FUNDING SOCIAL IMPACT: METHODS AND MEASUREMENT The past decade has seen an increasing interest in impact investments, which seek to generate financial returns at the same time as they have social (or environmental) impact. But how does an investor actually achieve impact? This course explores this question through a framework that requires that the investee enterprise itself has net positive impact and that the investor's financial or other contribution increases that impact. Instructor: Paul Brest Term(s): TBD, 2 Units
Field Working Definitions
The Impact Investing Spectrum by Sonen Capital illustrates four types of impact investments:
Responsible: Also known as Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”), this approach involves the negative screening of investments due to conflicts or inconsistencies with personal or organizational values, non-conformity to global environmental standards, adherence to certain codes of practice, or other such binary impact performance criteria.
Sustainable: Sustainable investments move beyond a defensive screening posture, actively looking for investments that are positioned to benefit from market conditions by integrating environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors into core investment decision-making processes.
Thematic: Thematic or mission investments have a particular focus on one or more impact themes, such as clean water or deforestation, and work to channel investment allocations in those particular directions.
Impact First: Investments that seek to optimize a desired social or environmental outcome, without regard for competitive return.
Up for debate: The impact in impact investing
Brush up on expert opinions about the possibilities and challenges impact investors face to achieve social impact along with market rate returns.