Last year should have been full of positivity coming out of Covid: little did we know. There were over 30 wars in the world last year – civil, insurgency, invasion. But it was the Russian attack on Ukraine which created truly global challenges on food, fuel, fertiliser, inflation and recession, leaving people on low incomes struggling and government treasuries empty after the pandemic. 50 countries are now at risk of default in 2023, and those countries include 50% of all people in extreme poverty.

2022 was also the year when climate change hit people hard: from Pakistan floods to China droughts, with wildfires and record temperatures across the world. It is now becoming highly visible that environmental catastrophes are creating severe damage to populations.

This will be the first time the impact movement has faced recession and harms on such a wide front. It will create major problems, but also valuable opportunities, setting a challenge for our impact movement to demonstrate its resilience and value.

There is much to build on.

Impact transparency has developed beyond all expectations. Progress at the ISSB for global
harmonised standards is strong. Regulatory systems which are helpful for impact are developing in many jurisdictions. Impact valuation work is spearheaded by the new Impact Foundation for Valuing Impacts and the Value Balancing Alliance.

The use of impact tools is spreading – domestic pools of impact capital in both developed and emerging markets, outcome-based funding demonstrating success, and financial models to address the 1 in every 8 people on our planet who live in informal settlements.

ESG investing was under attack in 2022 – for green and impact washing, and as a highly politicised climate denial, notably in the US. But this has given a new spur to action, with stronger reporting requirements and greater transparency across several of the largest jurisdictions. The ESG field will emerge even more effective and trusted, driven by the public as much as by regulations. The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence estimates $53 trillion in ESG funds by 2025. Many of these ESG allocations are on a journey towards impact.

We are seeing a wide range of efforts to achieve mobilisation of capital into emerging markets, including the Just Transition Finance Challenge from the UK, ILO guidelines on Just Transition, a new Investor Alliance, and the EU’s 40bn euro Just Transition fund. We have blended finance initiatives from Indonesia’s B20, and valuable results coming out from the C3 Catalytic Capital Consortium. COP27 included long-awaited work on a loss and damage process responding to the climate harms created by richer nations, backed with the Bridgetown Initiative. The Finance in Common group brought together all the parts of the development finance system, creating the possibility of the breakthroughs in reforms that are so widely desired.

Yet all this progress is just a start. Emerging markets continue to struggle, and are hit hardest by recession and inflation. Impact investors and market builders are doubling down in this work and will collaborate to achieve real results.

So here we are, facing an even more challenging year, but with impact investing stronger and ever more widely taken up. Here at the GSG, I have seen big steps up from countries across the world, and many additional countries seeking to create their impact ecosystems, with over 50 countries now actively engaged in GSG’s community. It has been a privilege to be with such dedicated leaders making impact work for the challenges in their countries, sharing knowledge, and collaborating for success.

For me personally, I see two powerful forces for good coming together, both gathering energy for 2023.

One is how the new impact transparency agencies are actively seeking to connect with impact leaders across countries from all situations. Impact investment is already achieving positive outcomes, increasingly at scale. Impact transparency will create a new financial world order. The development of impact in every country will make it real – impact economies. Putting the two together is transformative – it creates the possibility for a new financial system that works for all countries, not only for the richest. 

The second is the realisation that climate and social action are fully intertwined and that solutions must account for both together. Climate change will be the biggest factor harming populations, particularly vulnerable populations. Equally, essential climate action can only be achieved with the will of the people. The days when climate work and social action were seen as separate have gone: we must and will work on both, together.

The GSG is contributing through impact investing, impact tools, and impact countries, collaborating with partners, sharing knowledge, creating opportunities for action. We will do everything we can for a better world: thank you for everything you are doing too. 

Cliff Prior
CEO – the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment

Impact Management Platform launches the System Map to help organisations, investors and financial institutions manage their sustainability impacts

The System Map provides a high-level visual of the currently available resources for organisations, investors and financial institutions to manage their sustainability impacts.

The GSG co-developed the map alongside the other Partners of the Impact Management Platform (Platform), with the dual aim of:

    • helping enterprises, investors, financial institutions and policymakers to understand which resources are available to them, and how those resources interrelate; and
    • informing the Partners and other organisations to identify areas of potential harmonisation among their existing and pipeline content, as well as gaps.

The map, which reflects the Partners’ consensus-view on impact management, is split into two sections to cater to organisations, as well as investors and financial institutions. Both sections plot the resources (as found on the Platform’s Resource List) according to the actions of impact management, which include measurement, assessment, disclosure and benchmarking. The finance and investment section additionally caters to various target audiences, including mainstream investors, banks and providers of development finance.

The resources, broadly categorised as principles and standards, guidance and tools, indicators and metrics and databases, are all available as a public good and predominantly voluntary in nature.

The map itself is a live product and will change according to the evolving landscape of international resources. It is part of the Platform Partners’ work to drive the emergence of a complete and coherent system of norms and resources for impact management.

Download the System Map to find out more, by clicking here.

​​Impact leaders from MIKTA countries join forces for impact investment.

As part of Türkiye’s 2022 presidency of the MIKTA platform, impact leaders from Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Türkiye and Australia (MIKTA) launched the ‘Joint Forces for Impact Investing’ Report.

Türkiye, December 15th – National Advisory Boards (NABs) of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), representing MIKTA countries, presented impact investment as a tool to mobilize capital at scale to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and meet climate change agreements (such as the Net Zero pledges and the Paris Agreement).

