Everything we do affects people and the planet. Managing impact means figuring out which effects are material and then trying to prevent the negative and increase the positive.
What is impact management?
You can start managing your impact at any time - whether you’re already running an enterprise or have a portfolio of enterprises, or you’re starting something from scratch. All parts of the impact management process influence each other. Explore how to understand experience of people and planet, define your intentions and constraints set impact, financial goals and deliver & improve impact.
Why do we need shared fundamentals to manage impact?
Many of us are looking to manage our impact. Whether we experience the effects ourselves, run an enterprise, invest our money, study social sciences, make policy decisions or evaluate performance, we are increasingly recognising that the change we want to see in the world can only happen if we manage impact together.
But do we understand each other? When we work in partnership with others, we rely on a shared understanding of the material impacts that people and planet are experiencing. This informs the goals we all set and deliver against, and allows us to adapt our approach as we learn more about what’s working (or not).
Why are shared fundamentals important for enterprises?
Any enterprise directly affecting people or the planet - whether a large multinational, a small business or a non-profit - has an interest in understanding the impact it has, positive or negative. Some care about it because the creation of positive impact for people and planet is why they exist; some are driven by a concern about regulatory and reputational risk; some see it as a way to unlock commercial value (for example, cost-cutting through energy savings or increasing workforce retention or customer loyalty); some want to harness commerce to create positive impact that can run under its own steam; and some just believe that businesses should respect society and want to live up to that ideal.
Whatever their agenda, shared fundamentals allow enterprises of all kinds to communicate their impact goals and to understand the impact goals of others (from customers to employees to investors to funders to policymakers), so that those working together can agree on how best to deliver and improve.
Why are shared fundamentals important for investors?
Subscribe to our newsletter
Whether you are a frontline business, asset owner, intermediary or evaluator, managing impact starts with talking about impact in a way everyone can understand
Will you start using these shared fundamentals when you talk about your impact? Have you already started, and have an experience to share?
Read more from our partners on our blogBlog
Perspective from the Brazilian marketAugust 16, 2017
The team at Vox Capital hosted two sessions on June 9th and 20th for Brazilian fund managers, entrepreneurs, asset owners and intermediaries to discuss emerging consensus on impact management.
How people describe the impact they experienceAugust 9, 2017
Focus groups in Myanmar, Kenya, Belgium and Bolivia helped us understand how people think about themselves and their goals, as customers or beneficiaries.
Investor’s PerspectiveJuly 10, 2017
Using shared fundamentals, we can understand the effects that underlying businesses - or portfolios of businesses - have on people and planet. This helps investors understand the different options available to them within each asset class.
The Impact Management GlossaryJuly 10, 2017
In early 2016, Social Value Canada and Social Value US had developed a list of roughly 150 terms, and had begun to develop definitions in collaboration with SVT Group and graduate students from the Hult International Business School.
EvidenceJuly 10, 2017
Nesta has developed additional guidance on identifying and using impact evidence. This builds on their set of Standards of Evidence for impact investing (2013), building off numerous academic examples such as the Maryland Scale and Project Oracle.
Case Study in Off-Grid EnergyJuly 10, 2017
A case study will bring the full impact management process to life from the perspective of an investment manager. The case study profiles Acumen’s investing into off-grid energy, and highlights the value and importance of collecting data across all of the dimensions of impact.