September 1, 2019

Impax Reports Positive Environmental Impact for 2018

Impax Asset Management is a U.K.-based global stock investment manager making a worldwide difference by investing in companies that employ measurable positive environmental strategies, including wind farms, solar technology, and wastewater-reduction and -treatment techniques.

Portico invested $20 million in 2016 in an environment-focused strategy offered by Impax through six of its eight ELCA social purpose funds, and is proud to share Impax’s environmental impact summary for 2018 (see chart below).

This is key information for the roughly 5,000 ELCA retirement plan members who’ve taken the step to invest in one or more of the six ELCA social purpose (SP) funds with Impax holdings:

  • SP Global Stock Fund
  • SP U.S. Stock Fund
  • SP Non-U.S. Stock Fund
  • SP 40e Balanced Fund*
  • SP 60e Balanced Fund*
  • SP 80e Balanced Fund*

“Plan members who choose to be in the SP funds are seeking not just financial returns but positive impact in the world,” said Erin Ripperger, Portico’s senior socially responsible investing and investor advocacy analyst. “So, we provide a line of sight to both fund returns and the ways SP funds create that positive impact.”

2018 Results

According to Impax’s measurement methodology, Portico’s investment during 2018 created the positive environmental outcomes shown in the chart below. This year, to enhance the relevance of its reporting to U.S. audiences, Impax reported equivalencies based on U.S. statistics, not U.K. statistics. Because resource consumption tends to be higher in the U.S., 2018 equivalencies are significantly lower than in past Impax reports — even though all but one of the 2018 environmental impact metrics improved.

Portico’s strategy for the Impax investment is long-term growth, achieved by investing in these cleaner, more energy-efficient markets. According to Impax’s 2018 report, “Our portfolio managers invest to maximize risk-adjusted financial returns — not to maximize the impact metrics we track. Nevertheless, most of the impact metrics that we track have improved year-on-year, underscoring our conviction that we can deliver competitive financial returns by addressing the world’s pressing sustainability challenges.”

Based on annual environmental data most recently reported by Impax for holdings as of Dec. 31, 2018. Impact methodology based on equity value.

Portfolio Spotlight: Trimble Optimizes Resource Use, Reduces Pollution

Trimble is a company in the Impax portfolio. Founded in 1978 and based in California with offices in 40 countries, the company creates products and services that combine integrated positioning (GPS) with wireless and software technology to reduce inputs and increase productivity.

In the agriculture arena, farmers use Trimble-designed hand-held or vehicle-mounted devices to gather key data, such as location, weather, water availability, soil characteristics, and crop yields. They then transfer the data to server-based Trimble solutions which analyze the data for opportunities to optimize application of water, seeds, and fertilizers, and lower costs.

In 2018, Trimble solutions generated $3.10 billion in revenues FY 2018, and helped clients avoid 8.7 million tons of CO2 through more precise application of fertilizers. New applications of this technology include forestry and water management.

About SIF Investing

Portico added social impact first (SIF) to seven of its eight social purpose funds in late 2015. SIF investments accept a somewhat lower projected return and/or somewhat higher projected risk in order to maximize the opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. A primary SIF objective is to gain measurable results, such as megawatts of renewable energy generated, or gallons of water treated or provided.

* The ELCA social purpose balanced funds were replaced by Portico social purpose target date funds (TDFs) in October 2020.

You should carefully consider the target asset allocations, investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of any fund before investing in it. All funds, including ELCA funds, are subject to risk and uncertainty. Past performance cannot be used to predict future performance. ELCA funds are not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Fund assets are invested in multiple sectors of the market. Some sectors, as well as the funds, may perform below expectations and lose money over short or extended periods. See ELCA Investment Fund Descriptions for more information about our funds.