Welcome the new monthly North America Impact News Roundup, where Oikocredit Canada and Oikocredit US track the progress and challenges in building the impact investing industry. We are dedicated to keeping our stakeholders informed and that starts here.
Canadian Institutional Investors: ESG Imperative, Integration and Opportunity
Canadians care about making a difference and investors are making a conscious effort to make responsible investments. In response, organizations are looking for innovative solutions that meet environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. TELUS, the national telecommunications company, has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46% from 2019 levels by 2030.
“As more firms consider how to incorporate ESG into their everyday processes, they are faced with the challenge of determining which sources of ESG information best align with their investment approach and workflows.”
Why Municipal Bonds Are Emerging as a Key ESG Investment
Investors looking to build their ESG portfolios might consider tapping into municipal bonds which aim to fund public projects focused on social and environmental impact in underserved areas. This pie chart shows how US states allocate capital from investors and illustrates how municipal investing largely overlaps with sustainability goals.
“Looking ahead we think ESG factors could begin to impact bond performance as the connection between credit risk and environmental and social variables becomes harder to ignore.” says Samantha Favis, a strategist on the Municipal Fixed-Income team at Morgan Stanley Research.
Call to Share Stories of Canadian Impact Investors
Canadians can lead by example when it comes to investing sustainably, or incorporating ESG factors into investments - this was one of the calls to action at the June 3-10, 2022 RiA Virtual Conference, Canada’s largest responsible investment conference.
Julie Scott, Director/Vice-Chair at Oikocredit Canada, shared key takeaways from the conference.
Museums Discover Impact Investing
According to Cultural Capital: The state of museums and their investing, a new report from Upstart Co-Lab, 32% of museums report that they are considering how their values can guide their endowment investment strategy. However, only 13% are currently focusing on sustainability. This means there is a major opportunity for museum board and staff leadership to make impact investing goals a part of strategic planning.
“Museums will help chart a path to a more equitable future not only through the artists they present and the audiences they engage, but by what they invest in and who they hire to manage those investments. It’s possible to make investments count for the mission, as well as the bottom line.” - Darren Walker, Trustee of the National Gallery of Art and President of the Ford Foundation
Catalyzing New Markets with Early-stage Impact Investments
Investment funds have recognized the potential in emerging markets. From India to Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa, they see opportunities for high social and financial returns on investment in underserved regions.
“With increased impact of climate change and the partial reversal of decades-long poverty due to the pandemic, there is increased urgency for impact investments to create new markets and drive systemic change.”