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.
Place-based Impact Investing Takes Off In Buffalo
The Western New York Impact Investment Fund focuses on place-based impact investing and targets eight counties in New York State. After two years of research, they found that early-stage development—known as the valley of death—is the most difficult point for a new company, especially when it comes to finding funding. Through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) lens and a focus on key areas such as workforce development and neighborhood revitalization, the Buffalo-based fund has recently raised $12 million to invest back into their community.
“This is my hometown. I want to make it a better place to live.” - Tom Quinn, CEO at Western New York Impact Investment Fund
How Can the Investment Industry Achieve ESG Clarity?
Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing has become significantly more widely understood and used over the last two years. As responsible investors seek out sustainable investment opportunities, industry leaders like Marie-Justine Labelle, head of Responsible investment for Desjardins Investments, are considering how to define broadly accepted responsible investment approaches.
“What we now have in Canada is a requirement to have alignment between the name of a product and the principal investment objectives of that product in regulatory filings, and what's being said in the regulatory filings and in the marketing communications.”
Estela Castillo: Entrepreneur and Cancer Survivor
When Estela needed financing to invest in her business, she also gained access to Crecer IFD’s health care program. Crecer first partnered with Oikocredit in 1999 and offers savings and credit services to women in poor, remote, and vulnerable communities. Now, Estela’s business is growing and, more importantly, her health has improved.
“Just hearing the word cancer. I felt like I was dying. I feared for my children. The doctor gave me medication, and after a while the doctor was surprised because the cancer had gone. After that, I never missed another check-up.”
ESG Investing Is ‘Totally Unstoppable’ UBS Chair Kelleher Says
Colm Kelleher, UBS Group AG chairman, spoke at the Hong Kong Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit on Wednesday. Despite the challenges ESG investors face, they are tenacious in their intention to sustainably invest in the future.
“This movement is totally unstoppable. Our investors clearly are focused on this, so this is not going away. It’s what Generation X, Z, millennials, et cetera want.”
Addenda Capital Introduces the Eco-Social Commercial Mortgages Fund
Addenda Capital, a privately-owned investment management firm based in Montreal with CAD 33 billion in assets under management, has announced the launch of the Addenda Eco-Social Commercial Mortgages Pooled Fund, which seeks to support the advancement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by investing in affordable housing, green buildings, underrepresented groups, cultural facilities, and health and education.
"The environmental and social challenges of the present and the future are immense. Aligning our clients' assets with United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) can advance sustainable development solutions, while also seeking to provide compelling financial returns," - Roger Beauchemin, President and CEO of Addenda Capital