Impact investing

Impact investing is a type of sustainable investing strategy where an investor seeks financial returns alongside a measurable positive impact on society or the environment.

What is impact-focused investing?

Impact-focused investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. By generating profits from an innovative business model, a company can pay financial returns to investors alongside doing something good for the world.


How does impact investing work?

Impact investing works through investing in companies, funds and projects that deliver both financial returns and environmental and social returns. By attracting capital and entrepreneurial talent to companies that create positive change, impact investing approaches can contribute to more sustainable economic development. Impact investing can also be achieved through robust shareholder engagement in public markets. This is where the investor leverages their power and influence to encourage companies to improve their social and environmental performance.


The type and stage of companies in a portfolio can also influence the extent of the impact. Investors may have the greatest impact when they help fund early-stage companies to get truly innovative ideas off the ground, or by choosing companies and projects in developing countries (where capital is scarce and expensive).

SDGS and impact investing

Impact investing relies on measuring the specific change that an investor’s capital has enabled. Most impact-focused investing strategies help investors focus on economic activities that address specific sustainability challenges outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is because the SDGs can help identify where private capital can make the most difference. Investors that want to make a measurable impact can use the SDGs as a guide to make decisions about where best to put their wealth to work.

Why do impact investing?

Many investors would like to align their investments with their values and to use their wealth to bring about positive change. Impact investing strategies allow an investor to focus on areas where their capital can make a difference. They can also help an investor identify innovative companies that have potential to grow through addressing global sustainability challenges at scale.

Impact Investing Master Class

Managing impact: Impact Principles

As a signatory of the Operating Principles for Impact Management, we also publish an annual disclosure statement that is independently verified and available on the OPIM website Invest for Impact | Operating Principles for Impact Management (