Sustainability
Policy

Our sustainability policy

Our commitment

We demonstrate our commitment in the following ways:

  • Offering a wide range of sustainable investment, and being transparent with our clients about the net impact of their investments on the planet.
  • Operating our business with as little impact as possible on the environment.
  • Enabling clients to align their investments with their values.
  • Empowering our employees to reduce their environmental footprint, and make a difference in the community to causes that matter most to them.
  • Embracing and promoting diversity on our team.
  • Educating Canadians on how their investments can be used to promote sustainability and ultimately protect our planet.

At Genus, we commit to continually improve our efforts to reduce negative impacts on people and the environment, while increasing our positive impact by re-allocating investments to organizations that benefit the world.

Sustainable investment philosophy

We are signatories of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and have committed to the six principles of Responsible Investment. We commit to helping our clients make better investment decisions through an improved understanding of sustainability.

We are a member of the Responsible Investment Association, an associate member of the Shareholder Association for Research and Education, and a signatory to the Montreal Carbon Pledge and the Carbon Disclosure Project.

We are home to some of Canada’s first fossil free pooled funds, and offer one of the broadest range of fossil free funds and Impact Investing options. Our Fossil FreeTM funds contain zero fossil fuel reserves and our Fossil Free equity funds strive to keep carbon emissions intensity 70% lower than the weighted market average.

Our Fossil Free funds screen out fossil fuel industries (companies that extract, process, or transport fossil fuels), high carbon intensity, controversial products (tobacco or gambling), low overall ESG scores, and companies with widespread or very harmful controversies.

We integrate sustainability metrics into our models, and continually look for new ways to add returns through sustainable investing.

Operations

We are a proud B Corp, committed to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Genus scored 88.8 out of 200 on its impact assessment, compared to a median of 50 out of 200 with similar companies.

We prioritize doing business with fellow B Corps and using business as a force for good.

We moved our head office to an LEED® Gold Certified building to improve energy efficiency.

We are actively supporting the growth of the renewable energy sector by partnering with Bullfrog Power to bring more renewable energy onto the grid.

We promote the purchasing of electric vehicles by providing our employees with up to $500 a month.

We have created the Genus Green Team who promotes reducing our carbon footprint. Our team takes recycling seriously. We use as little paper as possible, and recycle food and material waste. We also purchase the greenest office supplies on the market.

Employees

We are an employee-owned business. Over one third of our employees are shareholders and our company overall is over 50% women-owned.

We encourage employees to make a ‘Sustainable Commuting Commitment’ to travel by bike, foot, or public transport. We also encourage them to work from home when needed. Our head office has a high walk score, and we cover costs for bus passes and community bike usage. We have bike racks and shower facilities on site.

Our employees are given five paid volunteer days per year to make a difference in the local community. We also match the charitable donations of employees up to $500 each year.

Our employees are given their birthdays as a vacation day, on top of their holiday allowance. We also allow our team to take up to an additional two weeks of unpaid vacation each year to recharge.

There are fitness facilities on site and we provide employees with healthy snacks.

We keep employees informed on our environmental commitments and provide resources on how to live and work more sustainably.

Clients

We educate our clients on aligning their investments with their values.

We enable investors to become Impact Investors. We launched one of Canada’s first impact investment counsel services, by partnering with SVX (an impact investment platform), to activate more assets for impact investing.

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to help clients determine and articulate their investment objectives. We also include the SDG framework in our clients’ Investment Policy Statements, and have developed a new SDG reporting framework.

We host regular seminars and provide resources to clients on how they can invest sustainably.

General Public

We conduct research on sustainable investment approaches and performance. These reports show that clients can invest in a sustainable future without sacrificing return potential.

We have a dedicated communications program to educate the public on sustainable investing options and to promote sustainable living.

Interested in investing in a sustainable way?

Client impact

“Graduating from a big bank to Genus was one of the best financial steps we've ever taken. Genus has delivered reliable asset growth despite our moderate risk tolerance. As our financial security has grown, we've also been the beneficiaries of a great client experience. The company's communications have been consistently transparent and informative, including educational webinars and a well-designed web portal where we can track investments daily. Most importantly to us, our portfolio manager has always responded swiftly and thoroughly to our questions and requests. ”
Martin T.
"Having relatively diverse financial goals and needs, along with a slight reticence regarding the stock market, Genus skillfully addressed all of our concerns, and put together a truly exceptional plan: Fossil free funds and a diversified investment portfolio, check; An effective Impact investment portfolio that coincides with our hopes and dreams for a better world, check; Professional advice and assistance to create a donor advised charitable fund with immediate charitable receipts for tax purposes, check. Returns? Way beyond our expectations! We even had some fun along the way and certainly enjoyed an incredible two-year start to what will be a satisfying long-term relationship with Genus."
Marc B.
“I love the service I get at Genus.”
Chris H.
“Leslie and I were fellow board members when we met twenty years ago. For the last ten she has been thoughtful in the construction of an investment strategy for my family and is executing the strategy as planned. The team at Genus has met my expectations and are a pleasure to deal with.”
Bob Q.
“For over 15 years, I have provided selection and performance evaluation of multiple investment managers for a significant family office. Leslie and Genus have been foundational for me in my role. I have always found Leslie and her colleagues to be insightful and proactive, and found the performance of their portion of the portfolio to be well above benchmarks. And they have been a great pleasure to work with.”
Douglas H.
“Genus is a very innovative firm. I am pleased to invest in their Fossil Free and Impact strategies that help me invest in line with my values.”
Marnie C.
“Great team of professionals. Excellent website and reporting. Responds to inquiries promptly. Very pleased with the process of changing from another company to Genus as well. Kudos.”
David L.
“Genus consistently provides a good, clearly explained, comprehensive picture of the general economic and financial situation, along with an excellent account of the investment decisions made in relation to this. Genus’ equally strong concern with clients’ questions and requests for further information is also a very important part of the service it provides.”
Allan S.
“Back in 1992 when I found myself at fifty with a substantial amount of money to invest, I knew just one thing — that I didn’t want to contribute to tobacco companies, arms manufacturers, or oil. But over the ensuing years the options for socially responsible investing have become far more sophisticated and I’m very happy that this is a big part of the Genus approach. I also very much appreciate the long-term relationship with my portfolio manager, Mary Lou.”
Ann P.

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