The MIKTA platform is a cross-regional group of the five G20 member countries working to bridge divides between developed and developing nations and build consensus on key issues. The Joint Forces for Impact Investing report launch event brought together impact leaders, policymakers and key stakeholders from MIKTA countries to present the shared opportunities for impact investment in the region, alongside the local key challenges and policy recommendations.

The report is a collaborative effort by Impact Investing Advisory Board, Türkiye; Alianza por la Inversión de Impacto, México; Seedstars, Indonesia; National Advisory Board for Impact Finance, Republic of Korea; and Impact Investing Australia, with the support of the GSG.

The report presents impact investment as a proven and fast-growing investment practice within the sustainable finance field and encourages further cooperation among MIKTA countries, and between the impact investing ecosystems and policymakers domestically.

Şafak Müderrisgil, President of the Impact Investing Advisory Board Türkiye, underlined the importance of the report and future potential collaborations:

 

The report is a preliminary reference reflecting the current status and intended targets of impact investing in MIKTA countries and paves the way for making new policies through their governments as well as collaborations within the MIKTA Platform.

Şafak Müderrisgil, President

Impact Investing Advisory Board, Türkiye (EDYK)

Ambassador Esen Altuğ, Director General of Multilateral Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye, participated in the event on behalf of the Turkish government. She emphasized the importance of impact investment for MIKTA countries, and called for cooperation among its foreign ministries:

As the current MIKTA Chair, Türkiye is pleased to take part in discussions on impact investing organized by our National Advisory Board. Impact Investing is to happen as a new and promising cooperation area for MIKTA partnership.

Ambassador Esen Altuğ, Director General of Multilateral Economic Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye

Sebastian Welisiejko, GSG Chief Policy Officer, moderated a panel discussion with representatives from all five NABs. He reinforced the core role of public finance to attract private investments, as well as the importance of developing impact transparency in the mobilization of capital:

No public budget alone will ever be enough to respond to the pressing challenges ahead of us, and that private capital, working together with the government, has a key role to play. We have a challenge in terms of how we can mobilize more private impact capital to respond to the social and environmental agenda most effectively, while ensuring that this mobilization is more transparent and impactful. This report features some elements of how to deal with both mobilization and impact transparency in MIKTA countries.

Sebastian Welisiejko, Chief Policy Officer

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment

National Advisory Boards of the GSG highlighted the most important trends and developments in their countries, as well as key challenges and opportunities they observe locally: 

Carolina Puerta, Executive Director of the Alianza por la Inversión de Impacto México:

Creating and developing a consistent impact narrative in Mexico is very important, as there is still confusion with ESG and other terms. Most of the financial organizations are starting to focus on ESG, while they think that impact is equal, or very similar to philanthropy. Raising awareness locally is key, so that the financial sector starts to look at impact investing as a real opportunity.

Carolina Puerta, Executive Director

Alianza por la Inversión de Impacto, México

Romy Cahyadi, Chief Executive Officer of Instellar, Indonesia:

The impact investing ecosystem in Asia is growing very fast with various different forces and stakeholders coming together. Mainstream investors are increasingly interested in learning about impact investment. Working together with the government, we hope to produce a strong action plan early next year to guide us to success.

Romy Cahyadi, Chief Executive Officer

Instellar, Indonesia

Chul Woo Moon, Chair of the National Advisory Board, Republic of Korea:

In Korea, excellent opportunities are arising and related policy supports are urgently needed to embed impact investing practices in the areas of climate technology, just transition, employment, post-covid social welfare, and international development aids.

Chul Woo Moon, Chair

National Advisory Board, Republic of Korea

Şafak Müderrisgil, President of the Impact Investing Advisory Board Turkiye:

It is crucial to distinguish impact investing from subjects like CSR and ESG. With the establishment of Turkish NAB, Türkiye became an actor in a global setting to present policies and other applications related to impact investing. We are currently working on the First Social Impact Bond for this February and also incorporating Islamic Finance instruments to the impact investing ecosystem.

Şafak Müderrisgil, President

Impact Investing Advisory Board, Türkiye (EDYK)

David Hetherington, CEO of the Impact Investing Australia:

The new Australian Government is enthusiastic about impact investing and has asked the Impact Investing Taskforce to revisit its 2020 recommendations. The Australian NAB is refining these recommendations for the Taskforce, including the establishment of an II wholesaler.

David Hetherington, CEO

Impact Investing Australia

The National Advisory Boards of the GSG that represent the MIKTA region have pledged to meet quarterly to strengthen collaboration, prepare a follow-up report for 2023, and establish a cross-regional meeting platform to accelerate impact investment in all five countries.

MIKTA NABs also shared their top priority for the year of 2023:

    • Australia – Securing an impact investment wholesaler.
    • Republic of Korea – Creating a climate impact fund with the Korean government and the support of the private capital.
    • Indonesia – Creating a blended finance facility of early impact investing.
    • Mexico – Aligning the concepts and narrative and raising awareness.
    • Türkiye – Incorporating Islamic Finance to be linked to impact investing.

Please click here to download the Joint Forces for Impact Investing Report.

