Impact investing needs move to the mainstream

Written by Lisa Stanley Mann on 28th March 2018

Ten years ago, impact investing was a term barely known except by a few industry die-hards, these days you’d hope it might even crop up among the apples or Bodens in one or two Gen X google searches.

Now, 10 years since the coining of the the term ‘impact investing’, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) has launched a new roadmap with the aim of moving the impact investing industry from niche to the mainstream.

Impact investing is laying the groundwork for a new model for financial markets—one in which the markets work for people and the planet, as well as investors.
Amit Bouri, CEO and co-founder of the GIIN

The report, ‘A Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing: Reshaping Financial Markets’, highlights how much impact investing has achieved to date to help alleviate issues such as those detailed in the UN’s sustainable goal, but in order to help truly solve them needs to become mainstream financial practice.
 

Amit Bouri, CEO and co-founder of the GIIN, said: “Impact investing is laying the groundwork for a new model for financial markets—one in which the markets work for people and the planet, as well as investors. In order to meet the urgent need presented by social and environmental challenges around the world, the global impact investing market needs to scale and develop at a much faster pace.

“The Roadmap presents a collective plan to accelerate the development of the industry. We believe this Roadmap can multiply the impact of this movement and shift expectations about the role capital plays in society.”

The Roadmap details six categories of action to drive progress toward the vision. For each category, the Roadmap describes specific actions needed, which stakeholders should lead on these actions, and a timeframe. Enacting the plan will require collective action by leaders from the entire impact investing ecosystem.

Impact investing holds incredible potential to help address many of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.
Saadia Madsbjerg, managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation
The six categories of action:
  • Strengthen the identity of impact investing by establishing clear principles and standards for practice
  • Change the paradigm that governs investment behavior and expectations about the responsibility of finance in society via asset owner leadership and updated finance theory
  • Design tools and services that support the incorporation of impact into the routine analysis, allocation, and deal-making activities of investors
  • Develop products suited to the needs and preferences of the full spectrum of investors, from retail to institutional and of various types of investees
  • Increase supply of trained investment professionals and pipeline of investment-ready enterprises through targeted professional education
  • Introduce policies and regulation that both remove barriers and incentivize impact investments
The Roadmap was developed with inputs from more than 350 individuals operating in the impact investing ecosystem around the world as well as from extensive desk research into progress in the field to date, how successful movements evolve, and how paradigm-shifting systemic change takes place. The Roadmap was produced in consultation with The Monitor Institute by Deloitte and with generous support from The Rockefeller Foundation.
Saadia Madsbjerg, Managing Director at The Rockefeller Foundation added: “The Rockefeller Foundation has been committed to developing the impact investing market since the industry’s earliest days and we look forward to continuing to advance this market at an exponential rate through the Roadmap initiative. We believe impact investing holds incredible potential to help address many of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The industry also plays a pioneering role in influencing how all of us think about the value of our capital.”

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