This report provides the summary conclusions of the Impact Taskforce (ITF). It presents the case for urgent action, provides actionable recommendations and sets out a clear pathway as to how private capital can be mobilised at scale in support of key global sustainable development targets.

Recommendations are focused on transforming the quality and transparency of information on the impact of investment decisions and deploying financing, especially in emerging markets, that delivers positive social and environmental impact

LONDON – The Impact Taskforce, the independent, industry-led taskforce supported by the G7 Presidency, has today released its recommendations aimed at financing a Just Transition to a climate-secure future for all. Actionable recommendations include:                

  • Mandatory accounting for impact by businesses and investors to harmonised standards, recognising the central role of transparency and integrity in changing behaviour and driving investment flows.
  • Support for the efforts of the International Financial Reporting Standards
    Foundation’s International Sustainability Standards Board (IFRS-ISSB) to create a global reporting “baseline” on impact related to enterprise value.
  • Increasing the supply of investment vehicles suitable for institutional investors, empowering multilateral development banks and development finance institutions to be more effective in catalysing mobilisation of private investment, with particular focus on emerging economies where the funding gap is greatest.
  • Driving alignment across public and private actors and ensuring that more capital meaningfully contributes towards a Just Transition, by putting forward three Just Transition Elements that provide a common foundation for action to deliver a transition to Net Zero that leaves no one behind.

The Impact Taskforce, which brings together 120 leading voices from the worlds of business, investment and public policy, representing over 100 institutions across 40 countries, today published its report entitled Time to deliver: mobilising private capital at scale for people and the planet. The in-depth analysis provides actionable recommendations that answer the pressing question: “How can we accelerate the volume and effectiveness of private capital seeking to have a positive social and environmental impact?”

With just eight years to the deadline to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to eradicate poverty and achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, more investment is urgently needed. Public funding alone can only meet a fraction of countries’ needs, particularly in emerging markets.

The report explains how societal shifts and leaps in technology now create the opportunity to mobilise private capital at scale in the search for better solutions. The Impact Taskforce’s recommendations establish the roadmap for unlocking finance to support these urgent funding requirements. The roadmap lays out actionable pathways so that institutional capital, estimated globally at $250 trillion, can work more effectively with public capital to deliver positive social and environmental benefits for people and the planet.  

The report urges governments to create mandatory and harmonised disclosure standards for companies and investors. The Taskforce endorses the IFRS-ISSB work on a globally harmonised baseline on impact related to enterprise value that can allow greater transparency, efficiency, and accountability, and encourages all G7 members to do the same. Countries should urgently build on that baseline to include impact on all stakeholders.

The Impact Taskforce also recommends that larger businesses use their expertise to help guide small- and medium-sized enterprises to better disclosure in the longer term. And it calls for public-private cooperation to advance emerging work on impact valuation that might allow meaningful comparison between the impacts and profits of companies, enhancing integrity in impact accounting and disclosure processes.

“Investment decisions are being taken today with incomplete information. We need to transform the quality and transparency of data on impact. Our report presents an actionable pathway towards a world in which investments  decisions are looked at through the triple lens of risk, return, and measured impact,” says Nick Hurd, a former UK Minister and the Chair of the Impact Taskforce (ITF).

The far-reaching recommendations are the product of the taskforce’s two interdependent working groups, Workstream A focused on transparency, harmonisation and integrity in impact measurement and reporting, and Workstream B on the development of policies and investment vehicles to mobilise capital at scale to address the needs of people and the planet. The taskforce’s work is coordinated by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), working with its UK member, the Impact Investing Institute.

Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer, S&P Global, and Chair of ITF Workstream A states: “Financial markets can be a powerful force for good, and transparent and comparable standards will be an essential tool for market participants to evaluate and optimise their impact. The Impact Taskforce’s recommendations provide a valuable roadmap for the investment community’s search for greater transparency, evidence-based insights and high-quality data and analytics. Most importantly, they inform and advance the goal of achieving a sustainable and equitable future.”