 

About Impact Investing Advisory Board, Türkiye (EYDK)

Formed in April 2021, Impact Investing Advisory Board, Türkiye (EYDK) has 43 leading public, private, and third sector, institutional members. Its vision is to elevate impact investing into a mainstream investment choice in Türkiye and the surrounding region. EYDK is active in the fields of awareness raising, capacity building, cooperation and networking, and policy advocacy with evidence-based themes of women’s empowerment, refugee livelihoods, sustainable cities, the European Green Deal, and the Istanbul Finance Centre within the context of financial inclusion and participatory finance. Concepts such as venture philanthropy, blended finance, debt markets, and impact entrepreneurship are also within the strategic scope of EYDK. As the paramount market enabler in Türkiye, EYDK has an agile, transparent, and results-oriented approach towards serving the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. www.eydk.org

 

About the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is an independent global steering group promoting sustainable development and advancing education in impact investment. The GSG was established in 2015 as the successor to, and incorporating the work of, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8. The GSG’s National Advisory Boards (NABs) currently cover 35 countries. The GSG brings together leaders from finance, business, philanthropy and governments to drive a shift towards impact economies. For more information visit www.gsgii.org and follow the GSG on LinkedIn and Twitter.

New study shows steady growth of European impact investments, but more acceleration is needed

Brussels/London, 1 December 2022 –European impact investments are growing, but not quickly enough to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

This is the main finding of a report released today by EVPA – the European investing for impact network and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) on the impact investment market in Europe.

The study estimates the European direct impact investment market – i.e. investments directly made into enterprises addressing social and environmental challenges – at € 80 billion. European impact investment assets under management grew by a substantial 26% from 2020 to 2021, but still represent only 0.5% of the European mainstream investment market.

 

The top areas covered – decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities and climate action – include a mix of social and environmental goals, which shows how impact investors represent a force for change on both impact categories.

Looking at the sources of funding for impact investment, more than a quarter comes from individual investors. This trend is driven by countries with favourable regulations, which have proven to democratise access to impact investment and mobilise significant resources from retail investors, who are increasingly demanding sustainable and impact opportunities. This indicates that policy makers – both national and European – have a key role to play in making access to funding for retail investors easier.

At the low end of the spectrum, foundations’ endowment assets and high net worth individuals represent an untapped potential of resources which could be mobilised to support impact funds. EU funding accounts for 5% of the funding available to impact investors. This is heading in a positive direction, growing from 1% in 2020, and reflects the increased engagement of the European Investment Fund to deploy EU funds into public-private co-investments.

“The continued growth in the European impact investment market is encouraging. But we urgently need greater acceleration to address today’s pressing social and environmental needs”, said Roberta Bosurgi, EVPA CEO. “This is a wake-up call to all investors: we need more impact investments that identify, nurture and take big risks for innovative solutions to complex social and environmental challenges – from the climate crisis to sustainable food systems.”

“This coordinated cross-border market size study is important for attracting more capital providers and mobilising more capital for impact investment in European countries,” said Cliff Prior, the CEO of GSG. “The open-source transparency and detail in the report provides valuable data to investors and governments and will support future impact growth in the region.”

This report is the result of the first harmonised European impact investment market sizing, a joint effort by EVPA and GSG, as well as several of GSG’s National Advisory Boards and their academic partners. It will help create more transparency around impact investing trends and practices, and quantify their transformative impact on society and planet. It also allows for an aligned, credible and recognised baseline across Europe against which to measure progress. This is a critical first step to mobilise more capital providers interested in playing a bigger role in the impact space.

For more information and interview requests, contact:
Georgina Siklossy, EVPA Communications & Partnerships Manager
Email: gsiklossy@evpa.ngo

 

Notes to editors:

  • The study includes 285 organisations, representing 512 impact investment vehicles from 18 European countries. Venture capital and private equity impact funds represent over a third of the organisations active in the impact ecosystem (36%), followed by financial institutions (20%) and foundations (10%). Together, these first three categories correspond to two thirds of the sample; the remaining third is made of 10+ different categories of respondents.
  • The report was launched at the EVPA Impact Week, which gathers 800+ impact leaders in Brussels to accelerate positive change for people and planet

About EVPA
EVPA, the European investing for impact community, is a unique network at the intersection of business and purpose, driven by knowledge and focused on impact. We rally people, capital, knowledge, and data to catalyse, innovate and scale impact. EVPA brings together a diverse group of capital providers (impact funds, corporations, foundations, private equity, banks, public funders) and social innovators of all sorts – from household names to emerging new players. Together we work to increase prosperity and social progress for all, fix inequalities and injustices and preserve the planet.

About GSG
The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is an independent global steering group promoting sustainable development and advancing education in impact investment. The GSG was established in 2015 as the successor to, and incorporating the work of, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8. The GSG’s National Advisory Boards (NABs) currently cover 35 countries. The GSG brings together leaders from finance, business, philanthropy and governments to drive a shift towards impact economies. Follow the GSG on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Investor collaborations can unlock billions to finance the SDGs

Organised by FAIR and the GSG, ‘’Joining forces: growing impact in Africa & beyond’’, a side event to the 3rd international Finance in Common summit, was dedicated to impact finance.

It brought together experts and international leaders to discuss concrete solutions to finance Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Global leaders agreed that there is an urgency to step up and collaborate more to achieve the SDGs.

    • DFIs and public development banks (PDBs) are uniquely positioned to attract other investors, such as pension funds, to invest for the SDGs.
    • $35bn USD could be unlocked if 10% of pension fund capital in Africa was invested towards the SDGs. A new report1 was published at the event to explain how.
    • New collaborations have been announced to increase capital flows to the SDGs in Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Senegal.

Participants and speakers alike agreed that the SDGs can only be achieved if we increase collaborations between all stakeholders, and public finance and private finance players in particular. Currently there is an estimated annual $4.2Tr USD financing gap for the SDGs, and public finance alone will not be sufficient to close this. 

