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Positive Impact: Enabling investors to achieve positive impact against the Sustainable Development Goals

Why positive impact matters


The Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement have given the private sector welcome clarity about what success for truly sustainable development looks like over coming decades. 

They have also prompted the emerging realisation that for business models to thrive long into the future, they will need to be ‘net positive’. This means they will need to have a greater positive impact on society and the environment than the costs they impose. 

Financial institutions, driven by demand from various of their customer segments, are therefore looking for commercially grounded ways to orientate their portfolios towards businesses that have a positive overall impact. Yet they face significant challenges in navigating the complexity of what this means in practice. 

 

What is CISL is doing about it?


Decision-makers in business, government and finance need help to understand how to measure and prioritise positive impact in the context of the natural and social systems represented by both the Sustainable Development Goals and the transition to a net zero carbon economy. They need multi-disciplinary expertise that is authoritative, independent and worthy of their trust. 

Against this backdrop, CISL convenes industry groups to develop commercial strategies and performance metrics that help financial institutions embed business change with confidence. We also work with financial regulators and policymakers to ensure that planned interventions orientate the market appropriately towards enabling greater allocation to positive impact.

 

Our work and thought leadership


Applying the Long View to Investment Funds: Introducing the Long-term Disclosure Framework

March 2018 – The Investment Leaders Group (ILG) has developed an original framework that can be used by institutional and retail investors, and by their advisors, to assess the long-term orientation of the investment funds that they are being offered.

Applying the Long View to Investment Funds: Introducing the Long-term Disclosure Framework - Read More…

In search of impact - Measuring the full value of capital: Update: The Investment Impact Framework

January 2019 – Supporting progress against SDGs has become one of the main objectives of the sustainable finance industry. However, measurement of this progress at fund level from both institutional and retail investors is still only developing. Although many challenges remain to be solved, the Investment Leaders Group, convened by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) has designed a set of six open-source metrics which investors can use as proxies for their progress towards the SDGs.

In search of impact - Measuring the full value of capital: Update: The Investment Impact Framework - Read More…

Better measures needed to help savers choose investment products, new report finds

January 31 2019 – The Investment Leaders Group found that the data necessary to assess the social and environmental impact of funds is lacking.

Better measures needed to help savers choose investment products, new report finds - Read More…

Measuring investment impacts

The Investment Leaders Group (ILG) has developed an original framework to allow the industry to quantify investment impacts. Our aim is to enable a ‘revolution’ in consumer choice in financial services. This means making the social and environmental impacts of investment transparent to financial consumers in the same way that health and other concerns are apparent to food consumers today.

Measuring investment impacts - Read More…

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Rewiring the Economy

This work relates directly to Rewiring the Economy, CISL's ten-year plan to lay the foundations for a sustainable economy.

Task 4: Ensure capital acts for the long term

Task 5: Price capital according to the true costs of business activities