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Impact Initiative to Unite Companies, Investors

GIIN to co-develop new tools to help companies measure impact and optimise capital. 

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) has launched a corporate investing initiative to support companies looking to develop impact investing strategies and partner with impact investors to achieve their sustainability goals. 

“Companies are interested in addressing many of the same problems that institutional investors target in their sustainability strategies,” Amit Bouri, GIIN’s CEO and Co-Founder, told ESG Investor. 

“They are critical to scaling the most promising solutions to the pressing [sustainability-related] challenges around the world. By working with companies, impact investors can also discover new possibilities to help build a sustainable, just and inclusive future.” 

Developed in collaboration with PayPal, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, and the Visa Foundation, GIIN’s multi-year initiative aims to help companies deliver on their environmental and social goals alongside their shareholder and business objectives by developing new impact tools and resources.  

The initiative launch follows growing pressure on companies to better account for impact in their sustainability-related disclosures.  

Beyond managing ESG risks, investors are increasingly focused on adopting impact investing strategies, such as aligning their investments with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Further, EU policymakers are developing reporting standards that will require companies to account for sustainability risks and impacts using a double materiality lens.  

As well as reporting on their sustainability impacts, companies have a massive “untapped pool of capital” that could be invested in sustainable solutions, said Bouri. 

“Institutional asset owners and institutional investors making impact investments, particularly in private markets, are potential strategic partners to corporates. Both bring capital to invest in solutions and investors can also offer vehicles that companies can use to get more out of their own financial assets.” 

Sharing tools 

Companies involved in the initiative can benefit from impact-focused tools already being used by investors, said Bouri. 

GIIN’s COMPASS methodology gives practical examples outlining how an organisation can measure the impact of its investments in line with the SDGs. Further, GIIN’s IRIS+ platform serves as an online resource listing over 700 impact metrics across a variety of international standards, including the SDGs.  

Earlier this year, GIIN launched the first in a series of new impact benchmarks to help investors assess and compare the impact-related performance of their investments compared to their peers. 

Nonetheless, the corporate-focused initiative will “improve on and develop new and pre-existing tools” specifically for companies that will complement those already available, said Bouri.  

GIIN is currently “landscaping” corporate impact investing activity and will publish its findings in 2023. In the nearer term, GIIN will convene with working groups within its membership to further shape the initiative. 

“This initiative is a call-to-action for companies to engage with the GIIN and the impact investing community to explore how to leverage collaboration to achieve shared environmental and social goals, and greater outcomes,” Bouri added. 

“By taking a fresh look at existing challenges with a new set of partners, we hope new solutions emerge. We’re excited to explore what impact investors and companies can accomplish together to solve our most pressing sustainability challenges.” 

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