Across the day, speakers from government, development finance institutions (DFIs), private investors and other private sector players shared concrete solutions that demonstrated how public and private players can achieve much more by working collaboratively, in areas as diverse as climate mitigation, healthcare, financial inclusion, or agriculture. 

Belmonde Dogo, Minister of Solidarity and the Fight against Poverty, Ivory Coast, highlighted in the opening keynote that “to achieve the SDGs, we need the constant support of both public and private sector players. To mobilise capital for a sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa, we will need synergies and coordination between all stakeholders, alongside the creation of a new institutional framework.”

Cliff Prior, CEO, GSG, reinforced the core role of public finance to attract significant amounts of private investments: “DFIs and public development banks (PDBs) are uniquely positioned to demonstrate and develop the investability of SDG projects for other investors. They need to make better use of the de-risking instruments that they already have at their disposal.”

DFIs and public development banks (PDBs) are usually government majority-owned or benefit from government guarantees. This enables them to provide financing on competitive terms or to deploy de-risking instruments, abilities that they should use more to attract further private investments. 

The deployment of such de-risking mechanisms can help other investors see opportunities where they wouldn’t have invested previously. For example, if even 10% of pension fund capital in Africa was invested towards the SDGs, that could unlock $35bn USD for the SDGs on the continent. A new report ‘Unlocking pension fund capital for small business finance2 launched at the event by Collaborative for Frontier Finance, in collaboration with GSG, explores ways in which pension fund capital can be unlocked and play a bigger role in SME finance, the beating heart of economies in terms of jobs, GDP and overall resilience.

Paul-Harry Aithnard, Managing Director, Ecobank Côte d’Ivoire explains: A major challenge to develop SMEs and make them grow over the long term is to support them at two levels: digitalization and capacity building. Partnerships with other actors are essential to deliver quality services in both areas.”

Dr. James Mwangi, CEO, Equity Group Holdings concludes: “Finance needs to become demand driven rather than supply driven as it has been for so long. Equity Bank has grown thanks to a strong partnership with communities. It has been a symbiotic relationship. I want now to extend an invitation to collaborate and support 5 million SMEs on the continent.”

Thanks to experts from Burkina Faso, France, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Japan, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, UK, Zambia, and the EU sharing their work and calls to action, commitments were made, and new collaborations are now underway. Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, and Senegal, amongst others, have committed to establishing a National Advisory Board (NAB) to develop their national impact finance ecosystems, as a foundational step to ensure that more capital flows to the SDGs.

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) Announces Partnership with Finance in Common

Ahead of the annual Finance in Common Summit (FICS) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is pleased to join the Finance in Common network as a formal partner. By becoming part of this global community of public development banks the GSG will help create a critical bridge between public finance institutions and private sector actors to ensure that more capital can flow towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The impact investment movement is making impressive progress, with the most recent estimate of the current market size at US$2.3trn1. At the same time, there is a significant funding gap – US$3.7trn2 – between annual financing needed to meet the SDGs by 2030 and what is provided by current investment. There is sufficient capital and desire from investors to fill this gap, particularly when it comes to investment in African markets.

Boasting the world’s youngest population and the largest free trade area in the world under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, the continent is primed to undergo rapid and extensive development. It is understandable why over half3 of respondents to the latest Global Impact Investor Network survey said they intend to increase their allocation in these emerging economies. But when it comes to mobilising funds and applying them effectively to benefit those in need, cross-sector cooperation through well-designed interventions is key.

By partnering with Finance in Common – the global network of all public development banks (PDBs) which aims to align financial flows to the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement for Climate Change – the GSG is helping to strengthen partnerships between public finance institutions and private sector actors and accelerate capital flows towards the achievement of SDGs.

Evidence suggests that well-designed partnerships between public and private institutions can play a vital role in achieving inclusive outcomes that benefit people and our planet. This is especially true when it comes to emerging economies, which present significant opportunities for SDG investment, but often lag behind when it comes to the infusion of capital. By working together, GSG and FIC’s common goal is to mobilise key stakeholders to attract investments, and channel that capital where it is needed most to drive real, lasting impact.

Upon joining Finance in Common as an official partner, through the power of collaboration GSG seeks to support concrete initiatives on the ground to achieve the integration of social and environmental objectives in emerging markets, and building on its existing relationships in Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa, which are already improving SME finance and growing businesses working towards positive impact.

“I am extremely happy for this new partnership between Finance in Common and GSG for Impact Investment. One of the objectives we set ourselves is to catalyse finance for the SDGs through leveraging other players in the financial market. This is why our collaboration with GSG is essential. Through this enhanced cooperation, we can contribute to the mobilization of broader finance, both public and private, towards development impact.” Remy Rioux, President of Finance in Common, Chief Executive Officer, Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

The annual Finance in Common Summit (FICS), taking place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 18–20 October 2022 will emphasise the critical importance of collaboration in driving positive change in emerging markets. Organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) alongside the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), this year’s Summit will explore a ‘Green and Just transition for a sustainable recovery.’