The requirement for greater transparency is matched by the need for more investment structures that can channel private investment at scale into initiatives that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) generally and a Just Transition specifically. To drive alignment across public and private actors and ensure that more capital is meaningfully contribute towards a Just Transition, the Taskforce introduces three Just Transition Elements: advance Climate and Environmental Action, improve Socio-economic Distribution and Equity; and increase Community Voice.

The Just Transition Elements help to break down the silos between climate-first and social-first strategies, offering all actors – public and private – a globally consistent approach for building a future that works for people and the planet. The Elements present a practical means for integrating environmental and social objectives, while also incorporating community voice, into the design of financing vehicles and policies. The three Just Transition Elements can be integrated both in existing investment vehicles and those yet to be designed.

“The transition to net zero needs to happen at pace and globally, but transition pathways must also recognise local needs and capacity to secure genuine inclusion and fairness. The Just Transition Elements of our report provide a practical steer on how to invest for high impact in areas that are mission critical for climate security and economic inclusion,” states Dame Elizabeth Corley, Chair of the Impact Investing Institute and Chair of ITF ‘Workstream B’.  

The report also calls for an enhanced role for multilateral development banks and development finance institutions. The Impact Taskforce asks G7 members to use their power as shareholders in those institutions to enable them to be more effective in supporting the mobilisation of private investment, and to amend their mandates to give equal weight to mobilising private capital alongside investing balance sheet capital, using a range of proven tools and instruments for investment.

The taskforce also calls specifically for the creation of a series of emerging market-domiciled guarantee companies, replicating existing models, to help address hurdles to institutional capital investment. And it pushes for rapid removal of external and internal barriers that limit the flow of institutional investors’ transformational capital.

While the ITF calls on the G7 to spearhead these efforts, its recommendations make clear all actors across the financial system need to work together in a coordinated movement if there is to be any prospect of achieving the SDGs by 2030.

Laurie Spengler, ITF member and senior advisor to Workstream B, says: “Building on decades of experience and track record, particularly in emerging markets, multilateral development banks and development finance institutions can – and must – play an even greater role expanding the flow and pace of capital to people and places too often ignored by financial markets. That role is particularly important to help convert commitments from institutional capital to solutions that advance the SDGs into real and meaningful action. “

To find out more about the Impact Taskforce and its recommendations, please go to: www.impact-taskforce.com

ENDS//

Quotes from members of the Impact Taskforce

 Jingdong Hua, Vice President and Treasurer, The World Bank
“The total savings and wealth of the world are more than enough to provide the financing needed for the ambitious climate goals. The challenge is how can we connect those savings to the solutions. I am honoured to be part of the Impact Taskforce. We tap into our collective passion and expertise in global finance to make it happen.”

Emmanuel Faber, Former CEO, Danone, Partner at Astanor Ventures
“I hope the work of the G7 Impact Taskforce can support the endorsement by the next G7 and G20 meetings in 2022 of the current process of establishing global ESG standards, as we urgently need to rewrite the DNA of finance and economics.”

Andy Kuper, Founder & CEO, Leapfrog Investments
“Trillions of dollars are already entrusted to the investment community but we need to do more with this capital. Strategies focused on social and climate impact have outperformed for investors, generating strong returns and mitigating risks. With the right governmental support, we can also ensure that investment flows where is can do most good, lifting billions out of poverty, avoiding climate catastrophe, and addressing instability and inequality.”

Peter Harrison, CEO, Schroders

“We are at a transformational moment in the investment sector. While investors once focused only on profits, we are now at a new juncture where we need to go a step further. The world needs more purpose-driven companies which are dedicated to driving profits whilst benefiting society, because profit, people and planet are completely interwoven. Effective impact investing with globally agreed standards are vital to achieving this and the Taskforce is bringing a vast array of expertise to develop opportunities which make a real difference for good.”

