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Benchmarking impact: Australian impact investor insights, activity and performance report 2020

Corporate social responsibility Social impact investing Australia

2020 is a year like no other, with the global COVID-19 pandemic impacting communities and economies worldwide, on the back of Australia’s most devastating bushfire season in history. These events have brought the interdependencies between our society, environment and economy into sharp focus, and reaffirm the relevance of impact as the third paradigm of investing, alongside risk and return.

Impact investing is currently a small part of the global financial system in dollar terms: the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) estimates the size of the global impact investing market to be US$502 billion1 compared with the more than US$100 trillion of the world’s total financial stock. However, it has emerged as a powerful strategy for investors to intentionally direct capital towards economic, social and environmental outcomes and is at the forefront of this growing awareness and shift in thinking.

The impact investing community is championing innovative approaches that demonstrate how capital can be directed towards delivery of measurable positive social and environmental outcomes. It is leading development of market infrastructure, including development of a shared language, frameworks and tools for measuring and managing impact more comprehensively and consistently.

Key findings:

  • Investor activity is broadening and deepening, with more investors becoming active in impact investing and investors already active increasing their allocations to impact investing both in terms of dollar amount and number of investments.
  • This growth trajectory looks set to continue in the medium term with investor awareness and interest among those not yet active in impact investing (precursors to future demand and activity) across all investor types also growing and most investors believing impact investing will become a more significant part of the investment landscape over the next five years.
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