Message from Sir Ronald Cohen:
It is my pleasure to be writing to you to update you on the progress the GSG and the impact movement have made over the last few months.
August saw the launch of the Business for Inclusive Growth (B4IG) initiative, powered by OECD, on the sidelines of the G7 Biarritz summit. This initiative aims to pool and strengthen efforts by private companies to reduce inequalities linked to opportunity, gender and territory, and to build greater synergies with government-led efforts. This reaches beyond good corporate citizenship to redefine the future of successful business.
The launch, which I attended together with 34 corporate leaders, was hosted by President Macron at the Elysee Palace. Shortly before the launch, the US Business Roundtable released an announcement, signed by 180 CEO’s of large corporations, signaling that a shift has occurred in the responsibility of companies, from serving shareholders alone to serving all stakeholders including society at large and the environment. So it seems that after consumers and investors, big corporations are now waking up to the need to deliver impact.
Sustainable Investment assets are continuing to grow globally and according to a recent report by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, have touched $30.7 trillion. The largest increase over the last two years was in Japan, where sustainably managed assets grew over 300%.
Developments in September included a major step forward in the UK. Sarah Gordon took up her role as the first Chief Executive Officer of the Impact Investing Institute, which brings together the UK NAB and the Implementation Taskforce on Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK. Significantly for our movement, this is another instance of a NAB receiving government funding.
September also saw Amit, Krisztina and Sukanya drive our efforts to spread the movement in Southeast Asia, by completing a roadshow across Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. They generated a lot of enthusiasm and activity, and we are now busy supporting the creation of a number of NABs in the region.
The Impact Weighted Accounts Initiative, our joint initiative with the Impact Management Project, incubated at Harvard Business School and led by Professor George Serafeim, launched its white paper, The Missing Piece for an Impact Economy, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on September 25. This report aims to catalyze a global effort to establish impact accounting standards, similarly to the financial accounting standards that followed the Great Crash of 1929.
At our Impact Summit in Santiago, 18-20 November, we will define action plans to achieve three objectives: Tipping Point by 2020, the SDGs by 2030 and how to hasten the arrival of impact economies where business and investment decisions are made on the basis of risk-return-impact.
The Summit will be rich in forum discussions among hundreds of impact leaders and stakeholders from more than 40 countries. I very much look forward to participating with you in Chile to guide and accelerate the global advance of the impact movement.
Onwards and upwards!
All the very best,