2019 in Review
January 08, 2020
2019 was another exciting and productive year for Calvert Impact Capital. As we welcome the new year, we look back on some of our highlights and look forward to a new decade of connecting capital and communities.
Reaffirming our commitment to impact and leading by doing
In April, along with 60 leading investors, we signed onto the Operating Principles for Impact Management, spearheaded by the IFC
This past April, we signed onto the Operating Principles for Impact Management (the Principles), which aim to ensure that impact considerations are integrated into the entire investment lifecycle—from deal sourcing to exit or repayment—and that lessons learned are continuously incorporated into portfolio management. By adopting these Principles, we commit to disclosing how we manage the impact of our portfolio, in addition to reporting the impact we have on our borrowers and global communities. These disclosures will be made on an annual basis, beginning next year.
We’re proud to be a Signatory of the Principles and think the transparency they provide will be critical to the growth of impact investing. As our CEO Jenn Pryce said in a launch event for the Principles at Brookings, “Now we have the standards and integrity on impact to crack the nut of the global capital markets.”
Calvert Impact Capital Signs onto the Operating Principles for Impact Management - Calvert Impact Capital blog
New impact investing principles bode well for growth - Pensions & Investments
We detailed our impact management practice in our 2019 Impact Report "Connecting Capital and Communities"
In line with this commitment to authentic and transparent impact reporting, our 2019 Impact Report included deeper insights into the steps we take to measure and manage the impact. A new section outlines how we conduct our impact measurement and management practice in line with each of the nine Operating Principles for Impact Management. We also provided more data on our investor, portfolio, and community impact through updated data, graphics, and case studies, as well as a section dedicated to our work on gender equity. Finally, we introduced a new section of the report that showcases our Calvert Impact Capital staff—the people that help make this impact possible every day.
Engaging financial advisors to move more money for impact
Our new guide helps financial advisors get started in impact investing
Demand for impact investing is growing rapidly and investors are increasingly looking to their advisors for help getting started. In order to help financial advisors keep up, we released a new publication, "Impact Investing: A Short Guide for Financial Advisors." This new resource is a part of our ongoing efforts to provide financial advisors with the tools and information they need to better understand and incorporate impact investing into their practice. As we like to say, impact investing is good for clients, good for business, and good for the world. It's also a huge opportunity for financial advisors to grow and strengthen their practice.
Online “Advisor Center” centralizes resources for financial advisors
We also created an “Advisor Center” our website, which serves as a one-stop-shop for information relevant to financial advisors about both Calvert Impact Capital’s products and services, as well as impact investing more broadly.
New Guide to Impact Investing for Advisors - Calvert Impact Capital blog
Throughout the year we continued to build off the momentum of our 2018 report, “Just Good Investing: why genders matters to your portfolio and what you can do about it”, continuously evolving our gender lens strategy and sharing our lessons learned. In June, we joined the Equality Fund, a Canadian-led multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together investors, philanthropists, and the Canadian government with the goal of mobilizing $1 billion to support gender equality outcomes globally. As the leader of the fund’s private debt strategy, we will apply a gender lens to C$75 million of private loans deployed primarily through funds and intermediaries. Through this innovative new partnership, we continue to advance our goal of making gender lens investing a standard part of all investing.
Follow the Equality Fund on Twitter
Gender equality lending takes focus at multiple firms - Private Debt Investor
Putting an emphasis on the environment
Growing our renewable energy portfolio We continued to expand our renewable energy portfolio through investments like the Solar Energy Transformation (SET) Fund, which provides financing for high impact solar energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF) that supports the growth of energy access companies across Africa, specifically those serving low income, rural households. OGEF also supports local currency transactions and local capital markets engagement.
In the U.S., we lent to Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) and its District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) program to help finance solar systems on low-to-moderate-income (LMI) single-family houses at no charge to the homeowners, lowering DC residents’ electricity bills and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
We’ll continue to expand our financing of climate change solutions in 2020 as this is a passion of our investors and a necessity for our planet.