Maria Teresa Zappia, Chief Impact & Blended Finance Officer, Deputy CEO, BlueOrchard Finance

“As more institutional investors approach us to develop climate aligned investment solutions, the “Just Transition Elements” provide a comprehensive approach for developing an investment offering across private and public markets where people and planet are equally important. In addition, within emerging and frontier markets the importance of the local perspective and voice to ensure inclusion and enhanced opportunities is key to the achievement of a Just Transition objective that builds positive change in a sustainable and long-term manner without leaving anyone behind. “ 

Vincent Keaveny, Lord Mayor of the City of London

“This landmark report provides concrete steps to unlock and scale up private capital in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.  As demonstrated at COP26, the UK’s financial and professional services sector is at the forefront of the fight against climate change. We’re now demonstrating leadership on the ‘S’ in ESG by putting impact investing at the heart of the sector to rebuild a more sustainable and inclusive economy. The City of London Corporation is proud to be hosting the launch of this crucial report.”

Notes to editors

Contact for media enquiries

For more information, contact:

Definitions of Accounting and Accounting for Impact

  • Accounting is how entities make sense of and act upon financial and non-financial disclosures, in a way that can be audited and assured.
  • Accounting for impact covers a range of valuation techniques to estimate the relative value that an organisation creates, preserves or erodes for its stakeholders, expressed as a common unit. This can happen through a combination of (i) qualitative valuation (e.g. low/medium/high); (ii) quantitative non-monetary valuation (e.g. ratings on a scale of 1 – 10); and/or (iii) monetary valuation (e.g. the estimated monetary value to a stakeholder of a benefit they experience, or harm or loss that they avoid or experience).

About the Impact Taskforce

The Impact Taskforce (ITF) is an industry-led, independent body established in 2021 by the UK government, under its presidency of the G7. It is a global initiative, bringing together more than 120 people and 100 organisations from the worlds of business, investment, public policy, and the social sector across 40 countries to practically demonstrate how private capital could be used more effectively for greater and more inclusive positive social and environmental impact. The ITF is committed to transparency, harmonisation and integrity in impact investing, as well as mobilising more private sector capital for a just transition to net zero.

For more information about the Impact Taskforce and its members go to www.impact-taskforce.com

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 33 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.

About the Impact Investing Institute

The Impact Investing Institute is an independent, non-profit organisation which aims to change capital markets to make them fairer and work better for people and the planet. It does this by accelerating the growth and improving the effectiveness of the impact investing market in the UK and internationally. Our vision is for lives to improve, as more people choose to use their savings and investments to help solve social and environmental challenges, as well as seeking a financial return. The Institute is supported by the UK Government, the City of London Corporation and supporters from the financial services industry. For more information visit www.impactinvest.org.uk and follow the Institute on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Impact Investing

Impact investments are investments made with an explicit intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investment optimises risk, return and impact to benefit people and the planet.

Click here to download PDF version

London, UK, Wednesday 17 November – Leading international providers of sustainability standards and guidance have come together to create the Impact Management Platform, a collaboration to mainstream the practice of impact management. As a first product, the ‘Platform’, whose steering committee brings together a set of multilateral organisations, has launched a web tool that outlines the core actions of impact management and links to the resources to help organisations and investors implement them.

Over the past decade, there has been significant growth in demand for organisations to improve their impacts on people and the planet, and to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Core to making this possible is effective impact management. However, the growing number of initiatives supporting different aspects of impact management have been difficult for enterprises and investors to navigate. With the climate crisis and COVID-19 pandemic demonstrating the fundamental interdependencies between markets and sustainability issues, the urgency to build a coherent and complete system of principles, standards and guidance for how to improve sustainability impacts has never been greater.

