July 8, 2019

First Report on Green Bond Impact

This social impact first (SIF) investment was designed to create positive environmental impact via four of our eight ELCA social purpose (SP) funds — the SP Bond Fund, SP 40e, SP 60e, and SP 80e.

Now, we’re beginning to learn specifics about the impact we’re helping to create.

A green bond is like a regular bond with one key difference — the money raised by the issuer is earmarked to finance environment-friendly assets and business activities. The Nuveen green bond strategy is designed to deliver solid returns to members while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preserving natural resources.

2017 Impact Created Through Nuveen’s Green Bonds

The information below describes impact created during 2017 by Portico and other investors in these green bonds.

Investment in Renewable Energy

These securities support new or expand existing renewable energy projects (including hydroelectric, solar, and wind), smart grid, and other projects designed to make power generation and transmission systems more efficient. They also support other energy efficiency projects which result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Avoided 41.4 M metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions, equivalent to taking 8.9 million cars off the road for one year.

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Saved 4.7 M megawatt-hours of energy, equivalent to taking 384,000 homes off the grid for one year.

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Created 20,307 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, (in operation or planned), equivalent to building more than 6,700 large wind turbines.

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Generated 28.6 M megawatt-hours of renewable energy, equivalent to powering 2.3 million homes for one year.


Investment in Natural Resources

These securities support sustainable building projects; water infrastructure, including improvement of clean drinking water supplies and/or sewer; land conservation; sustainable forestry and agriculture; and remediation and redevelopment of polluted or contaminated sites.

building icon Constructed 10 LEED*-certified buildings.

seedling icon Conserved 854,055 acres of land.

trash icon Diverted 427,612 metric tons of waste from landfills.

glass of water icon Delivered 72 million gallons per day of drinking water.

water icon Treated 1.8 million gallons per day of wastewater.

water drop icon Saved 5.5 billion gallons of water.

What is Social Impact First (SIF) investing?

To help achieve measurable social impact, seven of the eight SP funds employ a form of positive social investing called social impact first (SIF) on up to 10% of SP fund assets (excluding the SP Stock Index Fund). SIF investments accept a somewhat lower projected return and/or somewhat higher projected risk on up to 10% of the fund’s investments in order to invest in companies and organizations that support initiatives like affordable housing, reduced greenhouse emissions, and renewable energy.

“It’s been a Portico objective since 2015 to carefully and steadily increase the number of SIF investments made through our ELCA social purpose funds,” says Erin Ripperger, Portico’s senior socially responsible investment analyst. “We make these investments to create solid financial returns for member investors and positive social outcomes important to the ELCA.”

For more information about all 20 funds managed by Portico Benefit Services, please see the Investment Fund Descriptions for your retirement plan.

* Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system.