Central 1 is recognized for its leadership in the inclusion of social, environmental and governance factors in its investment strategies.

Vancouver, B.C./Toronto, On. March 6, 2024 – Central 1 — a leading financial services provider and primary liquidity provider to Canada’s credit unions and financial institutions — is pleased to announce that it has achieved a score of over 70 per cent across all categories in an annual assessment, led by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the world’s leading proponent for responsible investment. Surpassing the average score by more than 15 per cent in three categories among all PRI signatories, this performance underscores Central 1’s commitment to excellence in responsible investment practices.

Supported by the United Nations, the PRI is a global voluntary sustainability initiative led by over 5,300 corporate signatories in 135 countries. As a PRI signatory since 2018, Central 1 is required to report annually on its responsible investment activities. This obligation is part of Central 1’s commitment to uphold the PRI’s six principles for responsible investment, which were developed by an international group of institutional investors.

“Central 1’s commitment to responsible investment is a cornerstone of our decision-making process for every investment we undertake,” said Brent Clode, Chief Investment Officer, Central 1. “The PRI annual assessment helps us understand how Central 1’s incorporation of environmental, social and governance factors in our investment strategies compares to global peers. However, most importantly, it provides valuable insights into how we can increase our actions to continue to maximize positive impact and financial growth for our credit union and financial institution clients. We are proud to be a PRI signatory and part of the international collective dedicated to developing a more sustainable global financial system.”

Central 1 is focused on increasing its holdings in green, sustainable and social impact investments. This is guided by a responsible investment approach that includes ESG analysis, screening and integration strategies to direct funds into securities and companies for credit unions. In 2023, Central 1 allocated 16 per cent of its investments to this focus area, surpassing the organization’s target of five per cent.

About the PRI 2023 Assessment Report

The table below explains the categories in which Central 1 was assessed and how it compares to the PRI median score. The median score is calculated based on the reports submitted by all PRI signatories.

Category About the category Central 1 score PRI median score
Policy Governance and Strategy This category relates to a PRI signatory’s leadership in its guidelines for evaluating environmental, social, and governance factors, including criteria for exclusions and the articulation of policies and tactics for meaningful engagement. 72% 55%
Confidence Building Measures This category relates to a PRI signatory’s approach in the review and/or verification of data reported to PRI. 80% 80%
Direct – Fixed Income This category scores a PRI signatory’s overall responsible investment approach for fixed-income investments. This includes a review of its pre-investment activities including the due diligence to assess ESG risks encountered by the organization’s counterparties. Also, post-investment, how the signatory proactively manages risk by addressing and mitigating identified risks, primarily through engagement with counterparties Direct – Fixed Income – SSA 82% 59%
Direct – Fixed Income – Corporate 82% 72%
Direct – Fixed Income – Securitized 78% 52%

 

Examples of Central 1’s responsible investment activities: 

  • Member of the Canadian Bond Investor’s Association’s ESG Working Group since 2019: As an active participant in this ESG working group, Central 1 advocates for more transparent ESG disclosure across the Canadian financial ecosystem. 
  • Investing in Ukraine Sovereignty Bond: Central 1 continues to invest in the Government of Canada’s Ukraine Sovereignty Bond to support the Government of Ukraine in providing essential services to Ukrainians, building on its $5 million investment in December 2022. 
  • Member of the Responsible Investment Association and a signatory, since 2020 of the Canadian Investor Statement on Diversity & Inclusion statement 
  • The completion of Certificate in ESG Investing (CFA Institute) by Central 1’s Asset management team to better incorporate ESG factors into the investment decision-making process.  
  • Investing in Bank of Montreal’s Inaugural Women in Business Bond Offering, with proceeds allocated to women-owned business lending and financing, including micro-, small-, and medium-sized businesses. 

For more information about how Central 1 is leading the way on responsible investment, visit Responsible Investment – Central 1 Credit Union 

To view the PRI full 2023 Assessment Report, visit UN PRI’s Data portal  

About Central 1  

Central 1 cooperatively empowers credit unions and other financial institutions who deliver banking choice to Canadians. With assets of $10.9 billion as of September 30, 2023, Central 1 provides critical services at scale to enable a thriving credit union system. We do this by collaborating with our clients, developing strategies, products, and services to support the financial well-being of their more than five million diverse customers in communities across Canada. For more information, visit www.central1.com. 

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Media Contact  

Yuan Li, Senior Communications Specialist, Central 1 
E: yuan.li@central1.com 

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