Alternative Investments: Summary of Resources

Author: Walter Whiteley, TSP Climate Justice Group

Overview

Reinvestment has several layers:

Investments that screen out fossil fuel companies (along with tobacco, weapons, gambling, … ).

Positive investments that develop alternative energy sources and related energy infrastructure, as well as in sustainable, resilient infrastructure, and upgrades that save energy.

Some of the alternatives below also focus in social capital: locally controlled, perhaps cooperative community development, as a positive way forward.

Quick summary of the steps to reinvest (for individuals and institutions)

General Advice and Information

Available to Institutions (or Accredited Investors Only)

Green Chip – Alternative energy and reduction of energy use (Global, with some Canadian content)

Invests for some foundations, and Toronto Atmospheric Fund. They are willing to invest for institutions with modest amounts to invest.
TSP has hired Green Chip for our small Green Initiatives Fund.Contact John Cook (in Toronto) jcook@greenchipfinancial.com

Other Funds Open to Individuals and Institutions

  • Genus Capital Management

    Genus has a full suite of 5 fully fossil-free investment pools, including bonds, and global equityHandles investments for some foundations and churches (including TSP), and offers fee reductions for combined institutions.  Contact TSP for information as a possible partner.

    Genus will also handle investments for Accredited Investors.

    Contact: JP Harrison JHarrison@genuscap.com (in Vancouver). Genus recently opened up access to small individual investments, including RRSPs  and TFSA’s as well as through investment managers.

  • Inhance Investments

    Inhance Investments has a suite of SRI funds.The Global SRI fund is fossil free and has 7.9% in alternative energy.

    This is open to both individuals and institutions.

  • AGF Global Sustainable Growth Equity Fund

    AGF Global Sustainable Growth Equity Fund is a new fund that is fossil free.Their page includes a number of other links to reports related to Fossil Fuel Divestment, and positive investments.

  • Fiera Capital

    Fiera Capital has a new Value ESG Fossil Fuel Free (FFF) fund.

  • CIBC Blue Heron funds

    CIBC Blue Heron funds have a strong set of screens, including being fossil free.  Minimum amount is $100,000 and they may be open to individuals.

  • NEI Environmental Leaders Fund (recently available)

    NEI used to be Ethical Funds!
    Managed by Impax Asset Management, available to individuals with a minimum investment (perhaps $100,000) and to institutions.

Community Bonds

“How a community bond turns social capital into financial capital” by Elisa Birnbaum in the Financial Post, Dec 22, 2014.

The story demonstrates the power of everyday citizens who are supporting social enterprises when traditional methods fall short.

 

Related links here:

Publicly Traded Alternative Energy Companies in Canada

There are some companies in Canada identified as working in the alternative energy sector over a period of years. This list is not comprehensive, or based on their current investment returns.

There are many more such companies in the US and Europe. For example, see articles like 5 Different Ways to Invest in Renewable Energy and The business guide to green power: 12 ways to invest in renewable energy.

 

Other Links to Publically Traded Funds and Alternative Energy Companies

AltEnergy Stocks (CleanTech stocks)
Corporate Knights Responsible Investing – Canadian investor profiles

Investment Managers and Advisors

A full list of members of the Responsible Investment Organization: http://riacanada.ca

 

A few advisors who have extended experience with Socially Responsible Investments. All are working with some individuals and congregations engaged in divesting:

Toronto

Sucheta-Rajagopal

Sucheta Rajagopal

Investment Advisor
Portfolio Manager
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Alan Harmon

Wealth Advisor
(Works for several churches)

Ottawa

Tricia K. Spooner

Tricia K. Spooner

Investment Advisor

tricia.spooner@cibc.com
(613) 239 - 2851

John Hastings

John Hastings

RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

(613) 566 - 2003

Walter Traversy

Walter Traversy

CIBC Wood Gundy

(613) 271 - 1511

Mission-Based Investing

Why should only the income returned from investments be used for our mission? Why not use all of our investment decisions to support the mission?

Social Economy Center Presentation by Bill Young on Mission Related Investing
OIKO Credit bonds (above) and Canadian Alternative Investment Cooperative (CAIC) are examples mission based investing used by some religious groups, including the national United Church of Canada.

 

Related documents:

A new impact investing analysis and Impact Investing platform from Genus Capital and MaRS as SVX Impact investing, being rolled out in January.
Impact Investing: Joint Ecological Ministry
JEM – Divesting and Investing in the Future We Want (The Catherine Donnelly Foundation)

Easy-as-Pie Reinvestment Option: from the Sustainable Economist