IFM Investors’ grants program to deliver for local communities
Communities across the world, including in Spain, the UK and Australia, have received funding from the latest round of the IFM Investors Community Grants Program, an initiative to promote partnerships between investee companies and local community organisations.
Following a successful Australian trial in 2019, the grants program has been expanded globally, in recognition that strong partnerships can have a big impact in solving local environmental and social concerns.
Nine projects have been accepted for funding and include supporting a social enterprise employing people with a disability in the Czech Republic, supporting seafarers’ wellbeing at Australian ports, and environmental initiatives to improve water quality in waterways in Spain, the UK and Australia.
Through the program, IFM Investors contributes up to AUD$40,000 to a collaborative project between an investee company and a local community-focused organisation.
The grant criteria requires applicants to demonstrate that projects have a clear social or environmental outcome, whilst encouraging creative ideas and strong partnerships.
To be successful, applicants needed to show their projects would have a positive impact, deliver defined objectives, and closely involve local community organisations.
The IFM Investors Community Grants 2021 Program is due to launch in the second half of 2021.
A list of successful 2020 program grant recipients and their projects is below.
Quotes attributable to IFM Investors Global Head of Infrastructure Kyle Mangini:
“We believe it’s important for the sustainability of our infrastructure investments that they also actively contribute to the sustainability of their local communities.”
“We are proud to support these grants and the environmental and community benefits they aim to create.”
Quotes attributable to IFM Investors Executive Director of Responsible Investment Chris Newton:
“As long-term investors in critical infrastructure assets across the world, we value the strong and mutually beneficial relationships our assets have with their local communities.”
“We have expanded this program because we know that strong local communities are vital if we are to keep delivering on our purpose, which is to protect and grow the long-term retirement savings of working people.”
Community Grants Program successful recipients
|Grant funding awarded
|Water management company Aqualia is partnering with bird conservation charity SEO Birdlife to work on restoring the lagoons of the Medina del Campo (Spain). The project aims to enhance biodiversity through adaptation of the lagoon environment and protect local birdlife. The local community will be engaged through the creation of an environmental classroom for school students.
|Aqualia (Czech Republic subsidiary SmVaK Ostrava)
|Water management company Aqualia’s subsidiary SmVak Ostrava is supporting Trianon Z.S., a social enterprise employing people living with a disability, through the purchase of a dedicated vehicle. The vehicle will enable transportation of materials for its "separation for recycling" operations, which provide ecological disposal services to customers throughout the region.
|Anglian Water (UK)
|Water management company Anglian Water is partnering with Norfolk Rivers Trust to support environmental improvements in the headwaters of the Binham stream, a tributary of the river Stiffkey - a key, local natural resource. The project aligns to Anglian Water’s sustainable business objective to enhance ecological quality across its water catchment areas.
|DCT Gdansk (Poland)
|Polish port DCT Gdansk is partnering with the Polish Association of People with Intellectual Disability (PSONI) to create multimedia and computer rooms to support people living with an intellectual disability, as well as to provide training in online communication, job seeking and social skills.
|Melbourne Airport (Australia)
|Melbourne Airport and Western Chances will continue working together to support the education of talented young people in Melbourne’s western suburbs through merit-based education scholarships. These scholarships aim to support young people from culturally diverse backgrounds who are experiencing financial disadvantage and other barriers to education.
|Adelaide Airport (Australia)
|Adelaide Airport will support the Dress for Success Adelaide Career Support Program (CSP). The CSP is designed to support women experiencing disadvantage to participate more effectively in the employment market by building confidence and supporting the development of job-search strategies.
|Port of Brisbane (Australia)
|The Port of Brisbane is partnering with social enterprise Ocean Crusaders to expand a program that is helping people develop skills for further employment while cleaning up Brisbane’s waterways. The project aims to remove significant debris from mangrove areas adjacent to the newly constructed Brisbane International Cruise Terminal seawall, where litter is a significant issue impacting the environment and wildlife.
|NSW Ports (Australia)
|NSW Ports has partnered with the Tas Bull Seafarers Foundation to launch Seafarer Connect. The project aims to support the wellbeing of seafarers facing long periods of time at sea through the provision of communications technology to ships at berth. The placement of WiFi boxes supports seafarers to connect with loved ones – a key contributor to mental health.
|Electricity transmission and distribution company Ausgrid will partner with Studio A on a project that will trial artwork on a small selection of Ausgrid electrical pillar boxes. Studio A is a social enterprise that helps develop and support the artistic talent and employment of artists living with a disability.
About IFM Investors:
IFM Investors was established more than 25 years ago with the aim to protect and grow the long-term retirement savings of working people. Owned by a group of Australian pension funds, the organisation has A$150 billion under management as of 30 December 2020. Because IFM is owned by industry pension funds, we prioritise the interests of 500 like-minded investors worldwide by focusing on assets that combine excellent long-term risk/reward characteristics with broad economic and social benefits to the community. As a signatory to The United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, IFM actively engages on ESG issues with the companies in which we invest with the aim of enhancing their net performance while minimising investment risk. Operating globally from offices in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Berlin, Zurich, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo, IFM manages investments across infrastructure, debt, listed equities and private equity assets. For more information, visit www.ifminvestors.com.
The IFM Investors Community Grants Program was designed to support our infrastructure investee companies to collaborate with local community organisations on projects that create mutual benefits.
For media queries, please contact: Phil Davey 0414 867 188.