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Evaluating Impact Performance

The Global Impact Investing Network, October 2, 2019

The impact investing industry has matured significantly in recent years to the point that investors expect rigorous impact measurement and management practices to be part of an impact investing approach. Yet, impact investors continue to identify transparency in impact performance as a key challenge facing the market.

In an effort to address this gap, the GIIN published Evaluating Impact Performance. This report presents a new approach for rigorously comparing impact results among investments within a sector, marking an important first step in enabling investors to make these comparisons in a meaningful and transparent way. As the industry’s first collaborative effort to create a clear, thorough approach to comparing impact results, this study paves the way for impact performance data to parallel financial performance data in investment-decision making.

In this first installment, the report aggregates investment-level data to demonstrate the comparability of impact results within two sectors: clean energy access and housing. Specifically, this research effort addressed: 1) whether it is possible to aggregate and compare impact performance data to generate insights, and 2) if so, what social and environmental results are associated with impact investors’ activity?