Almost 10 years ago, Trustees agreed that up to 10 per cent of the investible funds could be invested into instruments to which the Foundation’s general charitable objectives and specific programme aims could be applied. The primary aim of social investments is to pursue the Foundation’s broad charitable and focused programmatic objectives using financial instruments other than grants. The secondary aim of social investments is to produce a financial return.
Our current portfolio
- Snowball Impact Managementa ground-breaking new 100% impact investment fund. In 2020, they restructured to create Snowball Impact Management and Fund (GP/LP structure) to allow new investors. Snowball applies a social and environmental impact lens to all its investment analysis, reporting and decision-making. In 2021, Snowball was recognised as a ‘Best for the World’ BCorp.
- Riding Sunbeams Apollo Ltd – a joint venture between Community Energy South, Possible, Thrive Renewables and the Foundation. It seeks to decarbonise the transport system by developing community-owned renewable energy assets and using the electricity generated to power trains and other forms of transport. The company is the first to embed facilitating a just transition into its legal purpose. The Foundation invested £199,960 in 2020 for equity.
- Egni Solar Co-op – which is in the process of installing up to 5MW of rooftop solar on over 200 sites across Wales. Smaller sites such as primary schools and community centres will receive the energy for free as part of the co-op’s community benefit. It is the largest ever roll-out of solar PV in Wales. The Foundation invested £100,000 in a community share offer.
- Awel Wind Co-op – a 4.7MW two wind turbine project that is wholly owned, controlled by and benefits the local community. The community, 20 miles north of Swansea, is an area of high social deprivation. Over the project’s lifetime, it is expected that £3 million will be given to Awl Aman Tawe Charity to alleviate local fuel poverty. The Foundation invested £95,000 in a community share offer.
- Energy Garden Ltd – a community benefit society hoping to raise funds to develop and acquire solar PV arrays. The income generated will be used to transform 50 London Overground platforms and stations into community gardens and food growing plots and to support volunteers and youth training. Its intention is to support resilient communities, improve air quality and wellbeing and raise awareness of community energy. The Foundation has invested £50,000 in a future community share offer expected in 2021/22.
- Stichting Equileap Foundation – aims to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace as a powerful lever in tackling inequality and poverty. To do this they use knowledge through providing detailed data on companies’ gender equality performance to inform gender-lens investment decisions. Net profits from this work go towards the creation of a sustainable fund to tackle the root causes of gendered economic inequality. The Foundation invested £100,000 in 2018, as a ten-year loan; Equileap restructured this year and repaid the loan in November 2021.
- Ethex – a non-profit ethical investment club, which has both ethical investors and ethical businesses as members. Through collaboration and the pooling of resources, it aims to promote and encourage businesses that have both social and commercial goals. It wants to make financial services more affordable and more available to ethical businesses and to ethical investors. The Foundation invested £50,000 in 2013, structured as a loan. We agreed an interest payment holiday this year to ease cash flow to facilitate operational expansion.