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‘Unashamedly ambitious’: investors launch path to ESG integration

Investing, investment, golden eggs

A global network of investors has launched a road map for future impact investing, with hopes to normalise the consideration of ESG factors in investment decision-making.

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), an international ethical investing advocacy group, has announced the arrival of its Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing this week.

The road map is described as “unashamedly ambitious”, with GIIN conceding that to some it may even seem idealistic.

Nevertheless, GIIN considers a future in which ESG factors are critical parts of investment decisions as not only possible, but necessary.

“Ambitious as the road map may be, I believe it is not only possible, but also essential to global progress. We must accelerate the trajectory of impact investing in order to achieve its full potential,” the CEO and co-founder of GIIN Amit Bouri said.

“Advancing the actions will be challenging and we will undoubtedly face obstacles.

“The road map’s success will require deep commitment and concerted action from every leader who believes in impact investing’s potential to create significant, widespread progress for our world. We will need to engage people far beyond the boundaries of the market as it exists today.”

The road map features six categories of action, identity, behaviour and expectations, products, tools and services, education and training, and policy and regulation.

The idea, GIIN explained, is that the six categories – each with three sub-categories – are implemented by funders, governments, academics, advisers, field builders and networks, and investors.

“This work needs to begin immediately and with urgency. While full realisation of our vision will take time, the social and environmental problems we face are substantial, and many portend significant near-term challenges,” GIIN said.

“The steps we take today will not only address the world’s most immediate and pressing needs, but also set in motion ripple effects far into the future.”

For investors in particular, their role is to share best practices for impact measurement, management and reporting.

Investors, as asset owners, have also been called on to increase accountability and their demand for impact investment decisions.

GIIN also noted that a crucial part of the path’s success lies in asset managers’ and regulators’ ability to develop readily accessible retail products for investors.

This could take several years, but it needs to start immediately, the road map said.

Continuing, GIIN said a greater variety of blended-finance vehicles would also allow investors to invest while limiting short-term risk.

“A long-term focus is needed to address the challenges our world faces, such as climate change or the continued growth in social inequality. With the help of committed investors that want to achieve lasting impact through their investments, we can and must make a needed contribution to addressing these challenges,” GIIN member and chair of Triodos Investment Management Marilou Van Golstein said.

‘Unashamedly ambitious’: investors launch path to ESG integration
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