Conscious Investment Management (CIM) is now managing $300 million of assets across its property, impact bonds and solar infrastructure impact investments.

In its second annual impact report CIM highlights the evolution of its impact thesis, and the growth of its investments.

The firm is now working with 8 investment partners, supported by more than 500 investors.

The push to $300 million of assets managed is up from $250 million last year. The share of asset types has a similar shape, with distributed solar representing a larger share at 12%, while social and affordable housing (52%), as well as specialist disability housing (30%), now a smaller share. Noting that absolute values have not shrunk.

The largest deal is still the social and affordable housing project with HousingFirst and the Victorian Government. It will see $150 million invested in 307 apartments for social and affordable housing tenants. So far 260 new buildings have been financed, with 200 leased. 

In addition its investments have delivered 72 Specialist Disability Accommodation apartments, 55 distributed rooftop solar assets, and social impact bonds helping over 100 vulnerable children and their families through challenging times in the education and out-of-home care systems.

CIM presented its Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan earlier this year. It’s been endorsed by Reconciliation Australia and provides a framework to promote reconciliation through business operations, partnerships, employment and investing activities.

Impact Measurement and Management

The report explores the firm’s impact measurement and management practice. Casey Taylor, CIM Director, explains this year’s progress.

“As the impact investment industry grows, thoughtful and accurate measurement is more important than ever. Through this report, we continue to build our track record in measuring, and transparently communicating our impact, recognising that we can only manage the impact that we can measure.” says Casey.

“Our portfolio aims to deliver positive social or environmental benefit, and this report helps to communicate the powerful stories and outcomes that CIM’s investors have had through their investment.”

The firm’s impact approach covers three key themes:

  • Environment and climate
  • Health and Education
  • Social Infrastructure

The central framework used is the IMP ‘five dimensions of impact’ model. IRIS+ metrics are applied for each dimension, and then each investment is scored on a scale of impact, from 1 to 5, which results in the deal being categories on the ABC spectrum:

A – Avoid Harm

B – Benefit Stakeholders

C – Contribute to solutions

The impact report goes into considerable detail for each of its investments, delving into a case-study of key challenges and impact opportunities, as well as laying out the ABC score for the intervention. 

“Our impact measurement methodology uses the leading global impact measurement framework, the Impact Management Project, which considers impact achieved across five dimensions: what, who, how much, contribution, and risks. We also align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and layer in the Global Impact Investing Network’s Impact Reporting and Investing Standards metrics – enabling investors to aggregate their impact at a portfolio level.” Casey says. 

“We hope to continue to grow together with our investors and Impact Partners to contribute to better outcomes across our three core impact themes, being Environment and Climate, Health and Education and Social Infrastructure. In 2023, CIM is intending to continue this impact by launching new funds focused on these and new investment areas,” she added.

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