Australian not-for-profit Accounting for Nature has an ambitious vision for natural capital accounting standards - for every nation to be able to measure, verify and certify changes in the condition of their environmental assets.
After achieving its final close at $132 million in early 2020, the managers of the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund (ASOF) rapidly moved towards securing its initial investments. Scooping the award for Oceans and coastal zones impact investment of the year was one of these: SafetyNet Technologies.
Barclays picked up the awards for impact investment of the year for both health and energy through the UK-listed bank's involvement in an innovative bond deal with healthcare charity HealthRight 360 and an equity investment in sustainability platform SaveMoneyCutCarbon (SMCC).
The Asia-Pacific region is responsible for almost half of global carbon dioxide emissions and is highly exposed to climate risks. Drastic action and innovative approaches to impact investment are crucial.
The not-for-profit analysis and advisory Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) had a memorable 2019, as the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance that it leads celebrated mobilising more than $2 billion in climate finance since 2014.
A strong 2019 for the sustainability focused investment trust Impax Environmental Markets (IEM), saw its market capitalisation grow 49% to £680 million ($888.6 million), which resulted in it earning its first FTSE 250 listing in March this year.
Brussels-based Inventures Investment Partners is a relatively small firm with big ambitions. It manages two venture capital funds: The €15 million ($18 million) Inventures I, which is closed for new investments and Inventures II, which currently manages €35 million and is aiming for €50 million.
Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers dedicated to sustainability investing, has been awarded Investment team of the year, as its ambition has translated into a comprehensive product range within the natural capital investing space.
"Lack of transparency is a major problem with leading ESG rating providers," was one of the Impact Awards judges' comments that led to the Net Environmental Contribution initiative (NECi) winning the title of impact initiative of the year, global.
Schroders' SustainEx tool aims to calculate the financial impact on companies of their social credit or debit for the costs and benefits their actions are incurring but not yet paying for and which are not captured by conventional measures of investment performance. The tool aligns social and environmental impact with investment risk to give a net dollar cost or benefit which is comparable across companies, funds and indices.
The significance of UBS as a major impact investor and a thought leader in the area was clearly signalled last year when it was elected by its peers to the advisory board of the IFC-led Operating Principles for Impact Management.
Dutch asset managers APG and PGGM formally launched the Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP) earlier this year, in what has been hailed as a revolutionary step towards the harmonisation of data in the impact investing world.
Soy and cattle farming are perhaps not immediately called to mind when investors consider where to invest for positive environmental and social impact. However, SAIL Ventures saw an opportunity to incorporate sustainability targets into its lending to such companies in order to prove that financing sustainable and deforestation-free commodities is commercially viable and replicable.
Northern Venture Capital Trust (NVCT)'s £3 million investment in sustainable fruit and vegetable box delivery firm Oddbox scooped the investment of the year award for both agriculture & sustainable land use and pollution & waste management.
The Nordic Investment Bank's (NIB) loan for the collection, purification and distribution of water to treatment plant Hias IKS has scooped this year's Impact Project Investment of the Year - Water for both its urgency and its innovation.
In early 2020, the eco.business Fund expanded into sub-Saharan Africa, with the launch of a new sub-fund that seeks to transpose the blended finance vehicle's best work in Latin America and the Caribbean to a new region.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Unión de Créditos Inmobiliarios (UCI) have launched a joint initiative to finance the construction of "nearly zero energy" multi-apartment buildings and the refurbishment of existing residential properties in Iberia.
Unsurprisingly the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many institutional investors deferring on making new investments. ClearlySo though has been able to assist three fast-growing organisations that deliver clear positive social or environmental impact successfully complete Series A transactions with impact organisations across different markets after the UK lockdown had taken affect.
This year Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) secured a three-year AUD400 million ($290 million) bilateral sustainability-linked debt investment with Wesfamers, an Australian conglomerate spanning retail, chemicals and more.
The Social Impact Bond (SIB) issued by the local government of Buenos Aires in 2019 was developed to fund a pilot project to help 1,000 vulnerable young adults aged between 17 and 24 in their search for employment.
Inaugurated earlier this year the Parc Eolien Taiba N'Diaye (PETN) is a 158.7MW wind power project in Senegal that will offset approximately 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifespan as well as increase the country's electricity output by 15%.
US-based non-profit investment firm Calvert Impact Capital (CIC) has experienced 12 months of rapid growth, epitomised by the $500 million of its Community Investment Notes sold through brokerage firms to retail investors.