COO for Canadian bank wants his company to be ‘the most environmentally sustainable bank in Canada’

Canaccord Genuity Group CEO Daniel Daviau has been the company’s head honcho since September 2011. He also happens to be an environmental activist. “I have started my own company, the Engage Capital Fund, in an effort to promote socially responsible investing,” he told the cast and crew of New York Magazine’s video series The Future Starts Here. “We’re putting about $2 billion in alternative investments to look at areas like climate change, water and food security.” So far, Daviau has put money into the company which, while not without controversy, also boasts RRE Ventures, its venture arm.

Daviau is also quick to point out that he doesn’t go by some politically-correct version of capitalism that is no longer particularly marketable. “In the end, capitalism is about efficiency,” he explained. “[But] we’re in a massive transition to an understanding of what that means. Financial markets do not reflect that at all. They just reflect other types of market distortions that we’re working to correct as a society.”

On Wednesday, Daviau’s company announced its goal to be the most environmentally sustainable bank in Canada. “If you invest money in the right places, it can add billions to your bottom line by helping companies make decisions that are ethically and environmentally sound,” Daviau said. “But if you invest in the wrong places, you potentially amplify your company’s pollution, and the cost to society in terms of increased health and safety costs for harmful emissions.”

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