AGF Investments Inc. and the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), both based in Toronto, announced on Thursday that AGF Global Sustainable Growth Equity Fund is the first Canadian mutual fund to disclose its environmental footprint publicly.
Specifically, the impact that the fund’s investments have on a range of environmental factors — including carbon emissions, greenhouse gases and various pollutants — will be made public.
Although this disclosure is new, AGF Global Sustainable Growth Equity Fund has been in place since 1991 and aims to invest in firms that fit the fund’s concept of sustainable development. As of Aug. 31, it had $45.4 million in net assets under management and a management expense ratio of 3.22%.
Specifically, the fund looks for companies that fit within four themes: energy and power technologies; water or waste water solutions; waste management and pollution control; and environmental health and safety. The fund avoids investing in sectors such as fossil fuel producers.
AGF has retained the services of Trucost PLC, which is based in London, U.K. to provide the new environmental disclosure. Trucost analyzes and quantifies an investment’s impact on natural capital such as water and land use, allowing investors to understand the environmental risk in business terms, according to the company’s website.
“Given the solutions-based focus of our mandate, we are keenly interested in tools that help us understand and improve the portfolio’s environmental footprint,” says Martin Grosskopf, vice president and lead portfolio manager with AGF, in a statement. “We expect the portfolio holdings to be focused on solutions with inherent environmental advantages, while also being open to improving their footprint.”
Responsible investors are seeking this type of disclosure in order to understand how their investment dollars are affecting the environment, says Deb Abbey, CEO of the RIA, in a statement.
“There is much work to be done to ensure that we are managing climate risk. What gets measured, gets managed,” she adds. “Environmental disclosure is a key part of the solution for investors, so we are pleased to confirm that AGF Global Sustainable Growth Equity is the first mutual fund in Canada to publicly disclose its environmental footprint and we congratulate the managers for doing so.”
The environmental disclosure is made available on a quarterly basis through the firm’s online description of the fund.