The UK National Advisory Board, Practitioners’ Council and their collaborators have agreed to focus on 5 key areas of work this year, as outlined below. These will form the basis of our recommendations to strengthen and scale the UK impact investment sector, as well as help chart a course towards a more inclusive and sustainable economy. The group will publish this in a report in September 2017.
- The contract between business and society is changing. Consumers, employees, investors, and business leaders are increasingly demanding that UK companies have a social or environmental purpose, beyond just generating a profit.
- In response, pioneering businesses are finding ways to tackle societal challenges whilst maintaining and often enhancing commercial returns. But to truly address the societal issues that have given rise to this approach, it must now be embraced as the norm for all businesses
- Individual investors have expressed significant demand for their money to be used for the good of society, in addition to generating a financial return. However, suitable products are largely not available today, and there is low awareness of those that are.
- With over 16m savers and £300bn under management (growing fast), DC pension schemes represent an unrealised opportunity to meet this demand, and channel significant capital into helping address social challenges.
- With annual procurement spend of c.£240bn on goods and services a year, central and local government bodies hold enormous power to respond to rising societal needs and growing budget pressure through their spending.
- By embracing purpose-driven approaches to procurement, the government can maximise the long term societal and economic value created with every public pound.
- A growing body of evidence shows that investors can increase their long term returns through incorporating impact into their decisions. In doing so, they will also better meet their fiduciary responsibilities, as well as help to address social and environmental challenges.
- An inclusive investment agenda also means that we support the parts of the UK that are being left behind, and create the right institutions and supporting ecosystem to do so.
- The UK has top-class institutions in both development and finance, but they rarely talk. We need more of them to get involved and work together to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).