REFBC has made its first two impact investments - in affordable housing and in sustainable energy. (Photo: Stephanie Butler)
The Real Estate Foundation’s Board of Governors has approved its first two impact investments, totaling $400,000. These investments - $150,000 in Greenchip Financial, and $250,000 in New Market Funds – will generate social and environmental benefits, as well as provide a financial return for the Foundation.
Greenchip Financial is a Toronto-based firm with a $30 million portfolio that invests in sustainable energy projects around the world, including energy storage, transportation and consumption. ($150,000 invested in 2017)
New Market Funds is a Vancouver firm that invests in purpose-built, affordable rental housing. Their investments help non-profit operators raise capital to finance housing development. With support from mission-driven investors, New Market Funds has invested $11 million in a Vancouver Community Land Trust Foundation project to build 358 new affordable rental and co-op units across four city-owned sites. ($250,000 invested in 2017)
The Foundation’s Investment Committee has also introduced Environmental Social Governance (ESG) criteria to help screen our investment portfolio. These criteria require REFBC’s fund managers to limit investments in companies and funds that have poor environmental, social or governance practices.
“We grant $3 to $4 million each year to fund land use and real estate projects that make BC a greener, more resilient place to live,” said CEO Jack Wong. “Together, impact investments and ESG screening will help align our financial practices with the aims of our grant program.”
All the Foundation’s investments are now held in ESG-screened portfolios and the Foundation has set a goal to hold at least 10 per cent of its assets in impact investments.
To read more about how we earn and spend income, visit the How We Invest page.