BlueMark Publishes New Impact Benchmarks Powered by Growing Dataset on Best Practices in Impact Management

BlueMark Publishes New Impact Benchmarks Powered by Growing Dataset on Best Practices in Impact Management

BlueMark Practice Leaderboard expands to 10 leading impact investors with additions of AgDevCo, BlueEarth Capital, Calvert Impact Capital, and Nuveen Fixed Income Impact

 

BlueMark, a leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market, today published its fourth annual “Making the Mark” report with data and insights on best practices in impact management. This year’s report, available at https://bluemarktideline.com/making-the-mark-2023, is based on 84 practice verifications for investors managing a combined $206 billion in impact AUM, making it BlueMark’s largest research sample to date. Leveraging its expanded dataset, BlueMark has for the first time published custom benchmarks by asset class and thematic focus.

BlueMark also announced the addition of four more investors – AgDevCo, BlueEarth Capital, Calvert Impact Capital, and Nuveen Fixed Income Impact – to the BlueMark Practice Leaderboard, joining Bain Capital Double Impact, British International Investment, Finance in Motion, LeapFrog Investments, Nuveen Private Equity Impact, and Trill Impact. The Practice Leaderboard was first launched in the 2022 edition of “Making the Mark” to spotlight those investors who scored in the top quartile based on their alignment with the Operating Principles for Impact Management (or Impact Principles), a leading market standard for impact management practices that forms the foundation for BlueMark’s practice verification service.

Other key data and insights from the 2023 edition of “Making the Mark” include:

  • The adoption of staff-incentive systems linked to impact remains limited, with only 31% of verified investors explicitly integrating impact considerations into staff incentives. The most common approach at 25% is through annual staff performance reviews related to impact, including a subset of 15% that make the link explicit through variable pay and bonus structures. However, only 7% of the market has linked their impact performance to carried interest, a mechanism that is only relevant for private equity and venture capital investors.
  • 55% of investors include an analysis of impact risk in due diligence, however investors tend to focus their assessments on the likelihood of impact occurring (“execution risk”) rather than assessing potential negative impacts (“unexpected impact risk”). In fact, only 24% of investors include a standardized assessment of negative impacts as part of their processes, which suggests the market has more work to do when accounting for potential negative outcomes in due diligence.
  • Less than a third of investors (32%) are engaging with target stakeholders and actively soliciting their input to validate outcomes alongside investee data. While still a minority practice, a slight increase compared to last year’s research sample shows that soliciting input from end-stakeholders (e.g., workers, customers, or affected community members) experiencing the impact outcomes will become a key part of effective impact management and monitoring.
  • 27% of investors are taking consistent actions to ensure sustainability of impact creation, while just more than half of investors (60%) have a policy or approach in place to consider the sustainability of impact at and beyond exit. This suggests there is a long way to go before impact considerations take equal precedence to financial considerations and investors proactively identify actions to preserve impact as part of exit strategies. Given exit practices range broadly across asset class contexts, additional norms and consensus best practice across investment strategies will be required for this market practice to continue to improve.

The report also includes case studies on innovations in impact investing, featuring Adams Street Partners, Franklin Templeton, FullCycle Climate Partners, Schroders Asset Management, and Summa Equity.

“The expanded dataset in this year’s ‘Making the Mark’ report reveals an increasingly diverse range of impact investors across asset classes and strategies, reflecting growing adoption of impact management standards across investor types,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO of BlueMark. “While we are encouraged by how many more investors are committed to aligning with industry best practices, BlueMark’s research reveals significant areas for improvement remain across key practice areas critical to achieving both impact and financial performance.”

As part of this year’s “Making the Mark” report, BlueMark also updated its analysis of signatories to the Impact Principles. Out of 170+ signatories, 119 had published a verifier statement as of May 2023, of which 15 were internal verifications. BlueMark was responsible for 42, or 40%, of all third-party verifications. In addition, BlueMark conducted 40 practice verifications for investors who are not (yet) signatories to the Impact Principles, signaling the growing demand for impact verification beyond the use case of satisfying the requirements of voluntary standards.

Overall, across all its verification services, BlueMark has completed more than 130 verifications for 95 clients across the investment management industry, which collectively manage more than $214 billion in impact AUM. This is equivalent to about 20 percent of the total impact investing market, based on the latest estimates from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).

