Sustainable investing involves an analysis beyond short-term profits, favoring instead factors that support long-term value creation. Consistent with our investment philosophy as long-term investors in high-quality businesses, we integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into fundamental investment analysis. We believe a company’s ESG policies and track record are likely to be a helpful lens through which to gauge quality, furthering our ability to invest in the most sound companies.
Sustainable investing at Jarislowsky Fraser involves the following:
• Integrating ESG risks and opportunities into investment decisions;
• Taking a long-term view;
• Being engaged investors and demanding high-quality business practices.
Our approach is pragmatic and ultimately about identifying and investing in high quality businesses, which is core to our mission of delivering low risk growth of capital.
Download “ESG Investing: Increasingly a Mainstream Investment Practice” to learn more.
As the world around us changes and issues that impact it continue to evolve, we use the following principles to guide our investment process:
#1 - Integrate the analysis of material ESG factors in our investment decisions. At Jarislowsky Fraser, ESG information is integrated into our bottom up fundamental analysis. ESG factors that are material to the investment prospects are discussed in industry reviews, as well as covered in individual company reports. Proprietary tools, such as our Business Practice Scorecard and Portfolio ESG Scorecard, ensure this is done systematically.
#2 – Take an engaged ownership approach. Acting as long-term stewards is our fiduciary duty and can be an opportunity to add value for shareholders. We seek constructive engagement with company management, and in some cases with Boards of Directors, on material business concerns including ESG issues. We believe that Jarislowsky Fraser has historically been viewed as a credible shareholder from whom managements seek counsel. This is further reinforced in our proxy voting decision-making:
Proxy voting is fully integrated into our investment process;
Our global investment team meets to consider each proxy;
Decisions are made in-house by the investment professionals.
#3 - Encourage disclosure of information that is relevant to the analysis of material ESG factors by companies and stakeholders where commercially reasonable. We value management candor and believe that transparency and accountability contributes to the quality and ethics of a company and can drive excellence.
#4 - Collaborate with other organizations in order to advance sustainable investment practices for the benefit of all stakeholders. See below for a listing of key associations.
Click here for a copy of our Sustainable Investment Policy.
We incorporate ESG considerations into quality assessments across all of our mandates. For clients with specific values-based restrictions, or other investment policy considerations, Jarislowsky Fraser offers a tailored approach to meet their needs. We manage approximately $3 billion on behalf of clients with a variety of unique values based restrictions. Illustrative mandates include “low carbon” and “religious values”.
Core to our approach is a belief that accountability and transparency drive outperformance. Consistent with that philosophy, we would highlight the following:
We will work with clients to develop reporting according to their needs, which may include carbon footprint analysis as well as other ESG elements.
The firm has a Sustainable Investment Committee to assist with the coordination of sustainable investing activities and the development of ESG tools across the firm.
Principles for Responsible Investment – We are signatory to the PRI, an international network of investors working together to put the six Principles of Responsible Investment into practice. We were a featured speaker at the PRI 10-year Anniversary Series: Innovations for a Sustainable Financial System.
Canadian Coalition for Good Governance – In 2003, Stephen Jarislowsky co-founded the CCGG to promote good governance practices in the companies owned by its members. Currently, CCGG members together manage more than $3 trillion in assets on behalf of Canadian investors.
CDP (Formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) – In 2007, Jarislowsky Fraser became a CDP signatory to show support for increased corporate environmental public disclosure and behavior change. We believe that measuring, managing, and disclosing environmental indicators is essential to a company’s management of these as both material risks and opportunities.
Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights – The Jarislowsky Foundation has helped found and fund FAIR Canada. The mission of FAIR is to be a national voice for investors in securities regulation and a catalyst for enhancing the rights of Canadian shareholders and individual investors.
Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings – We were a founding member of the Steering Committee. GISR's mission is to design and steward a global sustainability (ESG) ratings standard to expand and accelerate the contribution of business and other organizations worldwide to sustainable development.
Institute for Governance of Public and Private Organizations – In 2005, Jarislowsky Fraser was a founding member of the IGOPP. The IGOPP is committed to improving governance in the private and public sectors.
Canada Contact: Mark Fattedad, CFA
Director & Portfolio Manager, Institutional Management
Tel: 604.676.3612 | firstname.lastname@example.org
US Contact: Dario Mazzarello, CFA
Managing Director, Head, Institutional Management – US & International
Tel: 514.842.2727 | email@example.com
Insights & Articles
Valuing Decent Work – How Do Canadian Consumer Goods Manufacturing Companies Measure Up? The goal of this report is to increase the visibility of human capital as an investor consideration and identify possible areas where Canadian companies can improve their disclosure practices to better communicate how they are valuing this important asset.
The Future of Sustainability Reporting. Final installment of the Canada 2030 Series. This report elucidates issues and considerations for reporting sustainability (published by The Conference Board of Canada).
The Defining Forces Disrupting Business. Part 2 of the Canada 2030 Series. Disruption is the overarching trend, with trend lines pointing to greater and more diverse disruption across all sectors. The ten key forces that will have profound implications for investors and businesses operating in Canada have been identified (published by the Conference Board of Canada).
Embedding Sustainability Into Corporate Governance. First installment of the Canada 2030 Series. This research lays out the emerging toolkit that Board of Directors can use to adopt best practices in sustainability governance (published by The Conference Board of Canada).
The Science and Art of High Quality Investing An illustration of critical qualitative and quantitative factors used to identify companies likely to sustain high quality attributes over the long term (published in the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance).
ICD Québec - Executive Compensation: Rethinking the Model Montréal, Québec| Decembre 6, 2018
PRI - Colloque québécois de l'investissement responsable 2018 Montréal, Québec | November 20, 2018
CFA Society Toronto & ICD Ontario: (GTA) Climate Change: Investor Perspectives and the Board's Responsibility Toronto, Ontario | October 23, 2018
Thomson Reuters - Finance & Risk Summit: The ESG Evolution: From Niche to Mainstream? Toronto, Ontario | September 24, 2018
Oversight of Environmental and Social Risks at Mining Companies: Perspectives from Investors and Directors Toronto, Ontario | March 4, 2019
Investing for Long-Term Return Miami, Florida | April 1, 2019
Board Shareholder Engagement Toronto, Ontario | April 11, 2019
Ceres Blueprint for Sustainable Investing This article aims to guide the institutional investor along the path of sustainable investing.