Through the Platform, partnering organisations will work together to identify opportunities to consolidate existing sustainability resources, collectively address gaps, and coordinate with policymakers and regulators to support the mainstreaming of impact management. This effort represents the next phase of a global collaboration that, until now, was facilitated by the Impact Management Project (IMP), a five-year consensus-building forum designed to run until 2021. Earlier work included facilitating sustainability disclosure initiatives to agree a shared vision for corporate reporting to meet the needs of all stakeholders, and supporting the consolidation of the investor-focused disclosure initiatives into the IFRS Foundation and its new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The Platform, whose Steering Committee includes multilateral organisations that will also advise the ISSB, provides a complementary forum for the broader task of supporting practitioners to manage their sustainability impacts.

Partners planning to work together through the Platform include B Lab, Capitals Coalition, CDP, Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Impact-Weighted Accounts Initiative at Harvard Business School (IWAI), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Value Reporting Foundation, Social Value International, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), UN Global Compact (UNGC) and World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA).

A joint launch webinar at 10am EDT / 3pm GMT / 4pm CET on Tuesday 23 November will share the vision and future of the Platform with representatives of the Platform Partners. This will include a keynote dialogue with Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the OECD, and Inger Andersen, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme. Click here to register for the event. 

The Impact Management Platform website can be accessed at www.impactmanagementplatform.org

About the Impact Management Platform

 The Impact Management Platform (‘Platform’) is a collaboration between leading providers of public good standards and guidance for managing sustainability impacts. Through the Platform, partnering organisations aspire to:

  • clarify the meaning and practice of impact management;
  • work towards interoperability and fill gaps as needed; and
  • have coordinated dialogue with policymakers.

The Impact Management Platform website supports practitioners to manage their sustainability impacts – including the impacts of their investments – by clarifying the actions of impact management and explaining how standards and guidance can be used together to enable a complete impact management practice. The website can be accessed at https://impactmanagementplatform.org/

About the founding Partners

Partners planning to work together through the Platform include:

  • B Lab
  • Capitals Coalition
  • CDP
  • Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB)
  • Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
  • Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Impact-Weighted Accounts Initiative at Harvard Business School (IWAI)
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
  • Social Value International (SVI)
  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
  • UN Development Programme (UNDP)
  • UN Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)
  • UN Global Compact (UNGC)
  • Value Reporting Foundation (VRF)
  • World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA)

Descriptions of all these organisations and their logos can be found here.

Contact

Jo Fackler
Engagement Lead, Impact Management Project
info@impactmanagementplatform.org
+44 (0) 786 0125 088

by Emily Gustafsson-Wright, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Nearly 120 million students remain at home due to school closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and, although many education systems have transitioned to some form of remote learning, research has shown that the access and quality of remote learning opportunities has been uneven, with low-income countries and populations facing the greatest barriers leading to high levels of learning loss. In fact, it is estimated that today, 63 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries face learning poverty -the inability to read and understand a simple text by the age of 10, representing an increase in ten percentage points since before the pandemic. Furthermore, labor market challenges persist and have been exacerbated – compared to 2019, total employment fell by 114 million as workers became unemployed or dropped out of the labor force. This combination of human capital and productivity loss will have devastating consequences for decades to come if urgent action isn’t taken.

Last month at the annual GSG Global Impact Summit, leaders in the impact investing sector from across the globe gathered to discuss these and other entrenched and intractable social and environmental challenges that have been aggravated by the pandemic. Two sessions focused on using innovative financing to harness private investment to enhance delivery and strengthen government and service provider capacity through a focus on outcomes, measurement, and accountability. Mechanisms that were discussed included social and development impact bonds (SIBs and DIBs) and outcomes funds in which impact investors provide upfront capital which is repaid—with interest—based on the program’s achievement of predetermined social and environmental outcomes and income-share agreements, in which payments for training are repaid contingent upon beneficiaries obtaining quality sustained employment. A few common themes emerged from the discussions.

