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Impax Investment Continues to Deliver

Feb. 17, 2019

Portico’s 2016 social impact first (SIF) investment made through Impax Asset Management continued to deliver valuable environmental impact in 2017.

Impax, a global stock investment manager, is making a world-wide difference by investing in companies that employ measurable positive environmental strategies, including wind farms, solar technology, and wastewater-reduction and -treatment techniques. The strategy for Portico’s Impax investment is long-term growth, achieved by investing in these cleaner, more energy-efficient markets.

The company’s latest annual impact report offered good news to Portico and the ELCA Retirement Plan members invested in one of more of these six ELCA social purpose funds — Social Purpose (SP) Global Stock, SP U.S. Stock, SP Non-U.S. Stock, SP 40e Balanced, SP 60e Balanced, and SP 80e Balanced.

According to Impax’s measurement methodology, the investment created significant positive environmental outcomes during 2017 (see graph), including a net carbon reduction of 17,100 CO2 emissions.

Based on annual environmental data most recently reported by Impax for holdings as of Dec. 31, 2017. Impact methodology based on equity value.

Changes in 2017

Shift toward materials recovery and recycling — During 2017, Impax portfolio managers increased investment in companies focused on materials recovery and recycling, and reduced exposure to the water treatment sector. As a result, the water treatment metric fell compared to last year and the waste recovered/treated metric rose

Less impact on renewable electricity — The renewable electricity generated metric fell following the exit of a Chinese wind developer and reduced investment in a geothermal energy company.

Net CO2 emissions held constant — Despite the drop in renewable energy impact, the amount of CO2 emissions avoided by Portico’s portfolio remained constant thanks to added emissions avoided through increased investment in waste treatment.

Company Spotlight

TOMRA Systems is an innovative ‘waste-to-value’ Norwegian company that is part of Impax’s Waste Management & Technologies sector. Founded in 1972, the company is a leading supplier of recycling and sorting machinery, providing state-of-the-art, sensor-based solutions that maximize resource efficiency by improving waste collection and sorting processes.

TOMRA also holds a leading market share (>75%) in reverse vending machines designed to collect bottles and cans. Globally, some 20 countries have implemented a deposit return scheme, with additional companies in Australia, Scotland, and the UK announcing their commitment in 2017.

About SIF Investing

Portico added social impact first (SIF), an increasingly popular form of social purpose investing, 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. “Our goal is to realize both solid financial return and measurable, positive environmental impact,” said Erin Ripperger, Portico’s senior socially responsible investing and investor advocacy analyst. “We selected Impax, in part, for its ability to demonstrate how its portfolio of companies is helping the environment.”



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.