Investing for Impact: Case Studies Across Asset Classes

Impact Investment, often referred to using other terms such as social investment or sustainable investment, is defined as “actively placing capital in businesses and funds that generate social and/or environmental good and a range of returns, from principal to above market, to the investor.”1 By leveraging the private sector, these investments can provide solutions at a scale that purely philanthropic interventions usually cannot reach. Investors in Impact Investment Funds include high-net-worth individuals, institutional investors, corporations or foundations, who invest in a wide range of asset classes. The intention of Impact Investment vehicles to make a social/environmental impact is a primary qualifying criterion; investments that unintentionally result in social good are not regarded as Impact Investments. Impact Investment is closely allied to but differentiated from Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) which generally employs negative screening to avoid investing in harmful companies or shareholder activism/advocacy to encourage corporate social responsibility practices.

Clément K'draon // 16.04.2010

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