As a private charitable foundation, the McConnell Foundation has the privilege and responsibility to use our assets to help advance positive impact that aligns with our mission. That is why, over the next five years as market conditions evolve and more investment products become available, we aim to commit the entirety of our endowment towards investing for impact.
This means that we will deploy all $655 million of our assets in the form of both charitable funding and investments that generate measurable, intentional positive change in our communities and for the planet. To ensure that these investments do not work in contradiction to our mission, McConnell also commits to achieving net-zero carbon emissions in our investment portfolio by 2050 at the latest.
Our investing strategy
Our impact investing journey began in 2007 with a single investment. Today, this impact portfolio represents 20% of our endowment. In setting the goal of aligning all investment assets with our mission, we hope to help build a thriving impact investing ecosystem in Canada and accelerate the shift to an impact-first economy where all investments contribute to meaningful positive impact for people and planet. This commitment to 100% impact will become even more achievable as the ecosystem evolves.
In addition to aligning with our mission, our investment strategy aims to:
- Scale impact.
- Build and influence the market through financial innovation and by shifting corporate and institutional behaviour.
- Strengthen the capacity of the community sector by enabling new forms of finance for charities and non-profits.
- Integrate equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility considerations throughout our investment process – from due diligence through to investment decision-making and portfolio and impact management.
Net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
The climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing society today. Addressing it will continue to be a priority in our investment strategy. McConnell has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions in our endowment by 2050, with interim milestones that align with the accelerated European Union objective of a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. As a first step in this journey, we will be divesting from fossil fuels by the end of 2023.
Our commitment joins a growing movement of investors, including philanthropic foundations seeking to create greater impact with their capital and we are grateful for their leadership. As we embark on this new investment strategy, we hope to share our experience with partners. We will continue to report on our progress through regular updates and through our impact investing report. We also aim to publish a Climate Action Plan and new due diligence approach to help others join us in this work.