The GSG and FAIR (GSG’s French National Advisory Board) are organising an in-person FICS side event: Joining forces: growing impact in Africa & beyond, taking place on 18 October. The event, offering a full day of workshops and sessions, will explore how the public and private sectors can leverage each other to mobilise private capital for public good, drive inclusive growth, create resilience and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Joining forces: growing impact in Africa & beyond will engage industry-leading speakers, notably from francophone African countries with developing ecosystems. Speakers will include Belmonde Dogo, Minister of Solidarity and the Fight against Poverty, Government of Côte d’Ivoire; Rémy Rioux, Chief Executive Officer, Agence Française de Développement (AFD); and Serge Ekue, President, West African Development Bank (BOAD), among others. Attendees will include PDBs, development finance institutions (DFIs), multilateral development banks (MDBs) and donors, alongside other key stakeholders including governments, central banks and private sector actors.

Learn more here and register to attend here.

The event is free to attend and will take place in both French and English (with simultaneous translation).

ENDS//

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact: Kristen Ahmad-Gawel (Atalanta) media@gsgii.org

About the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is an independent group promoting sustainable development and advancing education in impact investment. The GSG was established in 2015 as the successor to, and incorporating the work of, the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8. The GSG’s National Advisory Boards (NABs) currently cover 35 countries. The GSG brings together leaders from finance, business, philanthropy and governments to drive a shift towards impact economies. Follow the GSG on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Finance in Common

Finance in Common is the global network of all Public Development Banks (PDBs), which aims to align financial flows on the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement for Climate Change. Its objective is to strengthen partnerships among PDBs to accelerate the convergence towards shared standards and best practices, to support banks’ commitments to shift their strategies towards sustainability, and to give PDBs more visibility in the global fora discussing international policy issues. By mobilizing PDBs and crucial stakeholders, from private sector to civil society organizations, its aim is to encourage more coherent approaches to make the whole development finance system consistent with our common climate and sustainability objectives.

Members of the ISSB-SCC hold their first meeting, joined by the GSG as an expert advisor.

GSG Chief Policy Officer – Sebastian Welisiejko – joins the global efforts to progress impact transparency at the first meeting of the International Sustainability Standard Board’s (ISSB) Sustainability Consultative Committee (SCC).

The IFRS Foundation’s International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), chaired by the GSG-led Impact Taskforce (ITF) Steering Committee members, Emmanuel Faber and Jingdong Hua, has formed a Sustainability Consultative Committee (SCC) to “inform and advise the ISSB on priority sustainability matters and related technical protocols, as well as significant interdependencies between sustainability matters”. Acting as a consultative and advisory forum, SCC members will “constructively contribute towards the achievement of the ISSB’s goal of developing globally accepted, high-quality sustainability disclosure standards”.

The GSG is proud to have been appointed as a member of the ISSB’s SCC, represented by its Chief Policy Officer, Sebastián Welisiejko.

Four permanent members of the SCC; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD – OCDE), the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank will be joined by seven expert advisors, including the GSG.

 

Chief Policy Officer and head of the G7 ITF Secretariat, Sebastián Welisiejko said of the ISSB-SCC appointment:

 

The GSG is delighted to join the ISSB’s Sustainability Consultative Committee, alongside outstanding colleagues and impact leaders from all over the world. Together with my team, we will seek to both contribute to and learn from the crucial work of the ISSB, in close connection with members of the GSG across 35+ countries.

We look forward to continuing our efforts to implement the recommendations of the G7 Impact Taskforce, which stressed the importance for the global reporting baseline to be relevant to both developed and emerging economies, to reflect perspectives and realities of SMEs as well as large corporations, and for it to strike an adequate balance between “green” and “social” elements, recognizing the inextricable connection amongst the two in our journey towards a just transition to net zero economies

Sebastian Welisiejko said of the ISSB-SCC appointment

Chief Policy Officer and head of the G7 ITF Secretariat

Background and key developments in impact transparency

  • Global investment portfolios are increasingly demanding transparent, reliable and comparable company disclosures on environmental, social and governance (ESG) related matters.
  • Taking investment decisions through a triple lens of risk, return and impact, impact investment moves beyond current ESG frameworks and seeks to develop more reliable, robust and comparable standards for better informed investment decision making.
  • A major hurdle to increased impact transparency  is a lack of a global baseline to understand and measure companies’ impact(s). Significant developments have been made towards the creation of globally accepted, high-quality sustainability disclosure standards – the most notable being the establishment of the IFRS´s ISSB in November 2021 and its ongoing work to deliver such a baseline.
  • Created under the 2021 UK G7 presidency, the Impact Taskforce (ITF) gathered inputs from more than 170 finance, policy and business leaders representing more than 110 organizations in 40 countries to harness investment for the good of all people and the planet.
  • Led by the GSG and UK network partner the Impact Investing Institute, the ITF identified impact transparency as a key lever for change towards sustainable and impact economies.
  • Welcomed by G20 and G7 leaders at COP26 in November 2021, the IFRS Foundation announced the creation of a new standard-setting board – the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) – to work towards “a comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosures standards that provide investors and other capital market participants with information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to help them make informed decisions”.

Upgrading living conditions for 1 billion people in the Global South critical to meeting the SDGs

LONDON – Impact-led Investment of $6 trillion is needed to lift over 1 billion people out of slum conditions across the Global South. Doing so will represent an essential step towards the world achieving the SDGs by 2030, according to the GSG’s latest report entitled “Informal Settlements: No Longer Invisible”.

Despite the urgent need for investment, public funds alone are woefully insufficient to address the requirements for upgrading slums. Furthermore, informal settlement investments have been largely overlooked by investors, who have been focused on other pressing themes such as education, access to healthcare or agriculture.

