Desjardins adopts ban on single-use plastics

Desjardins Group has adopted an organization-wide ban on the purchase of disposable plastic products such as water bottles, cups, stir sticks and straws.

Its part of a larger initiative at the company to reduce its carbon footprint, invest in renewable energy projects, apply environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to promote community-friendly financing and provide support to members and clients who are also adopting greener practices.

“Desjardins continues to work towards a low- carbon economy,” group CEO Guy Cormier said.

“An organization-wide ban on single-use plastics is an easy and practical way to reduce our carbon footprint. We encourage businesses and citizens to join in and make a difference.”

Over the past year, it began the installation of 200 electric car-charging stations across Quebec and eastern Ontario by 2021 — primarily on caisse properties — and it expanded the Desjardins line of responsible investment products. Desjardins said it has been stepping up the incorporation of ESG criteria into its business decisions.

It has adopted several measures to promote environmentally sound and community-friendly financing:

# An ESG steering committee — supported by a team of experts — will analyze the environmental, social and governance issues and advise senior management and the Desjardins board of directors;

# Along with new analytical tools and training, Desjardins launched a community of practice for professionals to study ESG topics in business decisions and educate internal teams, and

# Climate risk is now part of Desjardins Group’s overall all risk analysis and financial disclosure, further to the recommendations of the task force on climate-related financial disclosure issued by the G20 Financial Stability Board.

(For more independent coverage of Canadian and international p&c industry news, please choose the ‘Subscribe’ tab on our main page or email