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Most sustainable investment funds in Canada outperformed during the market sell-off earlier this year, a report from Morningstar Research Inc. says.

In a report released Monday, the research firm said the majority of “intentionally sustainable” funds outpaced other funds in the first quarter, when markets fell dramatically in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of mutual funds and ETFs placed in the top half of peers within each Morningstar category, the report said.

Funds with a global equity mandate performed best, with all of them ranking in the top half. The majority of managers with Canadian equity mandates, on the other hand, performed worse than their peers.

The report noted that “not nearly enough data is available to make a concerted conclusion.”

Sustainable funds in Canada also saw significant inflows in the first quarter, the report said, outpacing the total for all of last year.

The report includes environmental, social and governance funds, impact funds, and environmental sector funds under the sustainable investment banner, per Morningstar’s framework. Definitions are included in the report.

There are 105 sustainable investment products available to retail investors in Canada, Morningstar said.