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VCIM releases Shareholder Advocacy Report

TERRITORIES OF MUSQUEAM, SQUAMISH AND TSLEIL-WAUTUTH NATIONS and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vancity Investment Management (VCIM), a Canadian leader in socially responsible investing, issued its annual Shareholder Engagement Report (VCIM Report) today highlighting a year of complex work in shareholder advocacy.

VCIM's engagement work is rooted in the conviction that shareholders have power to actively press companies to a fairer and more sustainable future ? and that is reflected in numerous achievements highlighted in the report. When VCIM invests on behalf of its members, it doesn't remain a passive observer; instead, it proactively leverages its influence as a conscientious shareholder. This approach ensures that the companies in its portfolio not only reflect the values and goals of its members, but also take meaningful steps to address the broader societal and environmental impacts they generate.

VCIM's shareholder engagement efforts range from climate and energy to governance and labour practices. In a very active year, VCIM played a major role in a number of engagements including pressing Costco to address biodiversity loss in their supply chains, asking Canada's big banks for greater transparency in their CEO-to-worker wage ratios, and supporting one of North America's largest lumber producers in its efforts to transition equitably to a low-carbon economy.

"When we invest in a company on behalf of our members, we don't just buy shares we acquire a voice," said Nez Aquino, Interim President and CEO of Vancity Group. "Driven by our vision of a transformed economy that protects the earth and guarantees equity for all, we use our voice to urge companies to improve their practices while creating sustainable, long-term value for our members."

Snapshot of companies engaged by Vancity Investment Management in 2023:

Costco: Requested the company to map its supply chain and report on the risks associated with biodiversity loss. More details here.

CIBC, RBC and TD: Requested banks disclose their CEO-to-median-worker pay ratio. The purpose is to obtain data that shows how the value generated across each bank is distributed to ensure that it is not only accumulating at the top. In 2022, because of VCIM engagement, Scotiabank agreed to publish their CEO-to-median-worker pay ratio. More details here.

West Fraser Timber and Canadian Pacific Kansas City (formerly CP): Engaging both companies to implement governance frameworks that prioritize climate, develop, and implement net-zero strategies, and set measurable and sector-relevant targets.

VCIM's Shareholder Engagement Report shares details of how multinational corporation, Costco, is on track to fulfill its commitment on biodiversity dependencies and an impact assessment on a pilot supply chain by the end of 2024 -- progress resulting directly from VCIM's engagement, in collaboration with the Taskforce for Nature Related Financial Disclosures.

VCIM's work in shareholder engagement is a collaborative process. Working with Climate Engagement Canada (CEC), an initiative focused on Canada's largest greenhouse gas emitters, VCIM led actions with CP Rail, now Canadian Pacific Kansas City, and forest giant West Fraser to support these companies in implementing net-zero strategies, disclosing emissions data, and aligning their operations with the Paris Agreement.

"The choices businesses make have a huge influence on people's lives," said Kelly Hirsch, VCIM's Head of ESG. "When we invest on behalf of our members, we don't observe from the sidelines, we engage companies to improve their business practices, champion responsible environmental stewardship, and uphold social responsibility."

VCIM continues to lead the way in working to create an inclusive economy in Canada, putting people and the planet at the centre of its engagement work.

To learn more about how VCIM focuses on investments that deliver competitive returns while making a positive impact on the world, read the full VCIM Engagement Report.

About Vancity Investment Management

Vancity Investment Management (VCIM) provides management services to individuals, foundations and institutions across Canada that wish to generate wealth through sustainable, profitable, and responsible investments. Established in 1995, it was one of the first wealth management firms in Canada to provide investments that deliver competitive returns while making a positive impact on the world. VCIM is part of the Vancity Group that includes Vancity, a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 560,000 member owners and their communities. With $34 billion in assets, plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada's largest community credit union. VCIM and Vancity operate primarily within the territories of the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka'wakw people in British Columbia.

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