In May 2022, BEIS, DEFRA and HMT published a call for evidence ahead of the UK government’s update to its Green Finance Strategy, expected later…

Reducing and absorbing carbon emissions at the speed and scale needed to safeguard our planet requires vast amounts of capital. At the same time a global consensus is emerging that to be sustained and successful, this transition needs to be socially inclusive. Capital will need to be invested in ways that support a Just Transition towards a Net Zero world that is fair and beneficial for all – including the delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In 2017, Dame Elizabeth Corley, Chair of the Impact Investing Institute, convened the first meeting of the Taskforce for Growing a Culture of Social Impact Investing in the UK. Since then, the impact investing market has developed significantly – but until now there has not been an estimate of the size of the UK market in its totality. Our report, “Estimating and describing the UK impact investing market”, published in partnership with EY and supported by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport and Big Society Capital, sets out to change this.

In May 2021, our white paper “Scaling up institutional investment for place-based impact” identified a barrier which could prevent institutional investors from adopting a place-based approach: the lack of appropriate financing vehicles through which to invest. Our new report tackles this barrier head on, setting out the key characteristics viable vehicles must possess, a variety of structures they can adopt and a set of case studies which demonstrate these principles in practice.

The origination of place-based impact investment opportunities is highly complex, making it difficult to connect institutional investors seeking to adopt place-based strategies with the fund managers and enterprises who meet their needs. This report tests the hypothesis that this issue can be addressed through a ‘platform’ solution. It explores existing kinds of origination platforms and considers how information intermediation – including but not limited to such web-based platforms – can help facilitate increased PBII. 

Our paper, “Investing for impact in the endowment: Why do it and how to get started”, is a practical guide designed to help foundation leaders and the constellation of professionals that surround them to make their first moves into impact investing. With support from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and working in partnership with other key players in the sector, we aim to increase the volume of charitable endowment assets invested for positive social and environmental impact as well as financial return.

In November 2021, the FCA launched a discussion paper “DP21/4: Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDR) and investment labels” and sought responses both to the paper itself and the questions laid out in its annex. In January 2022, the Impact Investing Institute hosted a roundtable with the FCA to explore the proposals laid out by the discussion paper. The roundtable focused on impact labelling, the tiered structure approach, and the transition category.

In this paper, we explain why we think charity trustees should feel confident in concluding that, in the round, both from a “mission lens” and a “financial lens”, impact investing is an approach which can most effectively advance the objects, mission, and work of the charity as a whole.

In October 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions launched their consultation “Climate and investment reporting: setting expectations and empowering savers.” We welcome this timely consultation which introduces important and valuable new ways for pension schemes to invest lawfully, responsibly and with impact. We believe, however, that further steps can be taken by the Department to remove existing barriers to impact investing and ensure that the transition to Net Zero benefits the communities most affected by it.

In partnership with the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (GSG), we co-led the G7 Impact Taskforce, an independent, industry-led effort backed by the UK Government as part of the UK presidency of the G7 in 2021. Workstream B, the Workstream led by the Impact Investing Institute, had a particular focus on identifying concrete instruments and policies for financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a transition to a Net Zero world in which no one is left behind.

Our report, “Building Strong Places: a new, impactful role for financial institutions” was written with Metro Dynamics for Lloyds Banking Group, and explores how mainstream financial institutions can engage in place-based impact investing. The report recognises the urgent need for transformational investment that improves people’s lives while futureproofing the UK economy, particularly given the importance of a socially-just climate transition and the economic crisis caused by Covid-19.  

This document presents a summary of the key insights gathered in each session of our Knowledge Exchange Series from market-builders operating in a variety of national contexts, as well as leading practitioners and thought leaders who were invited as guest speakers in different sessions. These insights provide an accurate reflection of the challenges, opportunities, solutions and lessons learnt from impact investing champions across the globe.