[Church Pension Fund news release] The Church Pension Fund (CPF), a financial services organization that serves the Episcopal Church, announced March 2 that it served as an anchor investor in the Developing World Markets’ $60.8 million Off-Grid, Renewable and Climate Action (ORCA) Impact Note. CPF and Wespath Benefits and Investments, a general agency of The United Methodist Church, invested $60 million ($30 million each).
The ORCA Impact Note will provide renewable energy finance loans to social businesses in the developing world and is composed of 11 underlying loans made to inclusive financial institutions and operating companies. These organizations support renewable energy creation and services in nine countries across three continents, including: Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
“The Church Pension Fund was pleased to serve as an anchor investor, which helped bring other investors to the table to provide renewable energy finance loans to social businesses in the developing world,” said Roger Sayler, managing director and chief investment officer of CPF. “This investment will impact the lives of people on three different continents and is reflective of our commitment to doing good while earning a competitive rate of return. We look forward to building our relationship with Developing World Markets as we continue to explore future socially responsible investment opportunities.”
This transaction follows two previous socially responsible investments with the Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund and the Avanath Affordable Housing Fund from earlier in 2016. CPF currently has socially responsible investments in 23 countries, bringing its current total commitment to socially responsible investing (SRI) to nearly $1 billion. With respect to SRI-related investments, CPF targets investments in women- and minority-owned firms; economically targeted initiatives, including urban redevelopment, affordable housing, sustainable agriculture, and microfinance; and environmental-related programs that invest in sustainable forestry, clean technology and green buildings. On an ongoing basis, CPF works with external investment managers to identify and evaluate additional opportunities for SRI.