Impact investing market worth $502bn

The global impact investing market is estimated to be worth $502bn, according to an analysis of the market size and composition by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).

With the Sizing the Impact Investing Market report, which is based on the collation of AUM data on more than 1,300 investors such as pension funds, asset managers, foundations, banks, development finance institutions, insurance companies family offices, and others, GIIN aims to answer the industry’s call for a fundamental reference point.

The $502bn of assets are invested with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return, across all asset classes. 21 per cent of the market is in Western, Northern and Southern Europe, while 58 per cent is in the US and Canada.

GIIN said in a statement that although the popularity of impact investing has increased over the past few years, a clear estimate of the market’s size has been difficult to capture due to a lack of available data and the fast-evolving nature of the industry, and its new market-sizing research is the most comprehensive study to date.

Commenting, GIIN CEO and co-founder Amit Bouri said: “As the impact investing industry develops, it is critical that we further develop our understanding of the contours of the market – and one of the most important and fundamental data points about any industry is its current size.”

“This research gives us insight into the current state of the market, and it will also lead to deeper conversations about the market’s future potential.”

The report establishes a fundamental understanding of the market’s current scale and serves as the first step in a GIIN initiative to “ensure the impact investing market continues to scale with integrity” and two critical pieces of industry infrastructure that are designed to maintain the integrity of practice.

Furthermore, GIIN will launch the Core Characteristics of Impact Investing, which will outline the elements that define impact investing in April, and IRIS+, a comprehensive, metrics-based system for impact measurement and management that enables data comparisons across an impact investing portfolio, will launch in late-spring.

“The results of this study underscore the momentum of impact investing, but also the need for continued growth across the responsible investing landscape if we are to address global challenges like those outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals,” Bouri continued. “As the industry grows, we need to be sure it scales with integrity—ensuring good intentions translate into real impact results.”

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