Tideline’s new verification business seeks to strengthen trust and accountability in impact investing
“We see independent, third-party impact verification of both impact practices and impact claims around performance as a critical way of continuing to instill trust in the label and as a key antidote to concerns around impact washing.”
“Over the last six months of living through this COVID pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in interest and demand for not just impact product, but impact product that has been certified or assured in some way…(There’s an) expanding consciousness in driving towards investments that have a clear social, environmental, and economic justice impact.”
– Christina Leijonhufvud, CEO of BlueMark
As demand for impact investments grow, more and more organizations are creating investment products labeled as ‘impact’. However, without any regulatory body or industry-wide standards, there are significant concerns about impact washing, the practice of branding products as ‘impact’ more for marketing reasons than any social or environmental substance. Responding to this concern, the IFC’s ‘Operating Principles for Impact Management’ named independent third party verification as one of their 9 key principles to meet industry best practices.
Tideline, an impact investing consulting company, responded to this need by launching their independent verification business in 2019, which they recently spun out into BlueMark. Joining us on the podcast this week is Christina Leijonhufvud, co-founder of Tideline and CEO of BlueMark. Christina discusses the evolution of impact measurement and management practices, the need to measure for both positive and negative impacts, and the increasing importance of independent verification as more and more products are introduced and labeled as impact.
- More info on the IFC’s ‘Operating Principles for Impact Management’
- Check out the Tideline report ‘Making the Mark: Investor Alignment with the Operating Principles for Impact Management’, April 2020
- Read the BlueMark launch announcement, October 2020
- “From impact measurement to impact management to impact verification” by Christina Leijonhufvud in ImpactAlpha, October 2020
- “Verification essential for more impact” by Christina Leijonhufvud in top1000funds.com, October 2020
- Watch the BlueMark launch webinar with Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, LeapFrog Investments, and CDC Group “Strengthening Trust in Impact Investing”
About Money + Meaning
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.