More money alone isn’t enough

In both sessions, there was clear agreement that more money alone will not address the outsize challenges at hand.  This point seemed poignant in an environment focused on driving private capital towards social good. In fact, there is a need for more than that. The panelists emphasized a shift in focus to outcomes and capacity building as the most important drivers of improved social and environmental impact. For example, Mercedes Miguel, a former Secretary of Education in Argentina, emphasized translating policy into practice through capacity building on the ground to ensure the effective use of constrained budgets. Mika Pyykkö, who has been involved from the beginning of the outcomes-based financing journey in Finland, highlighted the difficulty and importance of the change in mindset around outcomes in government.  

Data and measurement matter (a lot)

To facilitate the outcomes-focus and capacity building, data and measurement are crucial. Abha Thorat-Shah discussed how, through the Quality Education India (QEI) DIB, they have invested in these two pillars. This project has not only tapped into and strengthened data collection among the four education operators involved, but it has used this opportunity to build evidence and knowledge that can be applied across the education sector in India and beyond. Understanding both costs and the effectiveness of interventions as well as what pivots may be necessary along the way and applying this knowledge to future planning in the sector is crucial to tackling the learning crisis facing us today as well as other social challenges.

Partnerships are critical

Another common thread across the discussions was the need for collaboration and cooperation through multi-stakeholder partnerships including the public, private and third sectors. Such partnerships, they emphasized, can ensure that a variety of skills and expertise are present so that programs are efficiently designed and beneficiary needs are placed at the forefront. This new type of PPP, partnerships for public purpose, “emphasize not whether the partner is from the public or private sector, but whether these collaborations and their impact have a publicly oriented purpose”.  Furthermore, a mix of types of influence and risk appetite can help to both level the playing field and most appropriately spread risk across parties. Annie Knickman-Plancher and Jake Edwards from Social Finance U.S. discussed such partnerships in their SIB projects as well as their income-sharing agreements (Career Impact Bonds*) for employment in the state of Massachusetts in the United States. One program, through a short diesel technician training, has managed to increase wages of program participants without a college degree by 75 percent.

Design with scale and sustainability in mind

A challenge faced across many of the innovative financing projects described in both discussions and in the overall market is their small size relative to the overall challenges faced in both the education and employment sectors, as noted above. The drivers of the small project size are to some extent the flipside of the above points: entrenched models of social services funding based on inputs, capacity constraints, and poor coordination across stakeholders. There is another aspect however, which is that often projects aren’t designed with scale or sustainability in mind from the start.  There are, however, some exceptions: Daniel Uribe, from Fundacion Corona in Colombia, described how the world’s first SIB in a developing country gave way to a second and then the development an outcomes fund pooling funding for potentially a multitude of projects in the employment sector. This model also allowed the stakeholders to capture learnings along the way to improve design and implementation of future projects. Jared Lee explained how the Education Outcomes Fund (EOF), after much groundwork in building up its mission, has now been established as trust fund at UNICEF which facilitates links across the education sector including with local governments. In addition, EOF has aimed to create standardized outcomes contracts, drawing on both U.K. outcomes contracts and DIBs around the world, with the goal of facilitating scale and sustainability.

In sum, as a global community committed to ensuring equitable access to quality services and safe healthy communities, there remains much work to be done. Focusing on the quality required to achieve outcomes, data and measurement and partnerships, all with scale in sustainability in mind, will be a critical part of this work. For the impact investing community, this means deepening short-term investments in systems building with an eye on long-term gains.

*Note that while termed impact bonds, Career Impact Bonds do not fit the Brookings definition of an impact bond, but instead are an income-sharing agreement with payment contingent upon success.

Impact Narrative Winners Announced

The winners of the Impact Narrative Awards, the first ever awards dedicated to outstanding communication that captures the imagination and puts impact investing centre stage, have been announced.

The awards were launched earlier this year by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), Torino Social Impact and Social Impact Agenda per l’Italia, the Italian National Advisory Board, which promotes the development of impact finance in Italy. They aim to identify and honour best-in-class storytelling and communication used to persuade financial institutions and governments to put their full weight behind impact investing.

