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A funding model for a stronger impact

Impact investing is an innovative way to raise funds and access capital.

Kiln building empty. Image: Ben Rahn/A-Frame
Top image caption: Image: Ben Rahn/A-Frame ‐ Image: Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Published on August 13, 2018

Evergreen’s Kiln Building Redevelopment is not your typical retrofit in many ways.

The redevelopment and its carbon neutral target showcases the possibilities in creating inclusive, low carbon cities of the future. Implementing solar thermal technology to collect and store heat during the winter months as well as a high efficiency, renewable heat and cooling system on-site will help transform the 53,000-sq-ft historic building and the entire site at Evergreen Brick Works into a near zero carbon space.

Much like the physical space, this project is also a demonstration of a unique and innovative funding model known as impact investing. It’s an investment with a target for a positive ­social and environmental impact as well as a financial return.

Six social impact investors came together to provide a syndicated loan to Evergreen for the Kiln Building Redevelopment. The initiative is led by Hamilton Community Foundation, with Toronto Foundation, Lawson Foundation, Atkinson Foundation, Echo Foundation and London Community Foundation, with the guaranteeing support of philanthropists David and Robin Young.

Working together for a greater impact is at the foundation of Evergreen’s work. The enthusiasm and support from these six foundations enables Evergreen to make an even greater impact by creating a global centre for Future Cities Canada, a unique city-building collaborative that brings together people and ideas to find new ways to address the challenges facing cities. The newly-renovated Kiln Building will include improved spaces for convening diverse audiences, exhibiting innovation, training and collaboration. 

The impact investment industry has been a growing practice in Canada over the past 10 years, but it is not often that six investors come together with the same objective – in our case, a project that is setting a global example of pushing the boundaries of green design and construction practices.