The GSG’s Informal Settlements report makes the case for prioritising urban slums as a core area for impact investment and development. It outlines how improving the places in which people live can have multiple benefits for public health, education and economic opportunities, making addressing informal settlements central to achieving the SDGs. The report also identifies private capital structures, as well as the cooperation between investors, government bodies and other stakeholder groups, needed to draw in impact investment.

Around the world, one in eight people live in informal urban settlements without proper access to drinking water, sanitation or electricity. The issue is widespread and acute with 55% of the urban population of Zambia living in slum areas, along with some 48% of the urban population in Bangladesh, and 28% in Colombia.

In addition to poor housing without basic utilities, the precarious and often illegal nature of slum developments means that many inhabitants cannot access education, healthcare, the labour market or financial services. Death rates among infants and children are higher than for other urban groups, there is greater risk of respiratory infection, and inhabitants are more affected by the effects of climate change, such as flooding in low-lying areas.

“The impacts of slum-upgrading programmes and projects reach far beyond providing much needed basic infrastructure; they improve living conditions, public health and educational outcomes, and stimulate local economies by boosting quality job creation,” said Sir Ronald Cohen, the GSG’s Chair.

“By shining a light on informal settlements, our aim is to spur the creation of financial vehicles and solutions that both help to address many of the complex issues slum-dwellers face, while offering purpose-driven investors the opportunity to deliver impact at scale and meet their financial return objectives,” Cohen added.

The GSG highlights the potential to adapt existing financing instruments, including Green, Social, Sustainability and Sustainable-Linked Bonds to channel private capital investment into informal settlements. Over $1 trillion was raised across such instruments in 2021, which Moody’s ESG Solutions forecasts will increase to $1.35 trillion in 2022.

The report also draws attention to the often-sizeable informal economies in slums. A 2020 study by the Data Favela Institute and Locomotiva Institute found that residents of Brazilian favelas had a combined purchasing power of almost $28 billion, more than the annual GDP of Cambodia or El Salvador. If this economic strength is recognised – and potentially guaranteed by governments – it could be mobilised to help pay returns, creating a win-win-win for communities, investors and society at large.

The GSG makes a number of recommendations for investors, governments and other stakeholders to prioritise and drive investment into informal settlement upgrades. These include:

  • For investors to look beyond thematic approaches in areas like healthcare and education at place-based solutions and multi-dimensional strategies
  • For governments to make tackling informal settlements a priority and find solutions to de-risk investments for investors
  • For urban planners and habitat experts to acknowledge and understand the role that private investment can have in upgrading urban areas
  • All stakeholders to recognise the need to place communities at the heart of projects, involving resident and giving them a sense of ownership.

In short, the report calls on all parties to no longer view slums and their inhabitants as a problem, but to acknowledge the potential in transforming urban liabilities into assets. The GSG aims to stimulate an action-oriented conversation that will lead to the creation of scalable solutions that will address a global challenge affecting over a billion people, and ultimately help deliver the SDGs.

Please click here to download the Informal Settlements: No Longer Visible report.

ENDS//

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact:
Lynn Nicholson, Chief Communications Officer, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment – lynn.nicholson@gsgii.org
Mobile: +32 494 813 837

About the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is an independent global steering group promoting sustainable development and advancing education in impact investment. The GSG was  established  in  2015  as  the  successor  to,  and  incorporating  the  work  of,  the  Social  Impact Investment  Taskforce  established  under  the  UK’s  presidency  of  the  G8.  The  GSG’s  National Advisory  Boards  (NABs)  currently  cover  35  countries.  The  GSG  brings  together  leaders  from finance, business, philanthropy and governments to drive a shift towards impact economies. For more information visit www.gsgii.org and follow the GSG on and follow the GSG on and follow the GSG on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

The Impact Taskforce (ITF)
Established under the 2021 UK Presidency of the G7
Open letter from the ITF Chair
Progress update – June 2022

Background

In June 2021, 120 leaders from the worlds of investment, finance, government and international organisations, came together as an industry-led Taskforce under the auspices of the UK Presidency of the G7 to help answer a critical question for our time: “How can we accelerate the volume and effectiveness of private capital seeking to have a positive social and environmental impact?”

In just over four months, the Impact Taskforce (ITF) launched a series of ambitious, yet concrete and actionable recommendations to i) help transform the quality and transparency of information on the impact of investment decisions, and ii) scale mobilisation of institutional capital for positive impact, especially in emerging markets through vehicles that integrate social and environmental objectives in support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a just transition that does not leave people and places behind.

At all times we were conscious that success was not the publication of a series of reports, but to engage top decision-makers around our specific recommendations, obtaining a sustained commitment to the mobilisation of private capital for public good and seeing intermediate milestones achieved. 

Six months after our launch, we are particularly encouraged by developments that directly take forward key recommendations made by the Taskforce. On the impact transparency front, this includes initial drafts and proposals by the IFRS´s International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the EU´s European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) to advance climate and sustainability reporting standards. On impact capital mobilisation, we welcome the launch of the Just Transition Finance Challenge, a new coalition of investors heeding our call to launch more financing vehicles that deliver a global, fair and inclusive transition to Net Zero. 

Whilst we commend stakeholders, including ITF members and third parties, for making real progress on a number of additional fronts, we also call for faster movement in areas where action is lagging behind.

