Impact investing, waste reduction, and a net-zero future: DMC is not your average healthcare provider

The team at Dialysis Management Clinics (DMC) takes the climate emergency seriously. So seriously in fact, that they have become the only zero-emission dialysis facility in Canada.

“As healthcare providers, we need to address the issues that are affecting population health,” said Ethan Holtzer, Director at DMC. “And according to the World Health Organization, climate change is the biggest health threat facing humanity.”

DMC’s team believes it’s necessary to keep the climate emergency top of mind to ensure a livable and healthy future for the communities they support and the world around them.

In the early stages of DMC’s sustainability efforts, the organization took conscious steps to divert waste by reducing, reusing, and recycling as much as possible.

Then, DMC partnered with Bullfrog Power, an organization that offers high-impact renewable energy solutions for businesses. With their help, DMC ensured that their facilities “which use a large amount of energy” had zero-emission power systems.

DMC’s inspiring sustainability accomplishments stem from the organization’s long-term vision, a vision that was carried through from the organization’s inception: To model the future of healthcare.

Modeling the future of healthcare

DMC started as an out-of-province clinic back in the 1980s, when hospitals in the Toronto area didn’t have the capacity to provide dialysis care for patients travelling to the region.

“We were the first ones to provide dialysis in a community setting in the province, so we live by this thought: We might not be a large, influential healthcare organization, but if we can push the needle by innovating and being nimble, we can show where healthcare should be and influence the trends of our province and our system.”

To carry this vision through, DMC is constantly looking inwards to see what parts of the organization can be improved. And in this process of reflection, Ethan came across a pressing concern. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, countries must take immediate action to reduce the supply and demand of fossil fuels.

“As I became more aware of the business practices of our financial institution, I thought: How can we say we’re modeling the future of healthcare, one that is sustainable and net-zero, when we’re partnering with a bank that helps finance the climate crisis?”

This prompted Ethan to search for a bank where “we would be more comfortable investing our funding.”

Finding the right financing partner

In his search to find a financing partner that shared DMC’s values, Ethan came across Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB). As part of the Vancity Group, VCIB is the only bank in Canada that exclusively partners with organizations and businesses that drive positive change.

“Banking with an organization that invests in projects that improve the social well-being of our communities is important to us,” said Ethan.

“With VCIB, we knew that no matter how they use our funding, it will be aligned with what we stand for.”

DMC joined VCIB and is exploring investing in the bank’s Impact GIC – an investment platform for organizations that want to support transformational work in their communities while earning attractive rates.

Impact GIC deposits provide growth capital for purpose-driven businesses and help finance impactful projects in Canada like affordable housing and clean energy projects.

Financing one impactful project is great, but catalyzing change across industries is better

The deposits in VCIB’s Impact GIC have financed a wide variety of critical projects.

To tackle Canada’s affordable housing crisis, VCIB’s $30 million credit facility for Habitat for Humanity Canada will support the development of 414 affordable housing units over the next three years. In April 2022, the first of Habitat’s projects was unveiled – a 41-unit condominium located at Leahy’s Lane in Peterborough, Ontario.

VCIB’s Impact GIC is also accelerating Canada’s transition to a net-zero future by supporting first-of-their-kind clean energy projects. For example, VCIB financed the world’s largest energy transfer project, located at Toronto Western Hospital and operated by Noventa Energy Partners.

Over the next 30 years, Noventa’s wastewater energy transfer technology will supply 90% of the hospital’s heating and cooling needs and will reduce its carbon emissions by a quarter of a million tonnes.

Recently, VCIB also partnered with the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation (SNGRDC) to refinance the second-largest wind farm in Ontario. The project’s profits will be directed back into the Six Nations community to stimulate economic growth, purchase critical infrastructure, and finance support services like mental health and suicide prevention programs.

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Click here to learn more about VCIB’s Impact GIC. If you’re interested in chatting with VCIB about your financing needs, get in touch.

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