Environmental Impact Investing

European Commission, 2016: Click here to read the report.


The literature on impact investment tends to focus more on its financing of social initiatives. However, it seems that there is growing interest from investors in creating environmental impact, through investments in a wide range of sectors including clean tech, green construction, land remediation, sustainable forestry and biodiversity conservation.


A number of themes emerge from the research literature:

  • Measurement of impact is a key topic, including the questions of how to ensure reliable impact data and measure additionality.

  • Market risk also needs to be reduced if the industry is to grow from its current small state.

  • As a new field, new skillsets are required of actors in impact investing – by both investors and investees.

  • Policymakers have a key role in creating a more conducive environment for impact investment to thrive, by supporting market infrastructure and mechanisms.

  • Impact investment could easily start to move from a niche sector into the mainstream, if just a small fraction of the money currently in mainstream environmental, social and governance investment was shifted into impact investment.

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