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2 min read

Expanding our impact: Investing for good

Profile of Nicole Richards
Written by Nicole RichardsPosted on 16/11/2022

Australian Communities Foundation (ACF) has announced its latest impact investment – this time in the booming climate-tech sector.

Launched in 2021 by early-stage venture capital firm Investible, the Climate Tech Fund capitalises on the tailwinds generated by the growing awareness of climate change and evolving consumer and business preferences and has already raised $30 million for start-ups working to decarbonise our economy.

The Climate Tech Fund is ACF’s fourth impact investment and an important next step in the organisation’s responsible investing journey according to award-winning financial adviser and Chair of ACF’s Investment Committee, Sue Dahn.

“Impact investing is a desired destination in a journey of responsible investing that starts off taking into account environmental, social and governance aspects in investment decision making (to help ensure that investment portfolios ‘do no harm’) and ideally ends with more and more investments that can actually ‘do good’,” Sue explains.  

“The journey starts by excluding ‘harm doing’ activities and achieving neutrality of impacts and then finding investment opportunities that can do good as well as provide a financial return.  

We look forward to sharing with donors and other stakeholders the impact outcomes we will achieve together

“I like to think of this as a triple play with the capital pool achieving three outcomes:

  1. the capital generates an impact return when it has been used productively in line with ACF values and priorities
  2. the capital generates a financial return so that donors can grant more to grant recipients and
  3. grant recipients can deploy their grants knowing that the source of their grant is not in conflict with their values.”

ACF’s impact investment portfolio also includes Side by Side Social Impact Bond, Infradebt and Conscious Social Housing.

“Impact investments are typically medium to longer-term endeavours,” Sue explains, “and ACF has already well diversified its investments across key areas such as vulnerable and disadvantaged children, community infrastructure, social housing and climate technology.  

“We continue to seek out opportunities in areas that align to key ACF priorities and look forward to sharing with donors and other stakeholders the impact outcomes we will achieve together.”

Responsible Investment Leader

For the second year in a row, Australian Communities Foundation has been named a Responsible Investment Leader by the Responsible Investing Association of Australia.

ACF has already well diversified its investments across key areas such as social housing and climate technology

Sue Dahn says the recognition is an important reflection of ACF’s work to ensure its investments match its values.

“It is terrific to get this external endorsement from RIAA and the credit goes to successive teams of ACF staff and advisers who have been steadfast in their pursuit of our goal of leadership in responsible investment,” Sue says.

“We hope our donors and grantees are as thrilled as we are that we are progressing well on the responsible investment and impact investing journeys.

“There is always more to do, so acknowledgement like this helps ACF stand out as a prospective partner and collaborator in future responsible and impact opportunities.”

Read more about Australian Communities Foundation’s responsible investment journey here.