The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an independent international organisation that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997, identified eight emerging trends in their 2015 seminal report Sustainability and Reporting Trends in 2025 – Preparing for the Future. Four years on, three of these trends stand out:
1. Business decision makers will take sustainability issues into account more profoundly
2. Ethical values, reputation and risk management will guide decision makers
3. Sustainability data will be digital
Challenges remain for sustainability reporting to produce financially-meaningful corporate reports. Meanwhile the investment world, and even the United Nations, are developing their own methods and approaches to measuring a business’s impact beyond the traditional financial reporting world.
As the impact investing landscape matures, it is time to bring businesses out of the cold in order to narrow the expectation gap between those who fund businesses (Funders) and those businesses who receive that funding (Receivers). Doing so will create a wealth of financial opportunities for investors, lenders and organisations that were not so long ago considered wishful thinking.
Whether you are an investor, lender or business leader who wants to participate in the ethical trade, we detail ‘things you can do right away’ to begin positioning yourself in the impact ecosystem.
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