Sustainability and impact

Sustainability and impact: what gets measured, gets done

The words of the owner and founder of the Indian Mahindra Group, "....What gets measured gets done"(what gets measured, gets delivered) sums up the challenge and opportunity of sustainability and business impact.

This year's Annual Congress of the GSG (Global Steering Group for Impact Investment), a global organisation that drives impact investment around the world and chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen, brought together more than 300 connected people and a total of 24 top-level speakers including members of government, the European Commission, executives, owners and founders of large companies, entrepreneurs and financiers.

They all stressed that the time for sustainability and impact had come. We know the what - measuring and managing impact - and therefore the next big challenge is the how.

And the questions posed by the speakers invite us to reflect on how to manage and measure impact: are governments, through subsidies, taxes and aid, giving signals to the market about what is or is not highly profitable (gas for example), does demanding greater transparency of non-financial information require greater regulation? What financial vehicles available to small savers but also to large investors are the best to attract large capital flows to invest in companies and projects that are changing the world, when will a single impact measurement model be available, how to move from KPIs to monetary terms, audited and mandatory non-financial accounting at the same level as financial accounting be the solution?

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