Under the Real Estate Services Act, the Foundation receives interest that’s earned on pooled real estate trust accounts. The amount of income we receive depends on both the number of real estate transactions occurring in BC and on the interest rate paid on the funds in the accounts.

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We make grants to support land use and real estate projects that have public benefits for BC communities. Our grants support non-profit organizations working to shape sustainable attitudes and practices. In past years, we’ve funded activities like ecosystem conservation, agriculture planning, forest stewardship, and community energy planning.

Like many grantmaking organizations, REFBC invests some of its income to help sustain its operations and to secure our grant commitments. Our investments are managed by external fund managers, which are overseen by the REFBC Board of Governors’ Investment Committee.

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Investment Criteria

Our investments are primarily held in pooled funds which can include stocks, bonds, and mortgage funds for a very wide range of companies. Given the large universe of potential investments, some of the companies in an investment fund may have environmental or business practices that do not align with the objectives of the Foundation and its grantees.

To help align our investment practices with our mission and values, we use Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria to help screen our investment portfolio. Our ESG screening criteria requires fund managers to limit investment exposure to companies that:

  • have negative impacts on stakeholders, including employees, suppliers and communities; or
  • have poor environmental, social, or governance practices or policies.

ESG screening is a reactive measure that helps to reduce investments in companies with very poor environmental, social, or governance practices.

Impact Investments

As part of our investment strategy, we invest some of our assets in projects that have a financial return as well as social or environmental benefits. These proactive investments support projects that support healthy, resilient communities and natural environments.

Our impact investments are made in projects and funds that align with our interests in sustainable land use, the built environment, local food systems, freshwater, and professional excellence in real estate. Decisions on impact investments are approved by the REFBC Board of Governors, through the recommendations of the Impact Investment Committee.

When choosing investments, the committee considers:

  • the projected financial return of the investment;
  • the geographic scope of the project or fund;
  • opportunities to link investments with existing or future grants; and
  • alignment with the foundation’s interest in sustainable land use practices.

For more information about our impact investment policy, or to suggest a project or fund to invest in, please contact Christian Hansen (christian@refbc.com | 604-343-2627).