switzerlanden
Sustainable Investing Glossary

Impact investing

Impact investing is the process of intentionally making investments with the aim of creating a measurable beneficial impact on the environment or society, as well as earning a positive financial return.

One of the most popular forms of impact investing is by targeting companies that can contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Impact investing has three key components:

  • Intentionality: an investor sets out to exert a positive impact
  • Return: it should generate a positive return on the investment
  • Measurability: the benefits should be measurable and transparent.

Some investors believe that impact investing should also incorporate the concept of ‘additionality’, which involves only allocating to businesses that they would not otherwise have chosen to invest in if they were not seeking to achieve a positive social impact. Once considered a niche form of investing, the increasing awareness of the SDGs has made it increasingly mainstream. It has also branched out to focus on specific SDGs or other themes, such as gender diversity and creating a circular economy.

Robeco offers a range of credits and equities funds that target the SDGs. In addition, a gender equality impact investing fund looks for companies making a strong contribution to promoting female participation in the workplace. And a circular economy fund targets companies involved in tackling the current ‘take-make-dispose’ linear economic model and replacing it with one focused on recycling, reusing and reworking. All are managed by RobecoSAM on behalf of both companies.

See also: Sustainable Development Goals, definitions of sustainable investing

Creating returns that benefit the world we live in
Creating returns that benefit the world we live in
Sustainable investing

Environmental Impact Report as of end-2018
Source: Robeco

Solving the sustainable investment dilemma
Solving the sustainable investment dilemma
Combining quant and sustainable investing efficiently requires expertise.
25-05-2020 | Interview
Will the oil price crash lower carbon footprints?
Will the oil price crash lower carbon footprints?
An historic plunge in the oil price has raised hopes that carbon footprints could be permanently cut – but this may be wishful thinking.
08-05-2020 | Monthly outlook
Robeco publishes Q1 2020 Active Ownership report
Robeco publishes Q1 2020 Active Ownership report
New engagement themes lead the coverage in Robeco’s latest Active Ownership report – a quarter that saw the first impact of Covid-19.
07-05-2020 | Active Ownership Report