The winners in the category “best impact narrative aimed at the financial sector” were social impact and justice journalist, Meg Massey, and director of communications at Village Capital, Ben Wrobel, for their article “A Story About Power” based on their book Letting Go which highlights the “top-heavy” and “insular” nature of global foundations and impact investment funds and tells the story of those that have “chosen to cede decision-making power to people with lived experience of the problem at hand.”

The winner in the category “best impact narrative aimed at government” was GSG’s National Advisory Board (NAB) in Chile, which was represented by María de los Ángeles Ferrer. The Chile NAB produced a compelling two-minute video that explained how impact investing could help solve some of the globe’s most pressing problems.

The winners were announced to over 1,000 impact professionals during the GSG Global Impact Summit and win communications support from PR firm, Thinkshift, who will develop a communications strategy centred on the award-winning content.

By honouring narrative excellence, the Awards highlight the importance of communications that promote impact investing and the transition to economies that work for all people and the planet. The Awards also provide a platform to strengthen the narratives used to promote impact investing and help the movement to speak with one voice.

Cliff Prior, Chief Executive of the GSG, said:

“We need compelling new ways of communicating with people outside of the impact investing field to truly become mainstream. These winning submissions go a long way to encouraging financial institutions and governments to put their weight behind impact investing. We congratulate the winners and hope that the Awards shine a light on the importance of powerful storytelling in our movement.”

Mario Calderini, Spokesperson for Torino Social Impact, said:

“A compelling narrative is a key tool to foster stakeholder engagement among finance and government sectors in order to expand impact investing. This is why Torino Social Impact actively collaborated and supported the creation of the Awards, which have raised awareness about the importance of communication and to deliver effective examples. We therefore congratulate the winners and thank them for their important contribution for the achievement of the impact movement goals.”

We would like to congratulate all the organisations shortlisted for the Awards. The finalists included: Chi Impact Capital; Centre for Social Investment, University of Heidelberg; UniCredit Social Impact Banking; Bravo Charlie; Neev Fund; Open Value Foundation; and FAIR.

We would also like to thank the Awards selection committee for undertaking the challenge of evaluating the excellent submissions received for consideration:

  • Dolika Banda, financial expert, GSG Ambassador, member of the CDC Board
  • Elena Casolari, CEO of Opes Italia Sicaf Euveca, a pioneer in the impact investing space
  • Tim West, communication expert, founder editor and CEO of Pioneers Post
  • Sandra Stewart, communication expert, founder of Thinkshift Communications, which is offering probono consultancy to the winners
  • Matias Kelly, former Secretary of State for Social Economy in the Argentinian Government and founder of Sumatoria, an Impact Finance firm

You can learn more about the Awards here.

LONDON – The GSG Global Impact Summit, the most influential impact investing event focused on delivering impact solutions for people and the planet, begins today and will run through 8 October 2021.  Journalists can still register to attend the event. Please see below for details.

Leaders from the worlds of business, finance, government, and academia will address four themes: mobilising capital for impact, impact in emerging economies; green and social solutions for a just transition; and impact harmonisation and transparency.

Over 200 expert speakers and 1,500 participants from 75 countries are expected to join this year’s Summit. Speakers include:

  • Dolika Banda, former CEO, African Risk Capacity Insurance Ltd., former Director, IFC
  • Douglas Peterson, President and CEO, S&P Global
  • Gonzalo Gortázar, CEO, CaixaBank
  • Hiro Mizuno, Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General on Innovative Finance and Sustainable Investments
  • Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia
  • Marina Silva, Environmentalist and Politician, Sustainability Network Party (REDE) (Brazil)
  • Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation
  • Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG)

The Summit features sessions on improving education through new financial models, the impact of the pandemic on gender equality, and the future of the impact sector. There will be opportunities to hear directly from Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek about its impact strategy, as well as the leaders of newly formed G7 Impact Taskforce (ITF) .

Please click here to view the Summit agenda in full.

