IIF Authors

Status: Will be live at 11/06/2019 05:45

The Case for Simplifying Sustainable Investment Terminology

As global efforts to channel more private sector investment towards sustainable development ramp up, one key barrier has been the sheer proliferation of terms referring to “sustainable investment.” In a 2019 survey, the IIF Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) polled member firms on their views:  a significant majority agreed that industry alignment around simplifying terminology and product names into a few broad categories could greatly advance the goal of scaling up sustainable finance.

To help drive progress towards this goal, this short note sets out the case for simplification and proposes three such categories as a starting point for discussion: “Exclusion,” “Inclusion,” and “Impactful,” leaving “Philanthropic” as a separate category distinct from sustainable investment.