In April 2023, BlueMark announced it had raised $10 million in a Series A round led by S&P Global. Other investors in the round included Blue Haven Initiative, Ford Foundation, Gunung Capital, Radicle Impact, Temasek Trust Capital, and Tsao Family Office.

About BlueMark

BlueMark is a leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market. As a certified B Corp, BlueMark’s mission is to “strengthen trust in impact investing” by providing investors with market-leading impact verification services, benchmarks, and analytics. BlueMark’s verification methodologies draw on a range of industry standards, frameworks, and regulations, including the Impact Management Project (IMP), the Operating Principles for Impact Management (Impact Principles), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), SDG Impact, and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Learn more about BlueMark and impact verification at www.bluemarktideline.com.

BlueMark Publishes New Impact Benchmarks Powered by Growing Dataset on Best Practices in Impact Management

BlueMark Raises $10 Million in Series A to Accelerate Adoption of Its Market-Leading Impact Verification Services, Benchmarks, and Analytics

  • S&P Global leads Series A round, alongside other new investors including Temasek Trust Capital, Blue Haven Initiative, Gunung Capital, and Tsao Family Office
  • Ford Foundation and Radicle Impact, which co-invested in BlueMark’s seed round in January 2022, increase their capital commitments in the Series A round

BlueMark, a leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market, today announced that it had closed its Series A funding round with $10 million in capital commitments from a diverse group of seven investors. The lead investor is S&P Global, with other new investors including Temasek Trust Capital and three family offices with significant experience in impact investing — Blue Haven Initiative, Gunung Capital, and Tsao Family Office.

Ford Foundation and Radicle Impact are also participating in the Series A round, having previously funded BlueMark’s seed round with $2.25 million in equity financing, with Ford Foundation as lead investor and Radicle Impact as co-investor.

The increase in funding will be used to accelerate BlueMark’s leadership position as a premier provider of impact verification, benchmarks, and analytics to institutional investors of all types. Founded in January 2020, BlueMark has completed 125 verifications to date for investors with a combined $206 billion in impact AUM. The firm’s experience with such a large swath of the impact investing industry allows BlueMark to generate a unique set of market information and data. By providing insightful and comparable interpretations of investor impact performance, BlueMark helps optimize capital allocations towards impact. BlueMark also plans to expand its presence across different industries and geographies, with a particular focus on Asia where three of its investors are based.

Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO of BlueMark: “This latest funding round shows how strong the appetite is for greater transparency, accountability, and integrity in the impact and sustainable investing market. BlueMark’s distinctive approach to impact verification, benchmarking, and analytics continually raises the bar on best practice impact management and reporting among investment managers and also helps asset allocators identify and engage with managers driving impact.”

Dr. Richard Mattison, President of S&P Global Sustainable1: “S&P Global is proud to be investing in BlueMark to support much-needed innovation in transparency for impact metrics. More than ever, companies and investors are seeking access to high quality data and advanced analytics relating to sustainability. This investment represents a step forward in enhancing market participants’ access to impact-focused insights.”

Roy Swan, Head of Mission Investments at Ford Foundation: “BlueMark’s work to help impact investors reach for a higher standard in tracking their performance has rightfully earned them a reputation as a leading authority on best practices in impact management and reporting. This next phase for BlueMark signals the growing awareness around the importance of impact investing as a whole, and Ford Foundation is excited to take our partnership a step further.”

Dawn Chan, Managing Director, Investments at Temasek Trust Capital: “Impact and sustainable investing is a focus at Temasek Trust Capital. We see significant growth opportunities for impact investing in Asia and around the world. Independent experts are vital in assessing and assuring that investors are delivering on their impact claims and commitments. BlueMark is a leader in this space, and we look forward to working with the BlueMark team to expand their verification and market intelligence services to new geographies and sectors.”

Kelvin Fu, Managing Partner of Singapore-based Gunung Capital: “We are excited to partner with BlueMark in expanding their impact verification and intelligence capabilities in Asia, a market where we see growing demand for sustainable investments and impact verification services. Having gone through our own journey of establishing impact and sustainable frameworks for investment, we view BlueMark’s methodologies, capabilities, and team as world-class.”

Bryan Goh, CEO at Tsao Family Office: “Tsao Family Office is delighted to support BlueMark in their vital work of bringing transparency, authenticity, and accountability to impact investing.  We believe that BlueMark’s work will enable capital allocators to make more informed decisions and at the same time drive best practice amongst impact asset managers.”

Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative: “BlueMark’s industry-leading approach to impact verification brings greater clarity and accountability to the process of selecting and engaging with managers, and ultimately makes life easier for allocators like Blue Haven Initiative. We look forward to working with the BlueMark team to extend BlueMark’s verification services and unique data to the rest of the market.”

The latest funding for BlueMark comes at a pivotal time in the maturation of the impact investing industry. According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), there is now more than $1 trillion in impact assets under management globally. Now more than ever, the market needs an accountability mechanism to ensure that investors’ claims about their sustainability and impact goals, practices, and results are reliable, accurate, and decision-useful for allocators and other stakeholders.

BlueMark’s impact verification service encompasses an analysis of an investor’s (a) impact management practice (the policies, tools, and processes necessary to execute on their impact strategy) and (b) impact reporting (the completeness and reliability of their reported impact performance).

By aggregating data from these verifications, BlueMark is also able to generate a wealth of insights into industry trends, market challenges, and emerging best practices. BlueMark regularly shares these insights with the impact investing field via a research series on impact management practices (“Making the Mark”) and a series on impact reporting (“Raising the Bar“). These research reports, which have been supported by catalytic funding from organizations like The Rockefeller Foundation and the Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing, are widely shared across the impact investing industry and can be used as a guideline to best practices for both new and established impact investors.

BlueMark became a certified B Corp in November 2022, joining thousands of businesses around the world that are committed to using business as a force for good.

 

About BlueMark

BlueMark is a leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market. Founded in January 2020 as a spinoff from Tideline, an expert consultant to the impact investing industry, BlueMark’s mission is to “strengthen trust in impact investing” by providing investors with market-leading impact verification services, benchmarks, and analytics. BlueMark’s verification methodologies draw on a range of industry standards, frameworks, and regulations, including the Impact Management Project (IMP), the Operating Principles for Impact Management (Impact Principles), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), SDG Impact, and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Learn more about BlueMark and impact verification at www.bluemarktideline.com.

BlueMark Publishes New Impact Benchmarks Powered by Growing Dataset on Best Practices in Impact Management

BlueMark Publishes Framework to Bring More Clarity to Impact Reporting

BlueMark’s framework is designed to evaluate the completeness and reliability of impact reporting prepared by fund managers for their investors.

 

BlueMark, a leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market, today published a framework for evaluating the completeness and reliability of fund managers’ impact reports. The framework is designed to help impact fund managers improve how they disclose their impact results to their investors and to make it easier for investors to assess the quality of the impact reports they receive. The framework, which also provides the basis for BlueMark’s approach to verifying impact reports, is available for download at www.bluemarktideline.com/raising-the-bar-2.

BlueMark’s reporting verification methodology was developed after more than 18 months of research, which included 19 verifications of client impact reports, analyses of 30+ other impact reports and interviews with more than 50 impact investing experts. The most recent phase of the research involved a pilot project with Impact Frontiers, a market-building collaborative for impact investors, and seven of its member-impact fund managers, each of whom paid to have their impact reports verified by BlueMark using the new framework. These seven firms – which work across diverse sectors, geographies, and asset classes – included Anthos Fund & Asset Management, Big Society Capital, Impact Engine, Rally Assets, Japan Social Innovation and Investment Foundation (SIIF), and TELUS.

“Impact reporting is an important part of how impact investors are held accountable for their impact claims,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO of BlueMark. “With this new framework for evaluating impact reports, our goal is to improve transparency and credibility by driving stronger alignment around how we as a field define quality impact reporting, including the specific steps impact investors can take to level up their reports.”

“The impact fund managers we collaborate with have a shared desire for a clear and transparent approach to impact reporting that allows for a more holistic understanding of impact performance,” said Mike McCreless, Executive Director of Impact Frontiers. “BlueMark’s framework helps fill this critical gap in the impact investing market by clarifying the types of information that impact reports should include.”

 

BlueMark’s reporting verification framework

BlueMark’s research and stakeholder consultation on best practices in impact reporting revealed a great deal of agreement among market actors as to what constitutes quality and decision-useful reporting. Based on these insights, BlueMark designed a framework for verifying impact reporting that is anchored around two key pillars — Completeness and Reliability.

Under the Completeness pillar, BlueMark assesses the scope and relevance of reported information related to an investor’s impact strategy and results at both the portfolio- and investment-level.

