Publications

- June 1, 2022: Vol. 14, Number 6

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Holistic impact measurement: A long-term focus can better align incentives and lead to greater ESG impact

by Ian Lieblich

A burgeoning responsible investment sector must do the impossible.

Tasked with ensuring the private sector is contributing to solving the environmental and social challenges facing our modern society — the “to solving” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence — it must also quantify and make these contributions tangible.

More than ever is riding on this “proof” that a corporation is worthy of its customers, investors and staff. This is due to a growing societal awareness of the private sector’s contributions to complex challenges, including climate change, reconciliation, modern slavery and structural sexism.

Yet measuring the environmental and social impact of a business is tricky work. Investment portfolios navigate countless reporting and benchmarking frameworks, spit out metrics and set targets in the hope of quantifying impact.

In seeking to quantify the impact of their investments, funds can be guilty of losing sight of the big

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