- November 1, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 11

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Investing to Make a Difference: Impact investing, the latest offshoot of socially responsible investing, has eclipsed $100b worldwide and is growing fast

by Suzanne Franks

Socially responsible investing is hardly a new idea. The desire to align personal investments with individual values dates back to the 18th century. Today, investors have access to a variety of approaches with an alphabet soup of acronyms, all designed to achieve the overall goal of making a positive impact on society.

For several decades, the ESG (environmental, social and governance) approach to investing has enabled socially conscious investors to identify companies that operate within desired principles. Beginning in the 1960s, ESG criteria were calibrated to avoid putting capital in objectionable countries or industries. This approach, widely used today, is known as “exclusion investing” and, according to a recent report from UBS, almost $20 trillion globally is invested using the exclusion approach.

“Impact investing” is the latest iteration of socially responsible investing, or SRI. Also known as “double bottom line” investing (DBL or 2BL), impact in

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