Measuring impact

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What impact investing needs to move forward

Institutional and private equity investors are becoming increasingly conscious of the social and environmental impact of their investment decisions, as well as the financial returns, amid a global push on reducing carbon emissions and boosting corporate responsibility. But as impact investing starts to gain more traction among investors, greater benchmarking of its performance is now needed

How do you measure the ‘sustainability’ of an investment?

Sustainable investing has come a long way, with more than a quarter of assets under management globally now being invested with consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. While sustainable investing was long considered a niche in equity investing, the launch of the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2006 was a

Three elephants in the impact investing room

Controversy #1: The crowding out of Official Development Assistance (ODA) Impact investing looks like the new salvation. The hope is that tapping into finance from corporations, venture capital, wealth funds and other non-state investors will increase the amount of resources available to meet the Sustainable Development Goals from ‘billions to trillions’ of dollars. This vision is appealing,

Impact investing: A multitrillion-dollar market in the making

Impact investing has been gaining traction over the last decade, as investors, consumers, and—to an extent—policymakers come to recognise that new ideas are needed in order to address some of the largest societal and environmental challenges facing humankind. However, as is often the case with new ideas, impact investing continues to face big challenges and

Financial wellness popularity on the rise

The number of financial wellness programs offered by employers is skyrocketing, as workers clamor for help in increasing financial literacy and improving their financial wellness. The percentage of employers offering financial wellness programs rose to 83%, up from 20% two years earlier, according to Prudential’s 10th Benefits and Beyond: Employer Perspectives on Financial Wellness study. And

Impact Investors Make Strides in Measuring Results

Impact investing has two clear goals: create a positive social or environmental impact and generate market-rate returns. As a financial endeavor, it’s easy to figure out whether an investment succeeds based on how much money it makes. If you invest $1,000 and earn a 10% return, you can pocket that $1,100. But how does an

Talking About Ethics in Impact Investing

Every Wednesday at 8:30 am, the Big Society Capital investment committee gathers in our boardroom in London. Team members introduce each potential investment, presenting detailed financial modelling, a market assessment, a plan for measuring impact, and a summary of what our partners and stakeholders think. Despite this rich information, however, some questions remain unanswered, such as whether

The who, what and how of impact investing

In the past, the concepts of "financial gain" and "social good" have seemed mutually exclusive. But with impact investing on the rise, this is no longer the case. The logistics, though, are a little tricky. How, for example, does one determine a worthwhile investment — that is, something that will generate returns and also create

Development is not a science and cannot be measured.

The obsession with measuring it is paralysing aid workers, there is no way to fully understand the impact of development. I would wager that, at any given moment, the majority of aid workers in the world are doing the exact same thing. We like to imagine aid workers out in the field, but that’s not