NextBillion: Progress and Frustration: How Investors are Pushing Impact Investing Toward Greater Transparency

by Paige Chapel

Not very long ago, impact investing was deemed a small, boutique and mainly esoteric investment strategy by the majority of investors and investment service professionals. That has changed. Last year, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) reported that assets totaling more than $500 billion were invested in companies and projects that positively and directly benefit people, communities and ecosystems across the planet. At this rate of acceleration, and as investors continue to respond with more urgency and commitment to solving the world’s social and environmental challenges, it is likely that impact assets will top $1 trillion in the not-too-distant future.

As the amount of impact investments grow, so will the demand for greater transparency about who is benefiting, in what ways, and to what degree. Impact asset managers will need to demonstrate, with more sophistication than in the past, their ability to create and sustain the impact they promise, to satisfy an investor public that is becoming more knowledgeable and discerning by the day.

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