IRIS and the Global Impact Investing Network
IRIS is an initiative of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
The GIIN promotes impact measurement as an essential part of impact investing and offers IRIS as a free public good to support more transparency, credibility and accountability in impact measurement practices across the impact investment market.
The GIIN has overseen the development of IRIS since 2009. Prior to that, IRIS was jointly managed by the Rockefeller Foundation, Acumen Fund, and B Lab, which began development of IRIS in early 2008 with support from Hitachi, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The Evolution of IRIS
Today, IRIS benefits from the support of a formal Advisory Body that contributes to the continuous development of the IRIS metrics. Metrics are selected or developed for the IRIS catalog through a formal and transparent process that includes review and inclusion of existing third-party standards, input from expert working groups and advisors, and feedback from users and the public.
Additionally, the IRIS outreach and adoption efforts are bolstered by a network of partners. These partners promote IRIS use among their constituents and also support the GIIN’s efforts to collect IRIS-compatible performance data from businesses and organizations seeking and receiving impact investment. The GIIN regularly publishes analysis of this IRIS data to help establish an evidence base for the field. All IRIS data analyses are archived here.
For more information about the role and emergence of standards like IRIS in impact investing, you can read the MIT Innovations article How Standards Emerge: The Role of Investor Leadership in Realizing the Potential of IRIS.