Launched in 2020, the SIP is the fruit of close collaboration between the John Molson School of Business and Manulife Investment Management (MIM). As a global leader in sustainable investing, MIM’s vision fit closely with Concordia’s aspiration to deliver a next-generation education that’s connected, transformative, and fit for the times. Under the supervision of the SIP director and senior members of MIM, the selected students will have the opportunity to manage a $2 million-dollar virtual equity fund allocated by MIM with the explicit mandate of integrating ESG factors into the stock selection process.
Sustainable or responsible investing was a “fringe” concept adopted by a few mutual funds in the early 1980s. Today, sustainable investing has transformed the investment industry in ways that were unforeseeable even a few years ago. Today, there are thousands of mutual and exchange-traded funds applying some variant of sustainable investing, often referred to as an investment approach that integrates environmental, social & governance (ESG) risks & opportunities into the investment strategy.
Sustainable investing mandates are now widely sought by public pension funds, retirement plans, sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, universities, foundations, and other asset owners. Most Wall Street and Bay Street firms now offer sustainable financial products to their retail and institutional clients. During the past decade, sustainable assets under management have grown twice as fast as conventional assets under management, and approximately 25% of investments in the US are now subject to some form of sustainable investing mandate. That amounts to $12 trillion under management in the United States and $2.1 trillion in Canada alone, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance’s 2018 report. In total, GSIA estimated that there are $30 trillion under management globally in 2018.
Not only has the industry expanded in scale but also in scope, undergoing an evolution in its investment approach that has taken it from negative to positive screening and ultimately to full integration of ESG factors in the investment process.