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Vancity Responds To The Demand For Divestment From Fossil Fuels

Jun 05, 2015

Divestment from fossil fuels is a growing financial trend and one credit union in Canada is finally responding. Vancity just announced that its IA Clarington Inhance Global Equity SRI class fund is dropping all of its fossil fuel companies, making it the only 100% fossil-free mutual fund in Canada.

As Vancity Chief Operating Officer Rick Sielski explains, “[Vancity’s] members have been asking for something like this for a while now.” This announcement comes in response not only from demand by Vancity members, but also due to an assessment of the risks and returns of fossil fuel investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated, but based on fund performance to date, the IA Clarington Inhance Global Equity SRI class fund has provided a return ranging from 14.31%-24.45% over a 5 year period.

Vancity is in good company with this announcement. The divestment movement has gained support around the world as major institutions have come out in support of the movement. Norway’s parliament has formally endorsed the move to sell off coal investments from its $900bn sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest. Colleges and Universities including Stanford, cities such as Seattle and Orebro, Sweden, religious institutions such as the United Church of Christ and the World Council of Churches, and institutions such as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund have all committed to fossil fuel divestment. 

Member demand was one reason that Vancity's COO confirmed the move, encouraging all of us to be more vocal with our own institutions. 

To read the original story on Vancity from the Vancouver Sun, click here:

To find out more about the global divestment movement, check out gofossilfree.org or 350.org