Under the Reliability pillar, BlueMark assesses the clarity and quality of impact data presented in the report, including underlying data management practices and systems.

As part of the verification methodology, BlueMark assigns ratings to these criteria to help impact investors understand where they excel in their reporting and where they still have room for improvement. These ratings will be used to create industry benchmarks similar to the BlueMark Practice Benchmark, which was introduced in BlueMark’s “Making the Mark” research series on trends and best practices in impact management.

BlueMark’s methodology focuses on information that is essential for external stakeholders–in particular investors in impact funds–to gauge whether those funds are reporting on the right things and in the right way. It stops short of defining what “good” or “bad” impact performance looks like, which remains a challenge across the impact investing industry due to the limited availability of data on performance measures that would allow for appropriate comparisons across different types of impact funds and strategies.

To date, BlueMark has completed 100+ impact verifications for impact investors managing a combined $192 billion in impact AUM. Approximately 80% of these have been verifications of an investor’s impact management (IM) practices, while the remaining 20% have been impact reporting verifications. BlueMark plans to conduct additional research on the relationship between robust IM practice and quality impact reporting to help advance best practices across the field.

 

About BlueMark

BlueMark is the leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market. As a certified B Corp, BlueMark’s mission is to “strengthen trust in impact investing.” BlueMark’s verification methodologies draw on a range of industry standards, frameworks and regulations, including the Impact Management Project (IMP), the Operating Principles for Impact Management (Impact Principles), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), SDG Impact, and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Learn more about BlueMark and impact verification at www.bluemarktideline.com.

BlueMark Publishes New Impact Benchmarks Powered by Growing Dataset on Best Practices in Impact Management

BlueMark Becomes First Impact Verification Firm to be Certified as a B Corp

BlueMark, a leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact investing market, today announced that it was certified as a B Corp, joining thousands of businesses around the world that are committed to using business as a force for good.

“Our goal is to strengthen trust in sustainable and impact investing by bringing more transparency and accountability to the industry,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO & Co-Founder of BlueMark. “We know that in order to hold our clients accountable, we must also be willing to hold ourselves accountable. Achieving B Corp verification signals to the rest of the field our own commitment to the kind of transparency and learning that we ask of our clients.”

“BlueMark fills a critical need in the sustainable and impact investing market with its verification services, ensuring that investors are held accountable for their impact claims and practices,” said Roy Swan, Director of Mission Investment at the Ford Foundation, one of the initial investors in BlueMark. “This next step towards B Corp certification shows that BlueMark doesn’t just talk the talk on accountability—they are also walking the walk by holding themselves to the same standards as their clients.”

Founded in January 2020, BlueMark has completed more than 100 verifications for impact investors managing a combined $189 billion in impact-oriented assets under management. These verifications are structured around the two key pillars of accountability for impact — impact management practices and impact reporting — which form the foundation for BlueMark’s verification services.

  • Practice Verification – assessment of the extent to which a client has implemented the policies, tools, and processes necessary to execute on their impact strategy
  • Reporting Verification – assessment of the extent to which a client’s reporting of its impact performance is complete and reliable

By aggregating data from these verifications, BlueMark is also able to generate a wealth of insights into industry trends, market challenges and emerging best practices. BlueMark regularly shares these insights with the impact investing field via a research series on impact management practices (“Making the Mark”) and a series on impact reporting (“Raising the Bar”). These research reports are widely shared across the impact investing industry and can be used as a guideline to best practices for both new and established impact investors.

B Corp Certification is awarded by B Lab, a non-profit organization that is committed to transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet. In order to become a certified B Corp, a company must earn a minimum audited score of 80 out of 200 possible points on the B Impact Assessment (BIA), a rigorous evaluation of a company’s business practices and its impact on key stakeholder groups. B Corps are expected to meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. To maintain their B Corp status, B Corps must also recertify every three years and receive an updated score.

Learn more about the BIA at https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/programs-and-tools/b-impact-assessment/ and review BlueMark’s scores at https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/find-a-b-corp/company/blue-mark.

 

About BlueMark

BlueMark is the leading provider of independent impact verification and intelligence for the impact and sustainable investing market. Founded in 2020, BlueMark’s mission is to “strengthen trust in impact investing.” BlueMark’s verification methodologies draw on a range of industry standards, frameworks and regulations, including the Impact Management Project (IMP), the Operating Principles for Impact Management (Impact Principles), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), SDG Impact, and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Learn more about BlueMark and impact verification at www.bluemarktideline.com.

