A New Way To Look At Sustainable Investing

It’s not often we can equate green and sustainable business practices with the oil and gas sector but at a recent leadership summit I had the pleasure to hear Imaginea Energy founder Suzanne West share her ambitious vision to ‘green’ the oil business.

Ms. West attended Richard Branson’s leadership gathering at Necker Island where she conceived the idea to create a new kind of oil company to produce great profits and not wreck the planet at the same time. Suzanne’s declaration at the end of the leadership gathering: “I’m going home to change my industry”.

The dream: Hydrocarbons will be produced without emissions, without pollution and without the use of fresh water.

While Imaginea is not a publicly traded company, more and more investors want to align their investments with companies that share the same principles of People, Profit, and Planet.

Sustainable investing

Sustainable investing, or socially responsible investing, is something on the mind of many investors today. They’re concerned about the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects of economic activities. Until now, ESG research and tools have been limited to institutional investors; however research shows that retail investors increasingly want to incorporate these considerations into their investment decisions.

With that in mind, Scotia iTRADE has launched Canada’s first sustainable investing tool for direct investors.

ESG criteria and scores are embedded into screeners, research reports, and individual company fundamental data – with coverage on 1,200+ mid-to-large cap North American stocks.

The aim is to provide clients with actionable investing ideas that include positive view on the company’s societal and environmental impact.

Also read: Millennial investors looking for ‘companies that are doing good’

These tools provide an additional layer of criteria for investors to consider when making trade and investment decisions, and empowers those who want to consider social values when investing.

Other sustainable investing benefits you may consider:

  • A sustainable investing tool that provides research on individual companies could help generate investment ideas and make investment decisions.
  • These research tools may help investors identify companies with superior ESG risk management as they may generally be likely to have lower cost of capital.
  • Direct investors now have the ability to align their portfolio to their values and not just to the financial value.

Scotia iTrade has added new criteria to existing screens, including:

  • Overall ESG performance
  • Controversies (5 point involvement scale)
  • Environmental: Climate Change, Natural Resources
  • Social: Business and Human Rights, Gender and Diversity
  • Governance: Bribery and Corruption, Business Ethics


  • Oil Sands, Thermal Coal, Controversial Weapons, Military Weapons
  • Alcohol, Gambling, Nuclear, Pesticides, Tobacco, Animal Testing
  • 5 point involvement scale

ScotiaiTRADE ESG Sustainable Investing

Final thoughts

The world of investing is changing for the better with more individuals and companies linking sustainability efforts with the long-term health of organizations and the economy as a whole.

It’s possible to build an investment portfolio while also doing good things with respect to people and planet.

With the launch of sustainable investing ratings, research, and tools, Scotia iTrade will give its clients the opportunity to align their investment portfolio with their values.

Learn more about sustainable investing at ScotiaiTrade.com where you can also download a white paper authored by Sustainalytics that dives into more details about ESG ratings and the methodology behind the research tools.

This post has been brought to you in partnership with Scotia iTRADE. All thoughts and opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Scotia.

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