Dear investors and friends,
I am so excited to finally share the news that CoPower has been acquired by Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), Canada’s first values-driven bank and a subsidiary of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union.
It’s a big step for both companies, and one that will help us bring you new opportunities to invest in Canada’s clean energy future and other issues you care about. More on that below.
It's also the first acquisition of an impact investment firm by a Canadian bank. An encouraging sign of the times that reflects not only the growing demand from people like you for investments that make a difference but also the mainstreaming of environmental and social finance. It’s a larger story that we’re so proud to be part of.
VCIB has been playing a leading role in that story, too. While CoPower has been making strides in sustainable finance, VCIB has been making significant contributions in the area of financing for social purpose real estate, for example supporting affordable housing, co-working spaces, non-profit building ownership and heritage buildings—work that keeps communities vibrant, inclusive and livable.
Like CoPower, our new parent company believes the financial industry can and should be part of shaping solutions to the environmental and social challenges facing our communities. As Canada’s first (and only) values-driven bank, VCIB partners exclusively with companies and organizations working for positive change. We couldn’t have found a better mission-aligned home.
So why come together?
CoPower’s mission has always been about moving money for the clean energy transition, in part by bringing you opportunities to invest. We’ve made progress—more than $30 million raised with a community of nearly 800 investors; 14 loan portfolios financed; 1150+ clean energy or energy efficiency projects supported; 12,000+ tonnes of CO2 avoided already—but the goal is to go bigger, to really move the needle on climate change. Joining VCIB allows us to get there faster and more effectively than we ever could if we continued to go it alone.
The Vancity Group has also been an important partner of ours for the past two years. Did you know, for example, that Vancity Capital Corp has played an important role in how we make the loans behind your Green Bonds? More recently, we began exploring how CoPower and VCIB could begin lending to projects together. Each of us brought something different and essential to the table, a process that got us thinking about the impact a united team could have on social and environmental finance in Canada.
For CoPower, joining VCIB means access to deeper resources. As you know, Green Bond proceeds are used to lend to community-scale clean energy projects typically overlooked by larger lenders. While projects in the $500K-$10M range have been in reach for CoPower, our ability to support projects in the $10M-$50M range has been limited. (Yes, $50M is small in the world of infrastructure finance!) With VCIB we can fill that gap in the market. That means more projects, investment opportunities and emissions cuts.
It’s not just about writing larger cheques. The combination of our clean energy expertise and VCIB’s existing strength in social purpose real estate lending means that together we can be more innovative and respond to evolving market needs. For example, we can combine our expertise to underwrite loans for commercial real estate and at the same time, energy efficiency and clean energy measures in that same building!
The acquisition also brings the possibility of new investment opportunities. In the short term, Green Bonds will continue to be our main offering for the retail market, but we’re already exploring how we might offer other investment opportunities that empower Canadians to invest more of their portfolios in line with their values and both social and environmental priorities.
What this means for our community
To our early investors, thank you for trusting us and believing in our mission. Today wouldn’t be possible without you. Beyond new investment opportunities, for you, our current bondholders, not much will change. The CoPower team will continue to manage the bond portfolio with VCIB, and we are in the final stages of due diligence on the next clean energy project loans. You’ll continue to have access to your investor dashboard, and you’ll be among the first to know when our next issuance of Green Bonds is launched.
If you’re an aspiring new investor, welcome! We can’t wait to get to know you and be part of your journey to building an investment portfolio that benefits people and planet. Stay connected by signing up for our newsletter or by creating an investor account today.
For more, check out our press release or recent coverage of the acquisition in the National Observer. Over the coming months we’ll be sharing more stories, deeper dives into some of the exciting possibilities mentioned above and news of our progress, but today we just hope you’re as excited as we are about what the future holds for CoPower, VCIB and impact finance in Canada.
Founder and Managing Director, CoPower