From the linear economy to the circular economy


Responsible investment (RI) represents 50.6% of Canada's investment industrynote1.

Our economy is based on a linear model of production and consumption. This model has now reached its limit:

Linear economic model

The extraction of non-renewable resources is becoming increasingly difficult, onerous and damaging to the environment. Currently, only 19% of residual materials are recycled or composted worldwidenote2. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 85% of Canadians say they are concerned about waste managementnote3.

Circular economic model

To achieve a sustainable balance, the world’s economy must shift to a circular model that fosters lower resource extraction, optimized resource use, and the reuse, reconditioning and recycling of consumed products.

Companies that are part of the solution

Many of the companies included in Desjardins Sustainable RI funds are working on their own solutions to these challenges. For example, some of them are developing circular production processes (ecodesign), while others are recycling or reclaiming waste materials.

Ecodesign and circular design

Company: Lenzingnote3

Lenzing manufactures textile products from cellulose derived from trees.

In addition to using less water and chemical additives compared to cotton production, Lenzing’s closed-loop production process does not generate waste. The company uses 100% of its harvested timber. A portion of the production residue is biorefined and used by the agri-food industry, while the rest is used as an energy source for Lenzing’s facilities. Finally, its fibres are certified as fully compostable.

This company is part of:

Desjardins Sustainable Cleantech Fund

Recycling and reclamation

Company: Trexnote3

Trex manufactures and distributes construction materials for composite wood decks.

The company uses recycled wood fibre and plastic waste (bags and plastic wrap) and is one of the largest plastic recyclers in the United States. Sustainability is an integral part of the company’s business model. Trex aims to reduce resource use while capitalizing on the financial advantages of its low input costs.

This company is part of:

Desjardins Sustainable American Equity Fund


Company: Waste Connectionsnote3

Waste Connections specializes in the collection and treatment of waste and recyclable materials in Canada and the United States.

The company develops technologies for capturing gas from landfills. Thanks to these technologies, a single site can prevent the emission of 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over 10 years.

This company is part of:

Desjardins Sustainable Canadian Equity Fund

This information should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the securities, products or services referred to or as the sole basis for an investment decision.

  1. Responsible Investment Association. 2018 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report: October 2018. - External link. This link will open in a new window. RIA, (2018): 11. [cited April 28, 2020].
  2. Kaza, Slipa, et al. 2018 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report: October 2018. - External link. This link will open in a new window. WORLD BANK GROUP: Urban Development Series, (2018): 5. [cited March 15, 2021].
    *Globally, approximately 37% of waste goes to landfills, 33% goes to open dumps, 19% is recycled or composted and 11% is incinerated.
  3. Desjardins. Étude 2018 sur l’investissement responsable. SOM Survey for Desjardins Investment inc., September 2018. [internal document].
  4. This company is in the fund’s portfolio as at December 31, 2022.
  5. Grappe de l’aluminium du Québec (AluQuébec). Recyclage, - External link. This link will open in a new window. December 7, 2017. [cited March 15, 2021].

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