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Impact Investing
Want to work in this sector?
Start by learning more with the resources below!
Introduction

Issues

Solving global challenges requires significant amounts of capital. There is a $2.5 trillion gap in the annual funding needed to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Global investment in clean energy needs to more than triple to around $4 trillion per year by 2030, and remain around these levels until 2050. 

Unfortunately, global capital flows are not shifting to address the scale of these challenges. Since 2015, the world’s 60 largest banks have poured over $5.5 trillion into the fossil fuel industry, exacerbating the climate crisis. In 2019, banks around the world lent $2.6 trillion that was directly linked to ecosystem and wildlife destruction. 

Solutions

Impact investing refers to investments which are made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. The Global Impact Investing Network estimates the size of the worldwide impact investing market to be USD 1.164 trillion. Green bonds comprise a significant portion of this, with total green bond issuance reaching $900 billion in 2023. 

Impact investing is distinct from responsible investing, which involves investing according to certain environmental, social and governance criteria (also known as “ESG investing”). Where ESG investing aims to negatively screen investments for certain risks (i.e. excluding fossil fuels), while prioritizing investment in companies with higher ESG scores, impact investing seeks to create direct positive social or environmental impact in the world. Prominent impact investing firms with a wider social and environmental mission include Triodos Bank and Vancity Community Investment Bank

Social movement investing is a new theory of impact investing in which capital is used to fund economic transformation and promote wellbeing. The community wealth-building movement aims to reinvest in communities through broader democratic ownership of purpose-driven, place-based organizations such as credit unions, cooperatives, and community land trusts. For further examples, see The Next System Project or the Canadian Commmunity Economic Development Network

Calls to restructure the global financial system have increased in recent years. Although developed economies have pledged to provide $100 billion in annual climate finance to developing nations, there are concerns that such plans will worsen sovereign indebtedness and undermine state capacity if they are not centred on climate justice principles. The Bridgetown Initiative is a global plan introduced by Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados to reform the international financial system in response to the global “polycrisis.” For more information, see this UNCTAD report on Financing a Global Green New Deal. 

Resources to
Learn More
Programs, Trainings, and Events
Policies and Organizations
Organizations
  • Global Impact Investing Network - The Global Impact Investing Network is the global champion of impact investing, dedicated to increasing its scale and effectiveness around the world. 
  • EU Platform on Sustainable Finance - The Platform is an advisory body to promote dialogue and close cooperation among a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sector will be crucial to deliver on the aims of the EU Green Deal. 
  • UN Principles of Responsible Investment -  UN Principles for Responsible Investment is a UN-supported network of financial institutions working together to implement its six aspirational principles, often referenced as "the Principles". 
  • Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero - Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is a coalition of leading financial institutions committed to accelerating the net-zero transition. 
  • FinanceWatch - Finance Watch is a non-profit association dedicated to reforming finance in the interest of citizens. 
  • Toronto Atmospheric Fund - The Toronto Atmospheric Fund invests in urban solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
  • Vancity Community Investment Bank - Vancity Community Investment Bank has a mission to use the tools of finance to drive immediate and lasting social and environmental change in our communities. 
  • Raven Indigenous Capital Partners - Raven Indigenous Capital Partners provides the expertise to work with Indigenous communities and enterprises to develop financial tools that address critical social, economic, and environmental challenges by supporting Indigenous innovators. 
  • Canadian Community Economic Development Network - CCEDNet is a member-led association connecting people and ideas for action to build local economies that strengthen communities and benefit everyone. 
  • New Economy Coalition - The New Economy Coalition is a coalition of 200+ organizations building the solidarity economy in the U.S. and showing that another world is not only possible — it’s already happening.
Existing policies
Key Policies
  • US Inflation Reduction Act - The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is the most significant climate legislation in U.S. history, offering funding, programs, and incentives to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy 
  • EU Green Deal - The European Green Deal will transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, ensuring: no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050; economic growth decoupled from resource use; no person and no place left behind
  • EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive - EU rules require large companies and listed companies to publish regular reports on the social and environmental risks they face, and on how their activities impact people and the environment.
  • Climate Aligned Finance Act - The Climate Aligned Finance Act, introduced by independent Senator Rosa Galvez, is a landmark piece of legislation to align Canada’s financial system with its climate commitments.  
  • UK Better Business Act - The Better Business Act aims to change UK law to ensure every company in the UK aligns their interests with those of wider society and the environment.
New policy initiatives
Petitions

Volunteer Positions

Disclaimer: this list includes both organizations that are actively recruiting volunteers as well as organizations that do NOT have current openings.
Please follow their newsletter and socials to be informed when opportunities become available!

Name of Company
Open Positions
Location
Website
New Power Labs

Multiple

Multiple
Canadian Form for Impact Investing and Development (CAFIID)

Become a Member

Online
Canadian Community Economic Development (CED) Network

Become a Member

Nationwide
Bank.Green

Multiple

Online
Citizen’s Climate Lobby Canada

Multiple

Nationwide
The Council of Canadians

Join a Chapter

Nationwide
The Climate Reality Project

Multiple

Nationwide
Greenpeace

Multiple

Nationwide

Job Board

Disclaimer: Certain organizations on this list don't have sustainability as their core purpose, but they have been included because they have strong commitments and recognition for their efforts. For these organizations, only open positions directly contributing to sustainability initiatives or departments will be listed.

Organization
Open Positions
Type of Organization
Location ↓
Remote
Website
FinDev Canada
Private/Public Sector
Montreal
Hybrid Available
Link
Local Investing YYC
Private Sector
Alberta
Unknown
Link
New Market Funds
Private Sector
Multiple
Unknown
Link
PenFinancial Credit Union
Private Sector
Ontario
Unknown
Link
Career Development Resources
Career Advice Interviews
Coming soon
Leveraging LinkedIn
  • Explore Green Career Centre’s LinkedIn Maximization Guide
  • Read through Green Career Centre’s LinkedIn Sustainability Influencers to Follow articles from 2022 and 2023.  
  • We also recommend following us on LinkedIn, where we regularly share opportunities, resources, and news related to the clean economy.

Networking & Interview Prep

Job Search Resources
  • This report provides a helpful toolkit, case studies, and tips for BIPOC/BAME youth to develop self-knowledge, prepare for job hunting, increase their competence, build sustainability experience, and nurture well-being.
  • Visit Green Career Centre’s Job Application Tracker to manage your applications, update progress, and interview prep. 
  • Check out GoodWork's Job Search Tips & Resources for proactive strategies to find and land the right opportunity.
  • Many job search experts agree that most jobs belong to the hidden job market. To learn about navigating this, read Hidden Sustainability Jobs and Tapping the Hidden Job Market.