ABOUT THE GSG
A registered UK charity since November 2017, the GSG currently has 33 member countries plus the EU. Chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, the GSG brings together leaders from finance, business and philanthropy to solve some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.
The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is an independent organisation catalysing impact investment and entrepreneurship to benefit people and the planet. The GSG was established in August 2015 as the successor to and incorporating the work of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK´s presidency of the G8.
What is impact investment?
Impact investment optimises risk, return and impact to benefit people and the planet. It does so by setting specific social and environmental objectives alongside financial ones, and measuring their achievement.
INVESTING FOR GOOD
Governments and philanthropists alone cannot cope with the enormous scale of the social and environmental challenges we face. They are constrained in their ability to spend more, yet social issues continue to proliferate. Many are starting to realise that they do not have the resources or the ability to provide a solution alone.
As public finances face rising pressure, private savings are growing. Investment groups and the individuals whose savings they manage have been turning away from investments that do harm to the environment and negatively affect people and communities. Increasingly, they want their money to do good while delivering a return.
Impact investment optimises risk, return and impact by elevating positive social and environmental goals to sit alongside financial ones. There is enormous, untapped potential in impact investment’s ability to improve people’s lives and benefit the planet.
WHAT WE DO
We engage with policymakers to make the case for impact and agitate for a worldwide shift to impact economies.
We bring together the global impact community to share knowledge and build understanding of the benefits of impact investment.
We develop innovative ideas, approaches, and products for impact.
We foster local impact economies with National Advisory Boards in 33 countries and growing.
NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARDS
The network of National Advisory Boards brings together experts in the fields of investment, public policy and social and environmental innovation. Their role is to promote and facilitate the development of impact investment in the countries in which they operate.
This network provides the GSG Group an unrivalled view into how impact investment can address the needs of people and the environment in different countries around the world. That enables us to push for impact investment that can solve challenges both nationally and at a global level.
Our collective aims for a just and impact-led recovery
1. Improving lives in informal settlements through impact investment
Over one billion people around the world are estimated to live in informal settlements. Impact investment has a role to play in improving the conditions in slums for the most vulnerable, while benefitting developing countries by bringing more people into the formal economy.
Our aim is to clearly define the issue through consultations and research. We will analyse the potential for impact investment and assess the benefits of investment structures and policies.
2. Putting outcomes first in government commissioning
Government commissioning processes for services from education to health traditionally focus on investment. By concentrating on outputs through results-based financing, governments can deliver better outcomes for individuals and society more broadly.
We will draw on the experience of our partners, including the Education Outcomes Fund, and our National Advisory Boards to help countries make results-based financing mainstream. We will identify investment tools and how they can be used, as well as the potential barriers to be overcome.
3. Improving access to capital for small businesses in Africa
Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities. Those companies – SMEs, SGBs and social enterprises – urgently need capital to weather the COVID-19 crisis and rebuild for the long term.
We will engage with Central Banks to develop mechanisms that direct capital to small businesses through the right incentive structures for local banks. We will hold a series of roundtables to bring institutions together, broker partnerships and showcase innovations, helping unlock capital, technical skills and data for impact.
4. Creating a compelling narrative for impact
For impact investment to be understood, its story needs to be told. A compelling narrative for impact organisations is essential to convince governments and international finance groups of the benefits of impact investing and so feed the creation of impact policies and economies globally.
We will work with our National Advisory Boards and communications experts across the globe to develop the most compelling story about impact and its benefits for people and the planet.
5. Unlocking trillions for impact through asset managers
Asset managers unite investors that have capital with opportunities that require investment. Shifting trillions towards impact investment can fuel a just recovery and fairer economies long term.
Our goal is to help increase the value of assets allocated to responsible, sustainable and impact products, by focusing on the largest asset managers in the most developed markets. We will work with them to develop more diverse product offerings – across private and public markets – that can democratise impact investment.
6. Influencing pensions for purpose
With over $50 trillion in assets globally, pension fund providers are among the most influential investors. Encouraging those funds to allocate a portion of their resources to impact strategies, while applying ESG criteria to their entire portfolio, can shift the needle towards an impact-led recovery.
Our objective is a common language and shared knowledge that can help pension funds embrace impact. We will bring together advisers and experts to identify gaps in the market and opportunities for international collaboration.
7. Getting impact into governmental decisions
Governments have the power to drive impact investment by putting it at the heart of their agendas. It is essential to educate policymakers on impact topics, identify and empower policy champions, foster connections and international collaboration, and support capacity building to enable them to meet their objectives through impact.
We are delighted to partner with the OECD and the UNDP and proud to run the secretariat for the Impact Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G7, as it seeks to increase impact transparency and identify investment structures to mobilise capital at scale. We continue to work to influence governments through the British and Italian presidencies of the G7 and the G20.
8. Delivering impact transparency for corporates and investors
Harmonisation of reporting standards can create transparency and trust between companies and their investors. The Global Reporting Initiative and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board are already established standards and the journey towards Impact Weighted Accounts is gaining momentum.
We will continue to bring companies and investors together for roundtables and discussions about the Impact Weighted Accounts methodology, pushing forward reporting that elevates impact performance to sit alongside financial results.