Daily ESG Briefing: Impact investment passes $2.3tn, but only a fraction is ‘measured impact’, says IFC

The latest developments in sustainable finance

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has found that the impact investing market hit $2.3tn last year, but only $636bn of this amount was "measured impact" – defined as assets with a clear intent for positive impact, a credible thesis of contribution, and for which there is a measurement system in place. The report also finds that there were more "measured impact" funds in the market than before – collectively, 1,001 funds in 2020, compared with 887 funds in 2019. The IFC houses the Operating Principles for Impact Management, which has 135 signatories. 

Bamboo Capital Partners, the asset management arm of impact specialist Palladium, has committed to make $1bn of impact investments over the next three years. Bamboo makes both debt and equity investments to “bridge the gap between seed and growth stage funding” for projects in developing countries. Launched in 2007, it has raised some $450m so far. 

Lloyd’s syndicate member Cincinnati Global Underwriting has become the 15th insurer to rule out insuring or re-insuring Canada’s Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline and its planned expansion. The project’s developers, who have been accused of not acquiring the consent of the indigenous community to whom the land belongs, has until the end of August to secure coverage. The Canada Energy Regulator reportedly upheld Trans Mountain’s request to keep the names of its existing insurers confidential, the project’s most recent public certificate names Lloyd’s of London, Chubb, Liberty Mutual and AIG. 

The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization has partnered with nonprofit carbon markets data platform Ecosystem Marketplace to provide members with data and analysis to promote transparency and credibility for carbon offsetting in the airline industry.

The Singapore Exchange will consult on new disclosure rules for climate change and diversity, according to a speech by CEO Tan Boon Gin. The move comes after studies conducted by exchange found that “climate-related information is still lacking and importantly, there is little assurance and standardisation” in issuer sustainability reports, he said.

Twelve unnamed Malaysian financial institutions will start reporting their lending and investment activity against the country’s green taxonomy from July 2022. The taxonomy was issued by the Malaysian central bank in April, and is the first to be developed by an emerging market economy.

Dutch bank ING has signed up to the Net Zero Banking Alliance, pledging to become Net Zero by 2050. ING said that its decarbonisation strategy will include reducing coal financing to “close to zero” by 2025 and developing a Net Zero pathway for steelmaking.