Media Releases

OPEN IMPACT launches to help Canadian investors find their social and environmental impact – and bring impact investing to the mainstream

April 25, 2017

Toronto, ON – OPEN IMPACT, an online resource to help investors find financial investment products that make money – and make the world a better place – launched today at www.openimpact.ca.

Impact investing is a fast-growing approach to investing that seeks financial returns as well as measurable social and/or environmental impact. According to a JP Morgan/Global Impact Investment Network study, the global market for impact investments surpassed US$60 billion in 2015 and may grow to US$2 trillion by 2025. In Canada there is already C$9 billion in impact investment, with increasing demand from millennial investors who are more than twice as likely as baby boomers to show interest (Responsible Investment Association 2016), Despite this rapid growth, many investors and their advisors have a tough time finding products.

“We believe the future of investing will be shaped by a generation that seeks to align their values with everything they do. The old model would have said – keep this information proprietary  – but now more than ever we must lead by example if we expect to engage investors and markets in resolving our most pressing social and environmental challenges,” says Norm Tasevski, co-founder of Purpose Capital.

“A common challenge to those interested in impact investing is finding products. To help them, to help the market grow, and to better understand this market as it evolves, we worked with Purpose Capital to create OPEN IMPACT,” adds Rod Lohin, Executive Director of the Michael Lee-Chin Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

OPEN IMPACT is a free public resource that includes a searchable inventory of Canadian impact investing products or funds. It launches with information on more than 150 products across all asset classes (equity, debt, fixed income and more), including 50+ crowd-sourced profiles with additional detail. These products aim to achieve a financial return as well as create tangible social or environmental benefits, such as improving access to education, affordable housing, or biodiversity conservation.

Most of the 50+ funds profiled in greater detail were launched in the last 10 years, but a pioneering fund at Desjardins launched in 1971. Fifteen now have more than C$50 million each in assets under management, including Renewal Partner’s Renewal3 Limited Partnership. Eight funds report financial return targets in excess of 12%, such as Greensoil Building Innovation Fund. Five, such as the Access Community Capital Fund, can be accessed by individual investors for as little as $250.  More details about other funds will be added over time.

OPEN IMPACT is a public good research partnership between Purpose Capital Inc. (a Canadian impact investment advisory firm), and the Michael Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto (a research centre focusing on the role of business in society).

Purpose Capital is an impact investment advisory firm that mobilizes all forms of capital – financial, physical, human and social — to accelerate social progress. More about Purpose Capital can be found at http://purposecap.com/.

The Rotman School’s Michael Lee-Chin Institute for Corporate Citizenship helps business leaders integrate sustainability into strategy and practices by developing and disseminating research, tools and curricula. To find out more, visit http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/FacultyAndResearch/ResearchCentres/LeeChinInstitute.

The Rotman School of Management is located in the heart of Canada’s commercial and cultural capital and is part of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s top 20 research universities. The Rotman School fosters a new way to think that enables our graduates to tackle today’s global business and societal challenges.  For more information, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca.

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Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Tel: 416-946-3818
E-mail: mcguffin@rotman.utoronto.ca