ENDS//

Notes to editors

Contact for media enquiries

Eva Barboni, media@gsgii.org

GSG spokespeople and select speakers will be available for interviews during and after the Summit. For more information, please email media@gsgii.org.

We are grateful to the GSG’s supporters, Summit sponsors and partners for making this event possible: LGT Group; Ford Foundation; MacArthur Foundation; Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office; FCDO Impact Programme; Wietlisbach Foundation; Skoll Foundation; Hewlett Foundation; Omidyar Network; BNP Paribas; MeaningSphere; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation; Open Society Foundations; The Rockefeller Foundation; Old Mutual; CaixaBank; Torino Social Impact; BlueMark; Bridgewater Associates; LeapFrog Investments; UBS Optimus Foundation; Be Inspired Films.

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 33 countries. It has established strategic partnerships with leading global organisations such as UNDP and the Impact Management Project. 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

About Impact Investing

Impact investments are investments made with an explicit intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investment optimises risk, return and impact to benefit people and the planet.

Click here to download PDF version

There is a tremendous amount of capital moving into sustainable and impact financing today that are attempting to plug the SDG financing gap. However, too few are considering systems-level challenges to the efficacy with which “impact investments,” writ large, are made. While numerous stakeholders are pushing the sector forward and recent movements within the IMM space, these efforts often lack coordination around a larger strategy. This is largely a result, we believe, of a lack of a coherent approach to measuring impact and decision-making. Today, there remains no comprehensive systems map or study of impact investing’s impact measurement and management landscape as a cross-sectoral whole. This report aims to shine light on this by using the systems mapping and systems change methodology to research impact transparency and integrity within the global impact investment sector.

Industry-led taskforce to propose solutions to harness private capital at scale for public good

LONDON – As part of the UK’s G7 2021 presidency, the UK government today unveiled plans for an independent Impact Taskforce (ITF) to come up with solutions for a sustainable and inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and promote impact-driven economies and societies in the long term.

The new initiative, under the secretariat of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) working with its UK member, the Impact Investing Institute, will focus on fostering and facilitating discussions and recommendations around impact transparency, integrity, and trust. The Taskforce will also investigate ways to create financial vehicles that can deliver investments for the benefit of people and the planet worldwide. In doing so, it will actively look to advance impact investment in low- and middle-income countries hit hard by the pandemic.

The GSG and the Impact Investing Institute will head up two working groups to carry out the ITF’s core work.

  • The GSG will oversee the development of thematic and technical efforts focusing on the need for greater simplification and harmonisation of impact reporting methodologies and accounting, as well as transparency and industry integrity.
  • The Impact Investing Institute will lead on the design of principles and recommendations for financing vehicles that can mobilise private capital at scale to achieve impact in areas such as the creation of quality jobs, education and health in the context of the global transition to net-zero carbon economies.

Cliff Prior, Chief Executive of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), commented:

“We are delighted to have been asked by the UK government to lead the secretariat of the Impact Taskforce. Robust reporting standards and innovative investment structures are absolutely central to the development of the impact Investing market that benefits people and the planet. The creation of the Taskforce will put an impact ecosystem  firmly on the G7 agenda as countries around the world seek solutions for fair and just recoveries from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Sarah Gordon CEO  of the Impact Investing Institute, said:

“Impact investment has the potential to contribute to solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face – whether that is a just recovery from the pandemic or addressing the climate crisis. To harness private capital at scale for public good, we need structures that meet investors’ requirements and deploy capital where it is needed, improving access to decent jobs, education and healthcare, and investing in a just transition to a net-zero world.”

