As Impact Investing Grows, So Do Expectations

By Andrew Mayeda | IFC Insights | April 2021 



In the spring of 2019, representatives from 60 investors gathered in the sun-filled atrium of World Bank Group headquarters to adopt new market standards for impact investing. One by one, they stepped on stage to place the logos of their firms on a model tree, symbolizing the growth of the budding industry.

Two years later, the celebration of the second anniversary of the Operating Principles for Impact Management was by necessity a more modest affair, constrained by the rules of socially distanced engagement in the age of COVID-19. But signatories to the principles are taking comfort in the fact that impact investing—defined as “investments made into companies or organizations with the intent to contribute to measurable positive social or environmental impact, alongside financial returns”—has continued to blossom.