On March 20th, the BCSEA Kamloops Chapter hosted an event called The Power of Sustainable Investing, in partnership with Transition Kamloops, Thompson Rivers University Sustainability Office and the speaker, Tim Nash. The session was highly informative, generating interest, excitement, and engaging discussion. The 35 minutes talk (PowerPoint slides attached below), was followed by an equally well-received half an hour of Q&A. About half of the seventy attendees stayed for a break-out session. Tim skyped in from Toronto and we’re delighted to be able to share the video with our readers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY-GbhMc-QI
Some of the highlights of Nash’s talk included:
- How to shift our investments away from sectors that we don’t want to support (oil, gas and pipelines, for instance) and towards sectors that we do want to support (clean energy, for instance).
- Why our personal carbon footprint includes an investment component, since we’re a part owner of the companies that we invest in. ‘The average Canadian investor does more climate damage with their investment portfolio than they do with all other actions in their daily lives combined.’ (CoPower) How we invest becomes another tool for climate action.
- For those with an interest in sustainable/green investing, the concepts and tools discussed included the ESG system (environmental, social and governance), the Jantzi Social Index, and Lending Loop (peer-to-peer financing).
- An explanation of Green and Ethical ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), including mention of a few prominent ones available, and of basic concepts such as rules-of-thumb for portfolio balance based on age until retirement, and fees or MER (management expense ratio). For example, we heard about typical fee ranges for mutual funds (often high up to 2.25%), ETFs (1% and lower), self-directed investment accounts (very low fees), and one-on-one investment advisors.
- A few specific products were mentioned, including CoPower Green Bonds (5% return), and Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners (6% dividend), supporting the speaker’s assertion that sustainable investing can match the returns of traditional investing.
Many thanks to Tim Nash for a fascinating presentation! Most of us were new to this topic and we came away feeling hopeful and inspired about the power of green and ethical investing: It can be done, so here’s to seeing more of it happen in the near future.
Please find the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY-GbhMc-QI