For the CDF, Impact Investing means purposefully advancing our social and/or environmental objectives by making investments which achieve financial returns through social and/or environmental impact-generating activities. The CDF does not believe that profit and purpose are mutually exclusive. Rather, its Impact Investments are expected to perform well financially, since the Foundation believes businesses which benefit the community and/or the environment have laid the groundwork for their own lasting success. At the same time, the CDF requires that the profitability (market performance) of an Impact Investment should be dependent upon its related impact. The Foundation therefore seeks an integrity of return from all of its Impact Investments wherein the investments produce a return if and only if their activities generate a desired social/ environmental impact.
The Foundation made its first impact investment in the spring of 2014 - a $100,000 investment in SolarShare bonds. SolarShare is a leading Canadian renewable energy co-op that develops commercial scale solar energy installations. Investors earn a return while doing something good for the planet.
“The Foundation believes businesses which benefit the community and/or the environment, have laid the groundwork for their own lasting success. The SolarShare bonds are an appealing investment that comfortably aligns with the Foundation’s environmental focus and its expectations.”
Jason Dudek, CDF Board Chair
Zooshare Biogas Cooperative
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation Board recently invested in a $100,000, seven-year Community Bond issued by Zooshare Biogas Cooperative.
The funds being raised will assist in the development of a 500kW electricity generation facility at the Toronto Zoo. This is a $6 million project to construct North America’s first zoo-based biogas plant including a primary digester, two storage tanks and a generator connected to the local distribution grid and sold to the Ontario Power Authority. Fuel for the plant is 14,000 tonnes of inedible food waste from a major grocery retailer and 3,000 tonnes of animal manure from the zoo.
Considered complementary to the Foundation’s environmental focus, this
attractive waste recycling, sustainable energy project is in keeping with the
Foundation’s commitment to seek out companies investing in renewable energy,
other low-carbon fuel sources, energy efficiency and other environmental
initiatives that otherwise satisfy the Foundation’s investment quality standards.
Socially Responsible Investing
The Catherine Donnelly Foundation strives to exercise a positive influence for a just social order. Accordingly, no investments are made in industries or entities that are considered socially undesirable, as determined by the Catherine Donnelly Foundation from time to time.
In addition, in all its investment decisions the Catherine Donnelly Foundation will take into consideration relevant environment, social and governance factors.
We acknowledge that it is a challenge and struggle to continually invest funds to the highest ethical standards however we have benefited from developing policies to guide us.