The amount of money invested in projects with a social or environmental benefit has doubled in the last year to $228 billion, according to a report released on Tuesday, with strong growth in education, food and agriculture.
Investors around the world are becoming more interested in putting their money into projects that do good, according to the results of the latest annual survey by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a non-profit founded in 2009. “The diverse and dynamic impact investing market continues to demonstrate strong momentum and optimism. The overall number of $228 billion speaks to the growing strength of the market,” said Amit Bouri, chief executive of the GIIN. “Interest in impact investing is booming around the world. We’re getting inbound interest from everyone from large institutional investors to foundations and governments,” Bouri told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The GIIN ‘s 2017 survey found the impact investing market was worth $114 billion. This year’s survey showed strong growth in sectors that historically accounted for a smaller share of such investments, including education and food and agriculture.
Three years after the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted unanimously by member nations in 2015, three quarters of investors reported tracking their investments to them, or planning to do so in the future, the survey found. The SDGs aim to tackle the world’s most challenging problems, from halting deforestation to reducing child mortality. “They seem to be a rallying point for investors,” said Caroline Vance, director in the sustainable investments group at DWS, majority owned by Deutsche Bank.
Vance said the impact sector was becoming more mainstream. “We’ve seen it spoken of more broadly and not as such a niche endeavor. To have discussions about impact investing with more mainstream type of investors was something that didn’t happen 10 years ago,” she said. The report is based on survey responses from 229 investors around the world, including fund managers, banks, foundations, pension funds and insurance companies.