VCIB’s Impact GIC is financing a green and sustainable future

When it comes to investments, a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) is a safe bet. Why? For those unfamiliar with the term, a GIC guarantees that investors will get 100% of their original investment back, plus earned interest.

Nonetheless, the world is changing, and investors are looking for more than just secure investments with high interest rates.

With the climate crisis accelerating, organizations are becoming mindful to avoid investing with financial institutions that support fossil fuel extraction. Many investors want a responsible and sustainable investment vehicle that aligns with their values, one that combines social and environmental impact with competitive financial returns.

Fortunately, Vancity Community Investment Bank – Canada’s only values-based bank – offers a solution for purpose-driven businesses and non-profit organizations: the Impact GIC.

What is an Impact GIC?

VCIB’s Impact GIC gives organizations the ability to support transformational work in their communities, while investing at competitive rates. When you invest in the Impact GIC, your deposits provide growth capital for purpose-driven businesses and help finance impactful projects in Canada like clean energy and affordable housing projects.

The Impact GIC is a low-risk investment that offers both non-redeemable and cashable options for short-term and long-term horizons.

Financing a better tomorrow with Impact GICs

For years, the Anishnawbe Health Foundation (AHF) had been raising funds to build the first a state-of-the-art Indigenous health centre in Toronto. In 2019, with fundraising well underway, AHF recognized the need to identify suitable investments to allow their fundraised dollars to keep growing while the project plans continued to take shape.

The foundation was already familiar with VCIB’s values-driven financing and, after comparing products across several financial institutions, AHF decided to invest in the Impact GIC.

AHF’s Indigenous health centre. Photo credit: Stantec and TwoRow Architects

“Securing a good rate to support the Health Centre and grow our fundraised dollars was our first priority — and it was added value for us that VCIB’s Impact GICs do good in the community too,” said Julie Cookson, Executive Director at AHF.

For the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), it was important to have reserve funds in place. Recognizing the power of their investments, the board of directors decided to focus on impact, committing to investing a portion of their funds into impact investments.

“Banking is a heavily regulated industry, and it gave us confidence to know that VCIB is a [Schedule I] reputable financial institution,” explained Dan Waterston, Board Treasurer of PWRDF.

“VCIB’s Impact GIC is a great fixed income product that combines strong social impact with a competitive financial return.”

The Impact GIC at work

Impact GIC deposits have financed projects serving diverse communities – from supportive housing for women and gender-diverse people at risk of being homeless, to community hubs for charities and non-profits.

A considerable amount of deposit funds have also been used to increase affordable housing options across Canada. For example, VCIB’s $30 million credit facility will support the development of 414 affordable housing units through local Habitat for Humanity organizations.

With help from the Impact GICs, VCIB’s clean energy team supported the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation’s clean energy portfolio by refinancing the Niagara Region Wind Farm, the second largest wind farm in Ontario. More recently, VCIB’s $3.81 million financing for a residential geoexchange project is currently providing heating and cooling for 246 residential properties in British Columbia.

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Click here to learn more about VCIB’s Impact GIC. Ready to invest in change? Let’s talk.

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Vancity Community Investment Bank is a member of CDIC and is a Certified B CorpTM