Mainstreaming the practice of impact management
The Impact Management Project (IMP) began in 2016 as a time-bound forum for building global consensus on how to measure, assess and report impacts on people and the natural environment.
From 2016-2018, the IMP brought practitioners of all kinds together to share their experiences managing impact and to inform future standard-setting. From 2018-2021, the IMP facilitated standard-setting organisations – the IMP Structured Network – to clarify the landscape of standards and guidance used by practitioners for their impact management practice.
Five years after its launch, the IMP’s facilitation role has concluded as planned, after supporting the development of four initiatives that are collectively well-positioned to mainstream impact management, so that all organisations have the resources they need to improve their sustainability impacts.
The logic facilitated by the IMP in its early work – including the different dimensions of impact and strategies for investor contribution – is reflected in resources found on the Impact Management Platform and Impact Frontiers websites (see below).
Find the resources you need to manage sustainability impacts
The Impact Management Platform represents an evolution of the Structured Network facilitated by the Impact Management Project from 2018 – 2021. With a Steering Committee that brings together a set of multilaterals, the Platform is a collaboration that enables ongoing coordination among leading international providers of sustainability resources.
Its work programme is designed to mainstream the practice of impact management, including identifying opportunities to consolidate existing sustainability resources, collectively addressing gaps, and coordinating with policymakers and regulators.
To provide the clarity that practitioners have been calling for, the Platform has created a regularly updated web tool that explains the core actions of impact management and links to the resources that support organisations and investors to implement them. The Impact Management Platform is an essential ‘go to’ for practitioners that want to practice impact management.
Find out more at: www.impactmanagementplatform.org
Integrate impact into your investment practice
Impact Frontiers is a peer learning and market-building collaboration, developed with and for asset managers, asset owners and industry associations.
The initiative creates practical tools and peer-learning communities that support investors in building their capabilities for managing impact, and integrating impact with financial data, analysis, frameworks, and processes.
Impact Frontiers offers two tracks to investors:
- A cohort-based model in which Impact Frontiers guides investors through a process of designing and implementing their own approaches, with mutual support from peers and in ways that are aligned with existing standards and best practices
- Freely available online resources that any investor can use on their own
Impact Frontiers also facilitates further consensus-building in areas of practice where standards and guidance do not yet exist, using practitioner experience to jump-start the conversations.
Impact Frontiers originated at Root Capital, migrated to the Impact Management Project in 2019 as a natural platform for industry collaboration, and is now continuing as an independent non-profit initiative of the Bridges group.
Find out more at: www.impactfrontiers.org
Report impacts to inform investment decision-making
In November 2021 the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was launched to develop—in the public interest—a comprehensive global baseline of high-quality sustainability disclosure standards to meet investors’ information needs.
The ISSB sits alongside and connects to the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), under the governance of the IFRS Foundation and its monitoring board of public authorities from jurisdictions around the world.
In 2020, the IMP facilitated the leading sustainability and integrated reporting initiatives (CDP, CDSB, GRI and the VRF) to co-create a shared vision for corporate reporting, as well as prototype climate and general disclosure requirements to provide the IFRS Foundation with a running start for the development of international sustainability standards by the ISSB. In March 2021, the IMP’s Chief Executive, Clara Barby, took partial leave from the IMP to be the project lead for the IFRS Foundation’s development of the ISSB, under the oversight and strategic direction of the IFRS Foundation’s Steering Committee of Trustees.
For IFRS sustainability disclosure standards, visit www.ifrs.org
Assess and disclose the impact classes of your investments
The Impact Classification System (ICS) is a self-assessment and reporting tool for investment practitioners wanting to disclose how and to what degree their financial products meet sustainability goals.
The ICS utilises the impact classes developed through the IMP’s consensus-building efforts. Launched in June 2020, the ICS aggregates information about sustainability-related disclosures of investments and brings them into a consistent digital reporting format.
The ICS was developed through the IMP+ACT Alliance, a two-year technology project seeded by the IMP and Bridges Insights. Following the successful roll-out to over 300 practitioners, the GIIN has now brought the ICS into its suite of impact management offerings, and is enabling the ICS to remain freely available. Interested parties can register for access through the GIIN website here.
The IMP would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this effort:
- The IMP Structured Network of standard-setting organisations, for finding new ways to work together, and leading with a united and coherent voice
- Our Advisors, for guiding the IMP’s strategic direction and supporting our open and collaborative approach
- Bridges Insights for incubating and hosting this initiative
- Our Practitioner Community of organisations from across disciplines, for giving their time to bring clarity to the practice of impact management
- Our Strategic Partners, for helping us reach new communities and access different perspectives