Report: Canadians Who Divested Fossil Fuels Three Years Ago Dispel Myth That Sustainable Investments Underperform

Fossil free investments perform at par with conventional investments

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 21, 2016) - Dispelling the myth that sustainable investing comes with sacrifices to investors' bottom lines, Genus Capital Management released today a Fossil Fuel Divestment Report, which shows that divesting from fossil fuels in 2013 would have produced stronger returns than global stock market indexes.

The fossil free funds highlighted in the report were developed in response to the fossil fuel divestment movement, which has grown substantially in recent years from its college campus roots into a global phenomenon. The report's data is based on three years of live performance results from the Genus Fossil Free CanGlobe Equity Fund, which excludes companies involved in the extraction, processing, storage and transportation of oil, gas and coal. The CanGlobe Equity Fund combines Canadian and international stocks to achieve a complete and fossil free fund.

"Divesting from fossil fuels no longer means investors have to sacrifice returns. In our changing world, fossil fuels are becoming less attractive to Canadians, both in terms of profitability and values," says Wayne Wachell, the CEO and chief investment officer of Genus Capital Management. "We developed Genus Fossil Free as an investment solution for those who wish to divest from fossil fuels and invest in a sustainable, clean energy future."

Genus Capital was the first investment management firm to develop a 100 per cent fossil free fund family for Canadian investors - allowing Canadians to completely divest from fossil fuels while reaping the same, and in some cases slightly higher, returns as conventional investments.

The Fossil Fuel Divestment Report also examines how Genus Fossil Free funds perform in practice when balancing a diversified blend of stock and bonds. The findings indicate that Genus institutional balanced portfolios outpaced their benchmark for the three-year period ending July 31, 2016. This further underscores that Genus' offerings can deliver investors superior risk adjusted performance across capital channels while providing positive environmental impact.

Known for developing innovative investment strategies for 25 years, Genus services some Canada's leading purpose-driven institutions and foundations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, one of Genus Fossil Free's early adopters.

The divest-invest movement encourages people and organizations to divest their holdings from fossil fuel companies and in turn invest in cleantech innovation with the goal of accelerating the adoption of renewable energy around the world in an attempt to reduce climate change.

People, universities, cities, pensions, environmentally conscious businesses, foundations, investment advisors and mission-based organizations around the world are divesting from fossil fuels to align investments with their values. Now, it also aligns with their bottom line. Genus Fossil Free funds exclude both fossil fuel companies as well as those that perform poorly on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

"Genus Capital considers sustainability across a wide range of negative and positive attributes, and we have found companies with terrible ESG scores tend to have greater stock risk," says J.P. Harrison, president of Genus Capital Management. "Product screens such as fossil fuels can also add safety since they sidestep issues like 'stranded asset risk,' if carbon reserves devalue prematurely."

Stranded asset risk is a growing concern in industries in which governments are keen to regulate or cap activity on. This includes, but is not limited to, fossil fuel companies.

For more information on the Genus Fossil Free, please visit their website.

To view or download the Fossil Fuel Divestment Report, click here.

Genus Fossil Free

The Genus Fossil Free funds' live performance results are substantiated by back-testing research going back almost 20 years. Both funds measured were developed using Genus' Total Equity approach, which combines Canadian and international funds together to emphasize the top industries in each region.

The five Genus Fossil Free (FF) funds are:

  • FF CanGlobe Equity: low-carbon, high-ESG Canadian and international stocks across the top industries in each region
  • FF High Impact Equity: more than 50 per cent stocks in renewable energy, water and waste management
  • FF Dividend Equity: low-carbon, low-risk Canadian and international stocks
  • FF Corporate Bonds: low-carbon, high-ESG Canadian corporate bonds
  • FF Government of Canada Bonds: Canadian government bonds

Other Canadian institutions that offer a fossil free fund:

  • Greenchip Financial: Global Equity Fund
  • Vancity Credit Union: IA Clarington Inhance Global Equity SRI Class
  • BMO: Fossil Fuel Free Fund

About Genus Capital Management

Genus Capital Management is an independent investment management firm based in Vancouver, founded in 1989. We are passionate about creating innovative investment solutions that meet our clients' changing needs. With more than $1.1 billion in assets under management, Genus' clients include leading environmental organizations, foundations, Indigenous communities, pensions and individuals across Canada. Today, Genus Capital is at the forefront of Canada's Divest-Invest movement with a complete suite of fossil fuel free funds that are tailored to meet the needs of investors who wish to invest in a sustainable, clean energy future.

Contact Information:

Genus Capital Management - Media Requests:
Melissa Orozco / Esther Tung
Media Relations
604 558 1656