The ITF will bring together relevant, diverse, and practical voices who are focused on maximising the impact of investments, drawing from the G7 countries and beyond. It will be chaired by The Right Honourable Nick Hurd, former UK Member of Parliament and Minister, who chairs the Access Foundation for Social Investment and led the UK Government’s work to scale the development of impact investment market between 2010-2015. The working group dedicated to harmonisation of impact reporting and transparency will be led by Douglas  L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer, S&P Global, while the group working on the creation of impact financing vehicles will be headed by Dame Elizabeth Corley, former CEO of Allianz Global Investors and Chair of the Impact Investing Institute.  Sir Ronald Cohen, who led the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established under the UK’s presidency of the G8 in 2013, joins as senior advisor and taskforce member.

Commenting on the formation of the ITF,

Nick Hurd, Chair of the Impact Taskforce, said:

“The state of our world requires a change in mindset from governments and the market. It will not be enough for private capital to do less harm. We need to mobilise trillions of dollars into investments that combine return with positive social or environmental impact. The Impact Task Force will show how that can be done.”

Douglas L. Peterson, President and Chief Executive Officer, S&P Global, said:

“Transparency and a common language for accounting and reporting are essential for every asset class and investment approach, and impact investing is no exception. The development of globally accepted impact standards will allow investors to see clearly how companies are performing both financially and on their returns to society, enabling them to better allocate their money to investments with positive impact.”

Dame Elizabeth Corley, Chair of the Impact Investing Institute, said:

Impact investment is rapidly moving into the mainstream of global finance, as investors demand that their money does good at the same time as it generates a financial return. Traditional investment structures cannot adequately address the emerging challenges we face in ensuring that financing a transition to net zero is done in a fair and just way. We need additional innovative impact finance tools that will meet rising expectations and deliver investment that makes a measurable difference around the world.”

The ITF will also:

  • Coordinate efforts with other relevant working groups in the G7, G20 and COP26, while working with initiatives led by regulators, such as the IFRS Foundation’s proposed Sustainability Standards Board (SSB).
  • Produce technical documents and recommendations that will be shared under the UK´s G7 Presidency with Foreign Affairs and Development Ministers, Finance Ministers, standard setters, and the financial sector in December 2021.

The impact investing market has been growing rapidly, with impact assets under management reaching $700 billion in 2019. However, more capital needs to be mobilised to stimulate recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and drive fairer and more sustainable economies in the long term.

In developing countries alone, the pandemic is estimated to have magnified the existing $2.5 trillion annual funding shortfall to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 by a further $1.7 trillion in 2020. 

Given the central role that impact investing can play in achieving international objectives like the SDGs and the transition to a net-zero world, the ITF is expected to define a multi-year agenda.

ENDS//

Notes to editors

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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 33 countries. It has established strategic partnerships with leading global organisations such as UNDP and the Impact Management Project. 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.

About the Impact Investing Institute

The Impact Investing Institute is an independent, non-profit organisation which aims to accelerate the growth and improve the effectiveness of the impact investing market in the UK and internationally. It does this by raising awareness of, addressing barriers to and increasing confidence in investing with impact. Our vision is for lives to improve, as more people choose to use their savings and investments to help solve social and environmental challenges, as well as seeking a financial return. The Institute is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the City of London Corporation and several supporters from the financial service industry. For more information visit www.impactinvest.org.uk and follow the Institute on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Impact Investing

Impact investments are investments made with an explicit intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investment optimises risk, return and impact to benefit people and the planet.

Download here the 2021 GSG State of Play, sharing the top priorities across 33 countries

LONDON – The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), Torino Social Impact and Social Impact Agenda per l’Italia, the Italian National Advisory Board, have joined forces to launch the Impact Narrative Awards, the first ever award dedicated to outstanding communication that captures the imagination and puts impact investing centre stage.

The Impact Narrative Awards aims to identify and honour best-in-class storytelling and communications used to persuade financial institutions and governments to put their full weight behind impact investing. By honouring narrative excellence, the Awards’ organisers are highlighting the importance of communications that promote impact investing and the transition to economies that work for all people and the planet. The Awards will also provide a platform to strengthen the narratives used to promote impact investing and help the movement to speak with one voice.

Click here to view press release

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