For the first time the size of the global impact investment market has pushed into 12 figures, to reach $US1.164 trillion. 

That’s four commas, that’s a big number.

This is according to Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) market-size estimate. It was released as part of the GIIN Investor Forum, an event held in The Hague last week.

“Our new estimate of a global impact investing market larger than one trillion dollars represents a significant psychological milestone for the industry, as it matures and grows in sophistication,” said Amit Bouri, CEO of the GIIN.

“While this figure serves as a very positive sign for the industry, it is also a call for further action. Vast allocations of capital and an intentional focus towards generating positive impact are required right now if we are to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and to reach net zero emissions by 2050.”

Fund managers made up 63% of the organisations in the sample, and held 61% of impact AUM, while Development Finance Institutions (DFI) made up only 5% of organisations, but held a material 27% of impact AUM, demonstrating the considerable size of some individual DFIs.

Green bonds were also included in the market, but the report stressed that not all green bonds can be considered impact investments. 

While the issuers will tend to have a positive impact intention in creating the bond, the same can’t be said for the holders, which may lack a clear organisational strategy for impact when acquiring the bond. 

Nonetheless, the growth of the green bond market has been strong, and it is reshaping the impact landscape.

“The results of this study should fill us with optimism and determination: optimism about the capacity of the impact investing market to enact positive change at meaningful scale, and determination to continue to grow the utilization of impact investing as a critical strategy to address the challenges of our time.” says Amit Bouri.

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