Vicinity Centres (ASX:VCX) is in the process of becoming the largest investor in solar power of any shopping centre group in Australia.
It will invest $28m over the next 12 months across its SA and WA assets via the installation of 39,000 solar panels that will generate 17.4 GWh of energy each year. The energy generated by the solar and battery systems will be used on-site for both Vicinity and retailers reducing reliance on the grid. The project is a good example of how financial returns and sustainability objectives can work in unison. We expect Vicinity to achieve mid teens IRR on investment from its solar energy programme.
In recent discussions with management, it is clear the company is looking for energy related initiatives that benefit as many stakeholder groups as possible. At the same time as shareholders being financial winners from the initiative, in a win for the environment Vicinity is reducing overall energy usage. From FY15 to FY17 the total portfolio gross lettable area (GLA) reduced by 4.6% while the total energy usage of the portfolio has reduced by 14.4% over the same time period. Vicinity is within the investment universe of the Ethical Partners Australian Share Fund.
During October 2021 the Fund returned 1.09% versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of 0.10%, outperforming the market by 0.99%. An overweight position in Materials added to relative performance while and overweight position in Financials detracted from relative performance.
This World Children’s Day, 20 November, we recognise the devastating and disproportionate impact the climate crisis is having and will continue to have on children. As the most anticipated event of the year, COP26, finishes, it remains clear we have never needed more urgent action from government, business and society to respond to the climate crisis
During September 2021 the Fund returned -1.19% (after fees) versus the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index of -1.89%, outperforming the market by 0.70%. An underweight position in Healthcare and an overweight position in Transport added to relative performance. Over the last 12 months the Fund has returned 36.03%, outperforming the ASX300 Accum Index by 5.17%.