Desjardins Group reports on contribution to SDGs

The finance co-op has made commitments on climate change and is supporting community projects

Canadian co-op Desjardins Group has published its 15th social and co-operative responsibility report, which looks at its contribution to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The group – the largest federation of credit unions in North America – published the report alongside its financial results, and says that in 2018 it returned CA$389m (£221.91m) to members and communities.

And in 2017 Desjardins created $100m (£57.05m) fund through to 2019 which can be used to support development projects that benefit people, communities and regions. Part of the fund also targets national initiatives.

The report also explores Desjardins’ contribution to the Paris Agreement to reduce its carbon footprint and adapt to climate change. The co-op is working with Hydro-Québec and AddEnergie to install 200 new charging stations across its caisse network by 2021.

It has also pledged that by 2020, the carbon footprint of its investments in publicly traded securities is 25% lower than the average of the companies that make up the stock and bond market indices.

As of December 31, 2018, Desjardins has invested $1.1bn (£0.63bn) and financed CA $1.2bn (£0.68bn) in renewables.

Related: Conference explores co-op contribution to the SDGs

To address paper waste, the co-op launched the Paper Challenge, setting two objectives for the 2015–2018 period: to reduce paper consumption by 10% and increase our use of recycled paper by the same percentage.

“This social and co-operative responsibility report makes me particularly proud of our achievements and our commitment to always do what’s best for our members and clients,” said president and CEO Guy Cormier. “This represents a profound change that we will continue to effect in all spheres of activity.”

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