Hot Topic: Impactful and Sustainable Investing with UBC Sauder’s Christie Stephenson
PODCAST July 19, 2018
Today’s episode is about sustainable and impactful investing. Mark interviews Christie Stephenson — the Executive Director of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre of Business Ethics at the UBC Sauder School of Business. Prior to UBC Sauder, she spent more than 15 years in key roles at socially responsible and impactful investing firms.
Statistics show that people care who they buy from and who they invest with. In this episode, Christie goes over the results of these statistics, explains what impact investing is, why we’re seeing a big push to sustainability, how companies would show they’re becoming more socially responsible, and how — as an investor — you would measure a company’s ethicality.
Christie is extremely passionate and excited to discuss this timely topic. She emphasizes that this shift for companies to rebrand and not only take from the environment, but give back, is crucial for companies to stay in business and have success in the future.
[:29] About today’s guest and topics of discussion.
[1:19] Does sustainable investing, impact investing, and responsible investing all fall under the same umbrella?
[2:58] What is impact investing?
[4:08] Is sustainable investing more focused on environmental changes?
[5:17] Is Christie seeing a big push to sustainability?
[7:11] The push for companies to be more responsible to stakeholders, the environment, and a greater social purpose.
[8:14] How would companies show more social responsibility?
[9:21] For example, how would an oil and gas company create a sustainable environment to stakeholders?
[11:55] Is Christie seeing an increase in high net worth individuals investing more in companies following these kinds of ethics?
[13:50] Should you be expecting a lower rate on your returns when you’re making an ethical investment?
[15:40] How do investors “score” or measure the ethicality of companies?
[18:00] How impact investing is very individual value-based.
[20:30] How long has the movement towards sustainable and ethical companies been around for?
[21:40] Resources and first steps a company could take to become more sustainable and impactful.
[25:55] Does Christie see it becoming a criteria for all companies in the future to be responsive to society in order to become a successful business in this world?
[28:53] Will some companies in the future just be making this shift to build their brand or does it matter because it is having a positive impact regardless? Does the motive matter?
[30:23] Why has this shift been happening?
[31:11] Has internet and social media made it harder for companies not to be making this shift?
[32:14] Is there anything about all this that could have a negative effect?
[33:16] Christie’s optimistic outlook on this shift and the current changes Mark has seen in companies.
[36:00] How an individual investor can learn about impactful and sustainable companies.
Mentioned in this Episode:
Christie Stephenson is the Executive Director of the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics at the UBC Sauder School of Business. Prior to joining UBC Sauder, she spent more than 15 years in key roles at socially responsible and impact investing firms including Sustainalytics, NEI Investments (Ethical Funds) and Purpose Capital. She previously worked in politics, government and the non-profit sector.
Christie has more than two decades of diverse board experience, having served as a director of cooperatives, non-profit organizations and private companies. She currently serves as a corporate reporting judge for the Chartered Professional Accounts of Canada, a governance committee member at BlueShore Financial and a director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice and Philippe Kirsch Institute.
She has an undergraduate degree from University of Victoria and a graduate degree from McGill University.
About Your Host — Mark Therriault
Mark is the Financial Advisor and partner of Nicola Wealth Management — and your host for The Wealth Management podcast.
As a member of the NWM Planning Team since 2006, Mark has become his clients’ trusted advisor. He prides himself on providing an exceptional experience to his clients while quarterbacking their financial affairs.
Mark earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Finance from the University of Calgary. He went on to secure his CFP designation and also completed the CIM, CSC, the B.C. Life Insurance License.
This presentation contains the current opinions of the presenter and such opinions are subject to change without notice. This material is distributed for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, accounting, tax or specific investment advice. Please speak to your NWM Advisor regarding your unique situation. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein are based upon proprietary research and should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. NWM fund returns are quoted net of fund-level expenses. Past performance is not indicative of future results. All investments contain risk and may gain or lose value. Projected returns are estimates only. Returns are not guaranteed. NWM is registered as a Portfolio Manager, Exempt Market Dealer and Investment Fund Manager with the required provincial securities’ commissions in Canada.