Dedicated impact investment fund manager, Conscious Investment Management (CIM) continues to grow alongside its investors and Impact Partners with a shared commitment to advancing positive outcomes across three core impact themes: environment and climate, health and education, and social infrastructure.
CIM has just released its third annual Impact Report which shares details of its investment activities and portfolio impact performance for the 2022/23 year. Since inception, the fund manager has deployed about $330 million across a total of 10 investments — each of which map to UN Sustainable Development Goals — including investments across social and affordable housing, Specialist Disability Accommodation, distributed rooftop solar, carbon farming and social impact bonds.
These investments have been made alongside its 12 Impact Partners — values-aligned organisations, typically not-for-profits, that have a frontline understanding of the end beneficiaries needs. CIM also has the support of over 750 investors who have embraced impact investment as part of their portfolios.
CIM director Casey Taylor said, “We’re really proud of the scale of the impact we’ve had so far, but we know that numbers are simply outputs that only tell part of the story. This year’s Impact Report not only focuses on the outputs, but drills down to the next level to focus on outcomes – the deeper and less observable ways in which our investments are impacting people’s lives and the systems in which they operate. It’s the assessment of those outcomes, particularly for our social housing portfolio, that’s brought to bear in this year’s report.”
Two new investments for 2022/23
The report includes impact assessments of the fund’s investments, including its two new investments. The first is a carbon farming investment that aims to sequester carbon through the regeneration of native forest, while empowering First Nations people (Kullilli People of South West Queensland) to regain ownership of their Country and play a role in regenerating their traditional lands. Secondly, a youth housing investment — the Melbourne City Mission Youth Housing Initiative — that aims to reduce stigma and overcome the barriers to accessing housing that young people often face when transitioning to independence.
While sharing the portfolio highlights, the report also sets out CIM’s framework for impact measurement, powerful stories of people supported by its assets, and provides information about the impact that CIM is having from a corporate sustainability perspective, including being carbon neutral as a manager and continuing on its reconciliation journey.
Impact measurement methodology
The fund’s impact measurement methodology uses the Impact Management Norms, which considers impact achieved across five dimensions: what, who, how much, contribution, and risks. It also aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and layers in the Global Impact Investing Network’s Impact Reporting and Investing Standards metrics – enabling investors to aggregate their impact at a portfolio level.
Having measurable impact
Assets financed by CIM’s investors have provided over 260 new social and affordable homes, 72 Specialist Disability Accommodation apartments, and 63 distributed rooftop solar assets that has the renewable energy equivalent to planting around 515,500 trees. Through social impact bond arrangements, investor capital has supported over 245 vulnerable children and their families through challenging times in the education and out-of-home care systems.
CIM’s investments are held through three three managed investment funds:
- the CIM Impact Fund, which invests into a diversified portfolio of assets across all of CIM’s impact themes;
- the CIM Social Housing Fund, which invests in social and affordable housing under the Victorian Government’s New Rental Development Program by providing debt financing in partnership with HousingFirst; and
- the CIM Summer Housing SDA Fund, which invests in Specialist Disability Accommodation by providing debt financing in partnership with Liverty Housing (formerly Summer Housing)