BlueMark Publishes New Impact Benchmarks Powered by Growing Dataset on Best Practices in Impact Management

ANNOUNCEMENT – “BlueMark Introduces Leaderboard of Impact Investors With the Strongest Impact Management Practices”

Leaderboard and expanded data set on best practices in impact management released as part of BlueMark’s third annual ‘Making the Mark’ report

BlueMark, an impact verification specialist, today published its third annual report on best practices and trends in impact management featuring data and insights gleaned from the firm’s verifications of investor impact management practices. BlueMark’s methodology is grounded in the Operating Principles for Impact Management (“Impact Principles”), a leading market standard for impact management practices. The full report — “Making the Mark: Spotlighting Leadership in Impact Management” — is available at www.bluemarktideline.com/making-the-mark-2022.

The analysis is based on 60 verifications for impact investors managing a combined $160 billion in impact assets under management. This is double the sample size of last year’s edition of “Making the Mark,” which was based on 30 verifications for investors managing a combined $99 billion in impact AUM. The larger sample size reflects the growing demand for impact verification and brings additional clarity into trends and challenges across the market.

“We continue to see healthy competition among impact investors seeking to demonstrate best practices in impact management and learn valuable lessons from their peers,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO of BlueMark. “BlueMark’s verification approach and dissemination of aggregated findings and benchmarks are designed to facilitate a race to the top by encouraging impact investors to adopt industry best practices and address shared challenges.”

New features in this year’s ‘Making the Mark’ report include:

  • Introduction of the BlueMark Practice Leaderboard, which highlights the five BlueMark clients that scored in the top quartile against eight of the nine core features of robust impact management as reflected in the Impact Principles (the ninth Principle–independent verification–is not scored). The inaugural edition of the Leaderboard features Bain Capital Double Impact, Finance in Motion, LeapFrog Investments, Nuveen Private Equity Global Impact, and Trill Impact.
  • An updated BlueMark Practice Benchmark, which shows the distribution of investor impact management practices by quartile, and an expanded Dashboard of Practice Indicators, which provides a tool for investors to assess their own practices against a peer set. This year’s Dashboard features additional data points on leading practices, such as the use of the IMP’s ABC framework (Avoid, Benefit, Contribute) to determine impact objectives (8% of verified investors) and the use of a composite scoring methodology to evaluate portfolio performance (28% of verified investors).
  • Overview of the current state of the impact verification market based on analysis of the 100 signatories to the Impact Principles that have completed an independent verification as of May 2022. BlueMark was responsible for 41% of all third-party verifications (excluding internal verifications) for signatories to the Impact Principles, more than four times as many as the next closest verification provider.
  • Case studies highlighting unique or innovative impact management practices, featuring Trill Impact (aligning staff incentives to impact achievement, a component of Principle 2), MedAccess (assessing investor contribution, a component of Principle 3), Lightrock (assessing impact risks and negative impacts, a feature of Principle 4), Finance in Motion (incorporating the voice of stakeholders, related to Principle 6), and British International Investment (assessing the sustainability of impact at exit, Principle 7).

BlueMark’s analysis also revealed several interesting trends across the impact investing industry.

  • Despite growing discussion about impact-linked compensation structures, the practice remains limited. Only 38% of impact management systems explicitly integrate impact considerations into staff incentives, with performance development and review processes identified as the most common method (25% of verified investors). Meanwhile, more direct financial accountability mechanisms — such as annual bonuses or impact-linked carry — are less common at 17% and 3% adoption, respectively.
  • Impact investors are aligning around a handful of measurement frameworks. A majority of impact investors (77%) have adopted industry frameworks and/or taxonomies for selecting their impact metrics, with IRIS+ emerging as the most common framework followed by HIPSO and an array of ESG reporting standards. Similarly, when it comes to ESG management, 78% of verified investors have adopted an industry standard or framework to inform their approach, led by the IFC Performance Standards (43%) and SASB (25%).
  • Investors vary significantly in their establishment of ex-ante impact targets, compromising the market’s ability to gauge success. While 63% of impact investors monitor impact performance against an expectation — such as a baseline KPI or qualitative impact rating — the quality of target-setting practices varies widely. For instance, only 22% of verified investors have a clear protocol for engaging investees in the event of impact performance, partly due to the lack of clarity on what over- or under-achievement looks like from an impact perspective.
  • An increasing number of impact investors are engaging with key stakeholders and actively solicit their input. Less than a third of impact investors (28%) engage with key affected stakeholders and actively solicit their input, an increase of 17 percentage points compared to last year’s research sample. While still a minority practice, the commitment to solicit input from target stakeholders experiencing the impact outcomes is a key part of impact management and monitoring.