Progress on the ITF Recommendations

In the field of impact transparency (our Workstream A), back in December 2021 we called on a wide range of stakeholders, from regulators and standard setters to investors and companies to work towards a future in which investment decisions, by companies and institutional investors are increasingly taken through the triple lens of risk, return and impact. In particular, we i) called on governments to support and participate in upcoming consultations by the IFRS´ International Sustainability Standards Board, ii) called for an urgent “build” on the ISSB´s reporting “baseline” to include any impacts on all stakeholders, iii) defined mandatory accounting for impact as a destination, and iv) recommended that the G7 countries and partners collaborate with the private sector, standard-setters and academia on approaches to impact valuation. 

In the light of these recommendations, over the past six months we were encouraged by: 

  • The appointment of ITF Steering Committee member Emmanuel Faber as Chair of the IFRS´ International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), mandated with the crucial mission of establishing a “comprehensive global baseline of sustainability-related disclosure standards that provide investors and other capital market participants with information about companies’ sustainability-related risks and opportunities to help them make informed decisions”. In just a few months, the ISSB published exposure drafts on Sustainability and Climate-related disclosures, opening a public consultation process ending on 29 July, 2022. We urge governments, industry bodies, standard-setters and other relevant stakeholders to support and engage closely with this process, taking into account the ITF recommendations to achieve standards that are truly globally relevant by, i) balancing social and environmental issues; ii) acknowledging and reflecting realities of both emerging and developed economies; iii) actively engaging small and medium enterprises (SMEs) along the value chain; and iv) putting forward an assurance regime for all data relevant to enterprise value for public companies.
  • Proposals by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to introduce changes that “would require registrants to include certain climate-related disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports, including information about climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on their business, results of operations, or financial condition, and certain climate-related financial statement metrics in a note to their audited financial statements” 
  • The first reports (of a series of seven) by the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG), to advance corporate sustainability reporting across the EU. EFRAG recognises the importance of coordinating the development of EU sustainability reporting standards with existing and emerging global initiatives, which we deem imperative to advance towards a global baseline that is widely adaptable across the globe, in both developed and emerging markets.
  • Continuing progress in the field of impact valuation, through the recent collaboration announcement by the Value Balancing Alliance (VBA) and the Impact-Weighted Accounts Project at Harvard Business School (HBS IWA) to harmonise methodologies on impact accounting, as well as emerging efforts by the Capitals Coalition to establish a global Value Commission to “set international rules for how ‘value factors’ are created and used by organisations around the world.”

Strong and sustained progress on the impact transparency and integrity agenda will continue to be crucial to address emerging concerns across a number of jurisdictions, including with respect to ESG disclosure and the current lack of clear, consistent and standardised reporting mechanisms. Current controversy and confusion amongst some market participants should be seen as both a sign of relevance of the impact transparency and integrity agenda, as well as a clear call to provide high quality data to all stakeholders, making our work and recommendations, as well as the goals of the ISSB and similar efforts, more important than ever.

In relation to the mobilisation of capital for positive impact at scale (our Workstream B), at the moment of its launch, the ITF i) urged coordinated movement spearheaded by the G7 to remove multiple external and internal barriers that currently limit the flow of institutional investors’ transformational capital particularly to emerging and frontier economies, ii) recognised the need for integration of environmental and social factors to drive an inclusive, fair, and equitable transition to net zero economies, iii) called on multilateral development banks (MDBs) and development finance institutions (DFIs) to support for the mobilisation of capital, by more actively using a range of proven tools and instruments and improving frameworks for sustainable investment that currently constrain deployment, and iv) urged an expansion of capabilities and increase in transparency to support the deployment of funds to people and places of greatest need and opportunity.

Since we launched in December 2021, global events have made the financing challenge even bigger and the relevance of our positive impact agenda even greater. Again, we see some positive progress against a background of increasing urgency. The widespread consequences of the Russian war on Ukraine, including disruptions to the world´s food and fuel markets and economic volatility including rising inflation, is dangerously increasing uncertainty and challenging social stability across developed, middle income and emerging markets – as, according to the UN, 1.7bn people will be exposed to disruptions leading to poverty and hunger, 500k people are currently in famine (a 500% increase from 2016) and over 250m are at hunger level (doubled since start of Covid).

This reinforces in our mind the importance of the impact agenda, and our specific recommendations to boost private investment in emerging economies by dismantling barriers and providing incentives.

Over the past six months: 

  • We were particularly encouraged that leading investors – asset owners, managers and development finance institutions alike – have answered our call to action to launch more financing vehicles explicitly dedicated to advancing a global, fair and inclusive transition to Net Zero. July will see the launch of the Just Transition Finance Challenge, an initiative convened by the Impact Investing Institute (III) in partnership with the City of London Corporation, and which leading global financial institutions have agreed to join as Founding Participants. The Challenge will mobilise investment in a transition to Net Zero, helping asset owners and managers to respond to the growing demand for sustainable finance products and the urgent need to address the climate crisis. In particular, the Challenge will launch a Just Transition label for financing vehicles that help to deliver a fair and inclusive transition to Net Zero. The Challenge will be officially launched on 18 July at the Lord Mayor’s Finance for Impact Summit in London. You can register to attend the launch virtually here.
  • Around the launch of the ITF recommendations, over 160 firms with $70 trillion in assets have joined forces to steer the global economy towards net-zero emissions and deliver the Paris Agreement goals. The work of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), chaired by UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney and bringing together leading net-zero initiatives from across the financial system, needs to be widely supported to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. The existence of coalitions such as GFANZ validate our argument that “there is more than enough private capital” to deliver on the SDGs. The challenge remains about how we can make it easier for that capital to flow where it can have the most positive impact on people and the planet. 

