Sustainable Development Goals

Why We Invest in Impact and How You Can Too

Photo by Ruth Hazlewood

Photo by Ruth Hazlewood

We are honoured to have received the MaRS Social Finance "Impact Investor of the Year" award, which "is presented to a Canadian organization or initiative that has created—or demonstrated the potential for creating—positive social or environmental impact through direct investment". We are grateful to our partner and global leader in impact investing, Oikocredit, for supporting our nomination. And we look forward to continuing to work towards sustainable investing. Receiving this award has prompted us to reflect on why we focus on impact investing and how important it is to continue to promote these investment options in Canada.

Impact investments, as opposed to traditional investments, not only focus on achieving strong financial returns, but also on delivering measurable environmental and social benefits. We promote entrepreneurship among women, provide credit to micro and small businesses, and improve access to clean energy, affordable housing and healthcare. Deetken Impact has been successfully investing in triple bottom line (financial, social, environmental) opportunities for the past decade. Our investment funds are designed to promote the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, we are helping achieve good health and well-being, quality education, clean and renewable energy, and decent work and economic growth.

Promoting Impact Investing is no small task but it is one we are extremely passionate about. Our mandate is to make impact investing more accessible to both Canadian and international investors alike. And not just accredited and institutional investors as it has been traditionally the case. We want to give everyone an opportunity to better align their investments with their values regardless of their wealth and with no sacrifice to financial returns. That's why financial instruments such as Deetken Impact Bonds, which Canadians can buy from their RRSP and TFSA accounts, are becoming so popular and the preferred option for many individual investors. As Impact Investing becomes more widespread and new investing options emerge, more people can contribute towards making a more sustainable world.  We are excited to be part of this journey.

Highlights from the Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum 2017

Fernando Alvarado, CEO of the Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund

Fernando Alvarado, CEO of the Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund

Last week, we had the opportunity to attend the 9th annual Caribbean Renewal Energy Forum (CREF) in Miami, Florida. The event has grown rapidly in importance during the last couple of years, and it focuses on the emerging trends in renewable energy across this region. Among the keynote speakers during the opening ceremony, we heard from the honorable Jennifer McIntyre, Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change. She emphasized the historical immigration links between Canada and many of the Caribbean nations, and the joint commitment to combat climate change through sustainable energy practices.

Deetken Impact was invited to the Conference by one of our partners in the region, the Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund (CABEF), whose geographical mandate includes not only the small and large Caribbean islands, but also the Central American countries that share the Caribbean basin. Fernando Alvarado, CEO of CABEF, was a keynote speaker and a panelist in the topic of how to unlock private and public sector financing for renewable energy projects.

After such a strong and devastating hurricane season, the discussion also focused on the destruction and reconstruction needed across the Caribbean. Despite all the challenges, there is cautious optimism that the recent events will force policy makers, utilities, and community leaders to plan for a more resilient and sustainable energy framework. Some of the frequently heard topics included microgrids, inter-island grid connectivity, resiliency alternatives, and energy storage.

It is noteworthy to mention the large delegation of Canadian companies present in this year’s CREF: over 40 companies, which were by far the largest contingent from outside of the Caribbean. Canada had the largest meeting facilities, and plenty of networking activities organized by Trade Commissioners from Global Affairs Canada. Given the unique challenges and opportunities across the Caribbean basin, we expect that the Deetken Impact Fund will continue to support projects in renewable energy, a key impact sector for our Fund.