A Sustainable Future Looks Like



 

Thank You Note from Trish Nixon,

Director of Investments, CoPower

I just wanted to send a personal note of thanks to everyone who came out on Tuesday night to “The Planet In Your Portfolio.” It was a pleasure to meet so many of you in person. The buzz in Vancouver is truly energizing and I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation on how we can use impact investing to close the climate finance gap!

If you’re interested in investing in Green Bonds (we have approx $600K left in our first tranche!) or connecting about CoPower more generally, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me anytime at Trish.Nixon@CoPower.me.

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Invest Responsibly and Make Money, too: CoPower Bonds

Photos and Article by jenny.mx.tan@gmail.com
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Last Tuesday March 7th, the Board of Change hosted a panel discussion with CoPower’s Director of Investments, Trish Nixon, and Vancity’s Vice President of Impact Investing, Christine Bergeron, to discuss how average investors can do good with their money. Christie Stephenson, Executive Director at UBC’s The Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, moderated the discussion.

An opportunity to invest responsibly, see tangible social results, and not need millions or a trust fund to do it? You can pinch yourself to check; it’s not just a dream anymore. With Canadian clean energy investment company CoPower’s new bond offering, impact investing just laid out a welcome mat to the average investor.

The traditional problem with impact investing, noted Vancity’s Bergeron, is its lack of diversity and accessibility. Investments considered too risky for the average investor are the norm with impact investing; the market is accessible largely only to accredited investors (individuals who meet financial standards such as a net worth of over $1 million excluding real estate).

For Nixon, CoPower marks a shift in that trend. According to the company’s director of investments, CoPower’s current green bond offering is both a significant financial opportunity for investors and a chance to democratize the financial markets.

“There’s a huge opportunity to move significant amounts of capital [towards] clean energy and impact when we empower individuals to do so,” said Nixon. “Individuals… want to invest according to their values.”

CoPower is now offering three and five-year bonds with interest rates of 3.5% and 5% respectively. Investors can receive quarterly interest payments or reinvest the payments. The minimum investment is $5000, and the principal is repaid at maturity. Investments are RRSP and TFSA-eligible with an additional fee.

CoPower green bonds are not liquid and do not have a secondary market, said Nixon, and likely won’t make up an investor’s entire portfolio. However, CoPower green bonds could be an ideal component of a portfolio, she noted.

Nixon sees large growth ahead for CoPower and the impact investing field in Canada. “In the next three years,” she said, “we want to move $100 million in assets to clean energy and I think we’re on track to do that.”

For more information check out the CoPower website. The Board of Change gratefully acknowledges Vancity for their generous support of the event.

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Green, guffaws, and bruised avocados: Sustainability Night Live hits the stage

Article by jenny.mx.tan
More Photos by Daniel Rotman

Feb 21 2017
Don’t believe sustainability can make you clutch your tummy while guffawing? The Board of Change might just prove you wrong.

The Board of Change held its first-ever Sustainability Night Live last Tuesday, a night of improv comedy at TheatreSports and actors gently poking fun at humanity’s sputtering attempts at sustainability.

Local green expert manager Maureen Cureton incited guffaws as she took the stage and helped the Board of Change adopt a kangaroo mascot. Novex CEO Robert Safrata, ever sporting, strode onto stage in a skintight, lime-green superhero suit, complete with Herculean helmet feathers.

For Monika Marcovici, co-founder of the Board of Change, the deep-belly laughs filling the theatre were just what she’d hoped for.

“We’re always so serious [thinking] ‘the world’s coming to an end’,” said Marcovici. “We wanted a night where people can just enjoy themselves and have a good laugh.”

Cureton, fresh from her debut in comedy, echoed Marcovici’s sentiment, noting the sustainability crowd could use an occasional dose of jovialty. “It’s fun to get together and be playful”, she said.

The skits featured lighthearted fun and also delicate tensions in sustainability. On stage, comedians scratched their heads at the thought of organic fruit flown in from halfway around the world, and a self-proclaimed environmentalist showed off his three electric cars.

