmental, Social and Governance

How we work

NEI is home to Canada’s largest team of in-house socially responsible investment professionals1. This team delivers comprehensive Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) Services to the managers of socially responsible investments, including NEI’s own Ethical Funds, Canada’s largest provider of socially responsible mutual funds.

A program for corporate change

ESG Services uses a multi-faceted evaluation process and proactive corporate engagement to encourage companies held in our clients’ portfolios to adopt positive and sustainable business practices that make them not only better corporate citizens but also more attractive long term investments.

We encourage companies to improve their environmental, social and governance practices through dialogue, shareholder resolutions and proxy voting. Key to this corporate engagement approach is dialogue. Through progressive dialogue, we seek to communicate concerns about these practices directly to corporate management in order to improve company policy, disclosure and performance in these areas.

ESG Services takes a multi-faceted approach to promoting environmental, social and governance change through the following strategies:

        • Evaluation. We use a proprietary ESG Evaluation methodology to assess the environmental, social and governance performance of each company in which we invest.

        • Engagement. The ESG Services team at NEI operates the most proactive and comprehensive Corporate Engagement program in Canada. Through dialogue, we encourage companies to improve their environmental, social and governance performance. As shareholders, we communicate our concerns directly to company management and directors, sometimes in coalition with other concerned groups. Ongoing engagement provides solutions, encouraging corporate leaders to break new ground and corporate laggards to catch up.

        • Research. We regularly conduct primary research on emerging issues and risks faced by responsible investors in particular industry sectors. This research enables us to establish the most appropriate and valid dimensions on which to evaluate companies within those sectors.

        • Public Policy & Standards. Public policies and standards affect the rules by which all companies must operate. Our efforts in this area enable us to promote change on a broader scale, beyond individual companies, to remove barriers to sustainability disclosure and performance on an industry-wide basis.

        • 1. See link to the Comparison of Canadian SRI Companies

© Copyright 2014 Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P. All rights reserved | Northwest Funds, NEI Investments and Ethical Funds are divisions of Northwest & Ethical Investments L.P
1 Based on the retail mutual funds market share as per Canadian Socially Responsible Investment Review 2010 (Appendix C). Also see link to Comparison Canadian SRI Companies.