An independent impact investment taskforce has been set up by the UK government to try to harmonise reporting methods and create new principles.
The independent Impact Taskforce (ITF), under the secretariat of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG) working with its UK member, the Impact Investing Institute, will look at how financial vehicles can benefit people and planet.
The GSG will head up a working group focusing on bringing together and simplifying impact reporting methods, which will be led by Douglas Peterson, CEO of S&P Global.
GSG CEO Cliff Prior said: “Robust reporting standards and innovative investment structures are absolutely central to the development of an impact ecosystem that benefits people and the planet.”
Peterson added: “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.”
The Impact Investing Institute will lead a working group focused 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. This group will be headed by Elizabeth Corley, former CEO of Allianz Global Investors and chair of the Impact Investing Institute.
Sarah Gordon, CEO of the Impact Investing Institute, said: “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.”
Corley added: “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 be chaired by Nick Hurd, former UK Member of Parliament and minister, who 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.”
The ITF has said it will also coordinate with other groups and regulators, and produce technical documents and recommendations that will be shared with foreign affairs and development ministers, standard setters and the financial sector in December 2021.
Look out for the next issue of the ESG Clarity digital magazine where we will be taking a closer look at impact investing, with interviews with some of the longest-standing names – Robeco and Wheb – as well as an oversight of the industry from Global Impact Investment Network CEO Amit Bouri.