The goal of this document is to bring more clarity to the process of identifying mainstream impact investing companies and thematic investments so that asset owners and fund managers can better assess opportunities in this market.
The Market Map focuses on medium and large impact investing companies (privately-owned or listed equity firms) in the real economy. The PRI used two basic frameworks, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the PRI Reporting Framework, to identify 10 thematic investments (themes): energy efficiency; green buildings; renewable energy; sustainable agriculture; sustainable forestry; water; affordable housing; education; health; and inclusive finance.
The Market Map was designed using more than 450 studies and reports from UN agencies, international organisations, think tanks, as well as almost 200 analyses of company benchmarks and metrics from large data providers. Over 180 organisations participated in an international consultation process – one of the PRI’s largest consultations – to improve and validate the Market Map, which provides three basic but crucial benefits to the impact investing industry:
- a common definition of a thematic investment (i.e. water, inclusive finance, education) that is aligned with at least one international organisation, global market leader and/or data provider;
- basic criteria that explain a theme in practical terms, including thematic and financial conditions to identify specific businesses and investments aligned with the definition provided;
- a list of KPIs used by the impact investing community to track and assess the environmental and social performance of a specific theme.
The Market Map also links each of the 10 themes with specific SDGs and their respective targets and indicators, and provides information to improve knowledge and awareness of the impact investing sector.