Increased participation in events focused on the environment
Calvert Impact Capital participated in several key environmental conferences and events. Jenn Pryce provided the keynote at the Natural Capital Investment Forum in London and participated in the plenary panel at the The Economist World Ocean Summit, discussing our investment in the Seychelles Blue Bond and the challenge of finding ‘blue economy’ deals. Jenn also participated in the Global Landscapes Forum plenary, emphasizing the need for systems change. Additionally, Jenn was interviewed on CNBC for a story about the Forest Resilience Bond (FRB). She discussed Calvert Impact Capital’s role as an investor in the FRB and reiterated the importance of creating more vehicles like the FRB: “If this transaction isn’t replicated or there aren’t other funds allocated to do the forest clearing, forest fires can still rage, and this will be an island within a large ocean of challenge.”
World Oceans Summit 2019 Wrap Up - The Economist
Key Milestones and Industry Recognition
We’re proud of the milestones that we have reached over the past year and humbled by the industry recognition that we have received.
In October, we announced that we surpassed $500 million in sales of the Community Investment Note® (the Note) via InCapital’s distribution network, which allows our Note to be sold via the brokerage channel and enhances the accessibility of our product to retail investors. We see this milestone as an encouraging sign that demand for impact investing options continues to grow.
We were also selected as a finalist for the 2019 Money Management Institute and Barron’s Industry Awards in the 'Asset Manager of the Year (AUM of $25B or less)' category. This category celebrates “a smaller asset manager that exemplifies innovation in delivering better outcomes for investors and financial advisors." We were honored to be considered amongst such an established group of financial institutions.
Contributing content on key industry topics
We continued to expand our thought leadership work in 2019, sharing our lessons learned and expertise on a variety of industry topics.
Our CEO Jenn Pryce continued writing for Forbes on a variety of subjects, including fintech's potential to be a force for good, the need for impact investing to focus on capital markets, the opportunity to re-orient business education, and more. Jenn continued to share Calvert Impact Capital's tips for doing blended finance effectively, most recently at the Impact Investors Foundation conference in Lagos, Nigeria and on the Responsible Investor webinar "Blended Finance and the SDGs.," Jenn also discussed her personal and professional journey to impact investing on the podcast Impact Journey with Julia S.
Vice President of Stratgey and Syndications, Beth Bafford, wrote about the need to build the infrastructure to overcome operational, legal, and regulatory hurdles in order to scale impact investing markets, and ultimately move capital into underserved markets and communities. Beth and Anthony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Non-profit Finnace Fund, pubslished their email conversation "What we learned about impact investing that we didn’t know a year ago", a great reflection on the rapidly changing impact marketplace.
Justin Conway, Vice President of Investment Partnerships, explained "Three Reasons Why Every Financial Advisor Should Know About Impact Investing" for Financial Advisor Magazine, noting the rapid increase in client demand for impact investing options. He also spoke with the Deep Impact Investing podcast and Landscape News about the evolution of the industry, noting that to bring impact investing into the mainstream, we must build a movement: "Money is a way that we can have impact and channel it to do good, but we’ve got to change hearts and minds too."
Jennifer Pryce contributor page - Forbes
Upon impact, with Justin Conway - Landscape News
Staff share their insights and experiences on our blog
Our staff regularly write articles about the innovative organizations that we lend to and the site visits they've conducted. For updates in real time, be sure to check out our Twitter (@calvertimpcap) where we post most frequently.
Deal in a Minute: Chicanos Por La Causa - Nick Silbergeld, Calvert Impact Capital blog
Perspectives from the Field: Mexico - Caitlin Rosser, Calvert Impact Capital blog
Local Investment and Revitalization in North Philadelphia - Caroline Shenoy, Calvert Impact Capital blog
Launch of our new “Get to Know Calvert Impact Capital Staff” interview series
To provide more insight into the staff who work hard to steward our investor capital for good, we launched an interview series on our blog that highlights our teams' journeys to impact investing. Thus far, we have conducted interviews with team members on our Strategy, Risk, and Loan Administration teams and we plan to expand the series to more regularly feature our borrowers and investors as well.
Read more 'Get to know Calvert Impact Capital Staff':
Thanks for a great 2019
We look forward to working together in 2020!
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