Impact investing is on the rise globally. We have selected five insightful articles that were published in 2018 that highlight how impact investing is being recognised as an influencer in addressing societal challenges.
American author and activist Paul Hawken published his book 'Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming' early 2017. One year later, Sasja Beslik (Head of Sustainable Finance at Nordea Bank) points out a drawback of Drawdown: the lack of consideration of the financial sector. In this article, he effectively explains that as individuals, our ability to steer our pensions and savings is a powerful way of solving the puzzle of climate change. “The effects are larger than rooftop solar, solar farms, afforestation and electric vehicles combined.”
At the end of March, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) presented its Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing. In it, the GIIN articulates a new endgame for the impact investing industry — to consider how to have an impact on all investing and spur systemic change in the global financial markets. It describes the actions required for impact investing to expand, advance, and challenge the dominant paradigm. To lead the way to a new future where impact is embedded in all investment decisions and impact investing is an option for everyone. “Enacting the plan will require collective action by leaders from the entire impact investing ecosystem.”
In her last summer as Chair of the Management Board of Triodos IM, Marilou van Golstein Brouwers was provided a platform by ImpactAlpha to reflect on what’s next for impact investing. What started as a movement has grown into USD 228 billion of impact assets. This success, however, requires that we have to address the valid concern of 'impact-washing' within the industry. “Because let’s face it: how impactful are you really if you invest, say, 10% of your portfolio with positive impact and the other 90% is harming our planet and communities?”
Shortly after this year’s GIIN Investor Forum in Paris, Reuters’ Beth Pinsker spoke with GIIN’s CEO Amit Bouri about the difference between impact investing and ESG investing, the possibilities for individuals to invest with impact, the myth that impact investing leads to lower returns, and how to measure success. “Our vision for the world is where every investor is taking into account social and environmental impact - that this becomes the new normal.”
McKinsey published an article this month on what it will take to accelerate the impact economy’s development. The authors incorporate findings from in-depth interviews with more than 100 investors, fund managers, social entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. They present measurements, solutions, the impact economy’s potential and even a glimpse into the future... “An essential first step will be to agree on a shared vision for the impact economy, along the general lines proposed in this paper.”