IMPACT Awards 2021

Re/insurer of the year: The Co-operators

Canadian insurance provider The Co-operators claims it is driven "to catalyse impact investing across the country".

In 2020, the insurance and financial services co-operative, with CAD56.4 billion ($44.4 billion) in assets under management, surpassed its 2022 goal of investing at least 20% of its own invested assets in impact investments. These investments amounted to $2 billion aiming to drive positive impacts in the areas of climate change (67% of its investments), community development (17%), education (9%), and health and wellness (5%).

In the second quarter of 2021, the organisation established a new target by 2030 to invest at least 60% of its invested assets in either impact investments or investments that support the transition to a sustainable, resilient, low-emissions society.

Over the last six years, the Co-operators has frequently beaten its own impact investing targets, first in 2015 and again in 2018 (surpassing targets of 6-10% and 13% respectively). Its impact investing strategy, launched in 2015, includes projects to build clean transportation infrastructure and non-profit seniors housing, and expand public hospital facilities.

Co-operators said: "Importantly, we had disciplined accounting in place to measure our progress against our targets. We also worked closely with the team of investment analysts and portfolio managers at Addenda Capital, our asset manager, to actively seek out opportunities and promote our interest in impact investing. Finally, by investing jointly and building momentum with other investors through Addenda and private markets funds, we were able to broaden access to a wider range of investments."

The Co-operators said Addenda Capital undertook efforts to raise awareness and educate key external stakeholders on impact investments, in order to help grow the market.

They added: "Through Canada's first Impact Fixed Income Pooled Fund - which surpassed $126 million in assets (as of May 31) – "Addenda has helped to catalyse impact investing across the country".