Health and well-being


The UN's third sustainable development goal - External link. This link will open in a new window. is to "ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages."

That means reducing infant and maternal mortality rates, fighting virus transmission, bolstering preventive care and improving access to care.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed just how vulnerable we are on healthcare and underscored the need to double down on efforts to prevent and respond to these types of crises.

The private sector is key

Technological advances have the potential to make high-quality healthcare more accessible and less expensive. New developments in telemedicine have improved quality of care, including for patients in remote areas and with limited mobility. Medical advances have increased life expectancy considerably. Businesses play an important role in these developments through their efforts on prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.


A healthy lifestyle includes physical activity and a balanced diet. These two factors alone can prevent a whole range of different health problems. Organizations can help create a healthy environment for their employees and customers by rolling out wellness and psychological support programs. On the prevention front, vaccine development can also be an effective strategy.

Screening and diagnosis

The development of reliable tools and tests that yield fast and accurate results is a big factor in the fight against disease. Different types of equipment can aid the diagnostic process, including medical imaging using artificial intelligence. Diagnosis means recognizing and identifying health problems in order to provide more effective healthcare services using advanced technologies.

Treatment and follow-up care

From research to clinical trials to approval by government health agencies, developing new drugs and treatments is a long, hard road. Treatment is crucial for controlling illness and helping patients recover, so the goal is to develop avenues for care that are effective, safe and accessible, and where the benefits outweigh the side effects. Good follow-up care can also improve the success rate for treatments. Some companies are now using biotechnology to monitor patient treatment in real time.

Supporting health and wellness with the Sustainable Lineup

The Desjardins Sustainable Funds invest in companies that contribute to improve health and well-being


Qiagennote1 is a biotechnology company offering molecular biology kits for many life science applications. The company specializes in screening tests for different areas of study, such as the H5N1 avian flu virus in the veterinary field. More recently, Qiagen has been a key player in combatting COVID-19 by developing screening tests to detect the disease.

Desjardins Sustainable International Equity Fund


Alnylam Pharmaceuticalsnote1 is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research and development of medical treatments in the following areas: genetic medicines, cardio-metabolic diseases, infectious diseases, eye diseases and central nervous system diseases like Alzheimer’s. Founded in 2002, the company has led the translation of RNA interference (RNAi) into an entirely new class of medicines. Their RNAi treatments were the first in the world to be approved.

Desjardins Sustainable Positive Change Fund

The importance of testing

Hologicnote1 is a medical technology company primarily focused on improving women’s health and wellbeing through early detection and treatment. The company launched a multi-year commitment to tackling breast cancer screening disparities for women. Research has shown that black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Hispanic white women because it's harder for them to access to breast cancer screening. Hologic launched a campaign to stress the importance of screening and provide women in underserved communities with access to breast cancer screening technology.

Desjardins Sustainable Diversity 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. This company is in the fund’s portfolio as at December 31, 2022.

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