Executive Summary — How to do Corporate Impact Investing

Impact investing can be a bridge between impact and business. How to do Corporate Impact Investing  shows what the bridge is made of and shares the experience of crossing it. This executive summary includes main takeaways for busy readers.

Executive Summary — How to do Corporate Impact Investing

Companies and corporate foundations can adopt diverse approaches to engage in impact investing. Each approach presents shared benefits between what's good for business and what's good for positive impact on people and planet: win-wins. The motivations and insights of practitioners inform a comprehensive picture of impact investing in a corporate setting, culminating in a practical guide to getting started.

The report outlines key characteristics of impact investing — intentionality, measurability and additionality — in order to clarify its benefits for people and planet. We explore how impact investing differs from other approaches on the continuum of capital, like catalytic grant-making or sustainable finance.

The report identifies the main drivers to engage in impact investing:

> adopting an innovative and holistic strategy,

> collaborating with new stakeholders

> balancing impact and profit.

Analysis of the main engagement approaches show how practitioners can pursue these win-wins:

> Companies may engage in impact investing to bridge impact with business objectives and address business needs, such as supply chain challenges and sustainability goals. Impact investments can be deployed by internal teams (sustainability or corporate venturing), an impact investment fund, the treasury department or intermediaries.

> Executing impact investing through corporate foundations offers the advantages of separation from commercial interests and the freedom to experiment and learn. Impact investments can be deployed by the programmatic side, an impact investment fund, investing part of the endowment or intermediaries.

We explore why and how corporate impact actors create synergies between impact investing and other corporate areas including philanthropy, sustainability, corporate venture capital (CVC), supply chain, product and service innovation, human resources and sustainability. These synergies present opportunities for both impact and business audiences:

> The impact case underscores four key opportunities: scaling the impact, deepening the support, extending the impact strategy and bridging impact and business.

> The business case identifies opportunities to learn about new markets and inclusive business, transform the value chain and deliver on the corporate purpose.

The report concludes with five essential steps to get started with impact investing:

> cultivating the right mindset,

> choosing the right strategy,

> engaging relevant stakeholders,

> establishing structures,

> investing!


This brief comes from How to do Corporate Impact Investing. Read the full report to learn how impact investing can be a bridge between impact and business.