For this transition to be just and inclusive, in line with the ITF call and proposals, a series of elements need to be an integral part of any financial vehicle aiming to drive capital to where it is needed the most, namely: i) climate and environmental action, ii) socio-economic distribution and equity and iii) community voice. 

  • Development partners and South African stakeholders have made progress to implement the $8.5bn funding pledge to support a just energy transition in South Africa, as announced in COP26. The pace and success of this effort is critical both for the benefit of South Africa but also given its replicability in other economies heavily reliant on carbon-heavy energy sources, such as Indonesia, facing both an environmental challenge but also severe social risks (e.g. nearly 80% of circa 150,000 South African miners are in one province of the country, where issues of reskilling, potentially relocation or rehabilitation of toxic land will be intense). The $8.5bn pledge is intended to catalyse other capital including blended and catalytic capital, for which ITF recommendations can be particularly relevant. Specifically, our argument about the need for public and private capital to work together in new modes of partnership, about to be tested in South Africa, will be crucial for demonstrating the practical implications of the Just Transition, as well as a potential model for other jurisdictions. ITF members have been engaged in the debate around optimising the impact of the $ 8.5 billion public commitment, and the need to not neglect the necessary social investment as a critical element in the Just Transition.
  • The GSG (Global Steering Group for Impact Investment) has been working closely through its entities and partners across 35+ countries to advance impact-capital solutions to scale funding towards the rehabilitation of informal settlements across the global south, where over 1 billion people live without access to basic services or land titles. In a recent report the GSG estimates a global funding shortfall of $6Trn for slum upgrading globally, proposes specific solutions to scale investment and calls governmental, private sector and civil society stakeholders to work together to commit capital at scale to improve the lives of the urban poorest.

At the same time, the GSG is working with 15+ of its entities across the globe to advance advocacy and implementation of the ITF recommendations in different national contexts, including Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, India, South Africa, Turkey and its entity covering Central American countries. 

Whilst we engage in emerging conversations with Japanese authorities and wider stakeholders to advance our work under Japan’s presidency of the G7 in 2023, the ITF remains committed to advocating and, where appropriate through its organisation and partners, supporting and participating in high-impact initiatives to meet the key social and environmental challenges of our time. 

More than ever, it is time to deliver. 


The Rt. Hon. Nick Hurd
Chair, Impact Taskforce

Click here to download PDF version

On Wednesday, June 15, the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) will kick off its Impact Summit Series – an expansion of its annual Global Impact Summit – with Part 1: Financing a Better World Through Impact Transparency, taking place virtually from 12:30-16:20 BST.

As the world faces an ever more urgent climate crisis, global harmonised standards and regulatory reporting will pave the way for the public to have trust in the impact statements provided by investors and companies. And impact valuation will show where our impact efforts can be deployed best, for the benefit of all people and our planet. The three-part Impact Summit Series will convene impact leaders from around the world to discuss, debate, and share insights about the future of finance, and explore how impact transparency is crucial for our shared future.

Part 1: Financing a Better World Through Impact Transparency will focus on the role of regulators, ongoing developments on impact valuation and current efforts to implement this agenda globally, with contributions from impact leaders, practitioners and National Advisory Board (NAB) voices from around the world.

Speakers will include:

  • Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman, GSG
  • Saori Dubourg, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF
  • Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board
  • Roger Ferguson, former Vice Chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve
  • Gonzalo Gortázar, CEO of CaixaBank
  • Jingdong Hua, former Vice President of the World Bank
  • Nick Hurd, Chair of the G7 Impact Taskforce and former UK Government Minister
  • Karen Karniol-Tambour, Co-Chief Investment Officer for Sustainability at Bridgewater
  • Douglas L. Peterson, President and CEO of S&P Global

The full agenda for Part 1 can be viewed here. More information about the Impact Summit Series can be found here.

Accredited journalists can register to join Part 1 of the GSG Impact Summit Series here. Please select ticket PART 1: GENERAL PASS and use code MEDIA2022.

Dates and further information about the upcoming events in the Impact Summit Series are below.

22 September, 12:00-15:00 BST
Part 2: Boosting Capital Flows in Emerging Markets

In the second part of the Series, we explore the barriers to investment in the SDGs and provide concrete solutions, presented by asset owners, asset managers and other leaders already implementing them.

22 November, 12:00-15:00 GMT
Part 3: New Frontiers of the Impact Revolution, Townhall Meeting led by Sir Ronald Cohen

In the final part of the Series, Sir Ronald Cohen will lead a townhall meeting where we discuss boosting impact capital flows and debate how best to bring about full impact transparency for investors and businesses. We will look back at the progress made in implementing the G7 Impact Taskforce’s recommendations and the way forward in overcoming the challenges ahead.

ENDS//

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact:
Lynn Nicholson, Chief Communications Officer, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment – lynn.nicholson@gsgii.org
Mobile: +32 494 813 837

About the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) is an independent global steering group promoting sustainable development and advancing education in impact investment. The GSG was  established  in  2015  as  the  successor  to,  and  incorporating  the  work  of,  the  Social  Impact Investment  Taskforce  established  under  the  UK’s  presidency  of  the  G8.  The  GSG’s  National Advisory  Boards  (NABs)  currently  cover  35  countries.  The  GSG  brings  together  leaders  from finance, business, philanthropy and governments to drive a shift towards impact economies. For more information visit www.gsgii.org and follow the GSG on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Click here to download PDF version

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