Board of Change director Jae Mather was satisfied with the night. “We need to laugh at ourselves and then embrace the creativity that comes from thinking ‘hey, this isn’t necessarily how it has to be’.”

Sustainability Night Live was proudly sponsored by Vancity and Nature’s Path Organic with generous audience gifts from Modo.

 
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Clean energy is the future — but will we get there fast enough?  We as individuals can do our part by reducing our consumption, maybe even putting solar on our roofs. But we’ve been largely excluded from utilizing one of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenals — our investment portfolio.
CoPower is on a mission to move millions for climate change by empowering everyday Canadians to invest in clean energy projects for both profit and planet. Find out how this innovative green investment platform is partnering with Canada’s largest Credit Union to accelerate this vision, and how you can be a part of it.
Join us for a panel conversation and light refreshments at SAP from 5:30-6:30.  Cocktails and snacks to follow at The New Oxford, 1144 Homer St, in the Tavern downstairs (5 min walk from SAP).
Speakers: 
Trish Nixon, Director of Investments at CoPower Inc
Christine Bergeron, Vice President of Impact Investing, Wealth Management and Community Real Estate at Vancity Credit Union
Moderated by: 
Christie Stephenson, ‎Executive Director at The Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics, UBC Sauder Business School 
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More Photos by Daniel Rotman

Thank you to Guy and all who attended January 17th’ inspiring talk with Guy Dauncey. Guy packed the house at SAP LABS with his progressive, innovative, and truly brilliant ideas and insights.

Guy’s Book “A Journey to the Future: A better World is Possible” is available here.

Some of his big ideas are described in the article below by Jenny Tan.

Guy Dauncey Believes We Can.

At January 17th’s Board of Change event, featured speaker Guy Dauncey introduced his new book, Journey to the Future, with practical solutions for solving the world’s largest issues.

And not too soon. The world saw a troubled 2016. But let us be clear: Dauncey is an optimist. The founder of the BC Sustainable Energy Association and honourary member of the Planning Institute of British Columbia thinks the future can be bright with a mindset change and by taking several specific steps. Firstly, the ‘rational dominator culture’ mindset we govern society by is not rational, said Dauncey. The mainstream belief that Company A can only benefit if Company B loses by the same amount is false, he emphasised. It erodes other forms of wealth such as trust, cultural wealth, and faith, said Dauncey, and we all lose if we cannot trust each other. Sounds idealistic? Dauncey highlights studies which show humans are inherently cooperative — and show the economic concept of the ‘rational’, solely profit-seeking human may be rooted more in history than in science.

Dauncey’s ideas are ambitious, but plausible. Last Tuesday, Dauncey made the audience sit up with his proposal to make banking a public function. After 2008, he noted, governments created money (through quantitative easing) to bail out banks after they crashed due to recklessness. Why not create money to build affordable housing instead? Public banking can sound like an abstract, utopian concept, he acknowledges, but public banks do exist — and one such bank earned record profits in 2008.

In Journey to the Future, 24-year-old Patrick Wu explores Vancouver in year 2032 and finds a city of hope and innovation. But the shift did not occur by chance. Residents hashed out practical solutions together, took bold but feasible actions, and held responsibility for the world in their own hands. A better world is within reach.

For more information about Guy Dauncey’s latest book, Journey to the Future, visit http://www.journeytothefuture.ca/.

Article by Jenny Tan
Food and climate journalist

@thejennytan
Podcast: The Canadian Diaries

Photos by Daniel Rotman

 

As we launch into a new year of cultivating a sustainable business community in Vancouver, I have exciting news to share with you! The Board of Change will be amalgamating with the Green Chamber of Commerce of BC and the Pacific Institute of Ecological Economics to create one unified organization under the Board of Change name.

In doing so, our combined forces with these two like-minded organizations allow us to
1. have a stronger voice
2. provide better benefits to our members and
3. enhance our portfolio of courses, events and activities. (more…)