The Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS) is proud to announce the 12 North American Pioneer Funds at the Social Capital Markets (www.socialcapitalmarkets.net) conference SOCAP 10, held 4-6 October in San Francisco. This is described as “the largest interdisciplinary gathering of individuals and institutions at the intersection of money and meaning”.
GIIRS (www.giirs.org) is a ratings agency that provides social and environmental impact ratings for companies and funds seeking to raise capital from impact investors. The 12 leading North American impact investing funds named as GIIRS Pioneer Funds last month join 13 leading emerging market funds named at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in April.
Collectively, the 25 GIIRS Pioneer fund managers represent $1.2 billion in assets under management and have investments in more than 200 high-impact companies in over 30 countries.
These Pioneer Funds will be the first funds to receive GIIRS ratings, starting a global population of GIIRS-rated funds that, for the first time, will give institutional investors the rigorous, comparable, independently-assured metrics they need to channel more capital into the emerging asset class of impact investments. GIIRS was created by the non-profit B Lab.
“By committing to a rigorous third party impact rating, these funds solidify their position as leaders in the emerging asset class of impact investing,” says GIIRS Managing Director and B Lab co-founder Andrew Kassoy in a press release. “The Pioneer funds are raising the bar, challenging other would-be impact investment funds to join them in differentiating those funds making a measurable impact from those simply telling a nice story.”
North American GIIRS Pioneer funds include City Light, Capital Core Innovation Capital, Equilibrium Capital, Good Capital, Mindful Investors, Murex Investments, Renewal Partners, RSF Social Finance, Satori Capital, SJF Ventures, SustainVC, and TBL Capital. A description of each of these innovative fund managers is attached.
GIIRS Fund Ratings are determined based on a roll-up of the ratings of each of the companies in a fund’s underlying investment portfolio. A beta version of GIIRS will be launched with the GIIRS Pioneer Funds starting in January 2011. GIIRS plans a public launch for Q2 2011. GIIRS builds on the B Impact Ratings System, the ratings system that B Lab developed to certify B Corporations and which has been used by over 6,000 companies to date.
GIIRS has received significant investment and philanthropic capital from Prudential Financial, Deloitte, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Rockefeller Foundation. GIIRS is the exclusive impact ratings partner for Investors’ Circle and is supported by other leading impact investing intermediaries such as Toniic, Mission Markets, the GIIN, and IRIS.
B Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab drives systemic change through three interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and just good marketing; 2) accelerating the growth of the impact investing asset class through use of B Lab’s GIIRS impact rating system by institutional investors; and 3) promoting supportive public policies, including legislation creating a new corporate form and tax, procurement, and investment incentives for sustainable business.