Impact is a change in human well-being due to a positive or negative outcome for people or the planet driven by the activity of an enterprise.
To understand any impact, we need to understand the five operational dimensions of the social performance of a corporation, and its four capital dimensions.
In line with the recommendations of Impact Management Project, we recognize the following five operational dimensions of impact: What, Who, How Much, Contribution and Risk.
What tells us what outcomes the enterprise is contributing to and how important the outcomes are to stakeholders. Stakeholder outcomes include outcomes for third-parties which would typically not have been considered or priced by an enterprise while undertaking an activity: these are called ‘externalities’.
Who tells us which stakeholders are experiencing the outcome and how underserved they were prior to the enterprise’s effect. Stakeholder groups could be private parties (individuals and firms), or communities, or the public at large. They could be close to the driver of the outcome (e.g., land pollution) or very distant (e.g., GHG emissions).
How Much tells us how many stakeholders experienced the outcome (“scale”), what degree of change they experienced (“depth”), and how long they experienced the outcome for (“duration”). The present values of these outcomes can be expressed as changes to one of four capital classes: natural, human, social and financial.
Contribution tells us whether an enterprise’s and/or investor’s efforts resulted in outcomes that were likely better than what would have occurred otherwise. The extent to which impacts of a particular business either exceed or fall short of prevailing sectoral benchmarks represents the contribution of that business. These shortfalls or excesses can often be valued economically and expressed in terms of the same four capital classes – financial, natural, human and social.
Risk tells us the likelihood that impact will be different than expected. Since all impact valuations are estimated as the present value of future changes in human well-being, there is every likelihood that actual impacts will differ from estimates as future changes diverge from expectations. This divergence is ‘risk’ and can sometimes be expressed as the standard deviation of return or of contribution.
Understanding how to effectively measure impact is critical to addressing the social and environmental challenges confronted by corporations, governments and society in today’s VUCA world. This requires information on both - key risk factors and quantum of risk - in order to enable business managers, policy makers and individuals design effective mitigation strategies.
Impact measurement captures relative changes (positive and negative) in stakeholder well-being, which are attributable to material activities, functions, policies and processes along the business value chain, regulatory domain and social intervention.
Presented in the form of economic value, quantifiable volumes and qualitative ranks; our impact measurement enables stakeholders identify, measure, value and manage their material risks and make informed choices.
IP<M is a performance management framework integrated across all four capital classes that helps a company become ‘future-fit’: able to design appropriate responses to business opportunities and threats in an increasingly ‘VUCA’ world, drive sustainable growth and deliver measurable value to all stakeholders, not only to shareholders.
IP<M integrates costs & benefits of all significant positive and negative externalities, across all four major capital classes and enables our partners to communicate holistic annual performance using a comprehensive framework.
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Example: Changing the way Yarra Valley Water measures value
Social Capital constitutes of the productive value of social connections, where productive is understood not only in the narrow sense of the production of market goods and services, but in terms of the production of a broad range of well-being outcomes
(Scrivens K., 2013).
Who we are
We are a 15-year old international Sustainability Analytics, Solutions and Insights firm with Head Quarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Research facility in Mumbai, Technology Partner in San Diego and collaborators worldwide
We are a Globally recognized leader in sustainability metrics, analytics and insights. Our clients span across corporations, financial institutions, Non-profits, governments, academic institutions, think-tanks, Industry associations and other types of organizations.
We work at the intersection of Sustainability, Big Data Analytics, & Intelligent Computing. Our core analytics engine i360X is based upon over 30 person-years of research & data analytics, algorithms and methodologies that are derived from globally accepted and used methods, techniques and data bases. Our solutions have been peer reviewed by leaders in the field and implemented by clients world-wide.
Below we have listed some of our prime partners:
Yarra Valley Water
Yarra Valley Water (YVW) is Melbourne's largest retail water utility, providing essential water and sanitation services to more than 1.8 million people. GIST Advisory has worked with YVW to help prepare its first Integrated Profit & Loss (IP&L) report in 2016 and demonstrate YVW’s contribution to social capital and liveability via its sustainability and community interventions.
Sveaskog is Sweden's largest forest owner and sells saw-logs, pulpwood and biofuel. Sveaskog also works with land transactions and develops the forest as a venue for hunting, fishing and other nature-based experience. GIST Advisory has worked with Sveaskog to help prepare its first Integrated Profit & Loss (IP&L) report in 2018 and demonstrate the company’s contribution to Swedish society.
Conservation Wildlands Trust
Part of the Ashok Piramal Group, Conservation Wildlands Trust (CWT) is an initiative to promote community-based wildlife conservation in India. GIST Advisory works with CWT to measure the total economic value creation for beneficiaries and social return on investment (SROI) as result of its community health and skill training programs in the Pench Tiger Reserve area, in India.
AMATA is a Brazilian forestry company that serves as a bridge between the forest and the consumer market, offering certified wood that is produced with social responsibility and guaranteed origin. GIST Advisory has worked with AMATA to help prepare its first Integrated Profit & Loss (IP&L) report in 2015.
AkzoNobel is the leading paint and performance coatings manufacturer globally. GIST Advisory has worked with AkzoNobel to help prepare its first Integrated Profit & Loss (IP&L) report in 2014 for its Pulp and Performance Chemicals business in Brazil.