“These findings corroborate what we’ve observed across the impact investing industry and in previously published research,” said Leijonhufvud. “While there are several encouraging signs of improvement in impact management practices, many impact investors still have a long way to go if they want to be seen as market leaders.”

BlueMark’s current verification services are structured around the two key pillars of accountability for impact: Impact Management Practice (the extent to which an investor or company has the systems, processes, and capabilities to contribute to achieving the intended impact); and Impact Performance (the extent to which an investor or company has achieved the intended impact results). To date, BlueMark has completed 75 verifications for organizations managing a combined $164+ billion in impact assets.

 

About BlueMark

BlueMark is a leading provider of impact verification services for investors and companies. Founded in 2020, BlueMark’s mission is to “strengthen trust in impact investing.” BlueMark’s verification methodologies draw on a range of industry standards, frameworks and regulations, including the Impact Management Project (IMP), the Operating Principles for Impact Management (OPIM), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), SDG Impact, and the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). Learn more about BlueMark and impact verification at www.bluemarktideline.com.

BlueMark Publishes New Impact Benchmarks Powered by Growing Dataset on Best Practices in Impact Management

Joint Statement by Limited Partners on Advancing Best Practices in Impact Performance Reporting

As Limited Partners (LPs) with extensive experience allocating to private market impact investment funds, we expect our General Partners (GPs) who manage these funds to provide us with regular reporting on both the financial performance and the impact performance of their portfolios.

In the same way that financial reports are essential to our analysis and management of financial performance, impact reports are a critical input to our understanding, expectation-setting, and communication with stakeholders around funds’ impact performance. Relevant and interpretable impact performance reporting deepens our trust in existing GPs and is an important input into our due diligence of prospective new GPs.

However, our ability to interpret and draw conclusions from the impact reports we receive today is hindered by the significant variability in the content and quality of these reports. We recognize that this inconsistency stems in part from the lack of widely accepted guidelines for what quality impact reporting looks like. We further recognize that we have an important role to play in establishing a common baseline for how GPs should report on their impact.

In order to increase the value of the impact reports we receive and help drive greater transparency and accountability in the impact investing market more broadly, we are committed to working together as LPs and in concert with other stakeholders to advance best practices in impact performance reporting.

As a signatory to this letter, we encourage GPs to adopt the “Key Elements of Impact Performance Reporting”, as proposed by BlueMark in its 2022 “Raising the Bar” report.

  • We expect the impact performance reports we receive to abide by the overarching elements of Completeness — providing the full balance of relevant information needed to understand impact results and risks — and Clarity — presenting impact information in a manner that is digestible and that facilitates interpretation. We further expect impact reporting by GPs to include the following specific elements:
    • Well-defined objectives and expectations: A quality impact report is explicit about the fund’s intent and impact objectives, including clarity on investor contribution and expected results.
    • Relevant metrics: A quality impact report includes quantitative metrics that are standardized wherever possible and that link to the articulated impact objectives.
    • Relative performance results: A quality impact report provides information that allows the reader to effectively interpret and contextualize measures of progress and performance against targets or expectations and against external benchmarks, as available.
    • Integrated stakeholder perspectives: A quality impact report identifies affected stakeholders and incorporates their experiences and voices to the extent possible.
    • Transparency about risks and lessons learned: A quality impact report is forthcoming about potential impact risks, failures, and lessons learned.
  • Using BlueMark’s Key Elements as a starting point, we will work with industry standard-setters to develop common frameworks and templates, as useful, to further clarify and align LP demands for quality impact performance reporting from GPs.

We see the movement toward a common framework for quality impact performance reporting as critical to stewarding the continued growth and integrity of the impact investing industry.

Sincerely,

Bank of America (Merrill and Private Bank)

Big Society Capital

Brightlight

Caprock 

Hall Capital

Jordan Park

StepStone Group