Building a better world one asset at a time
As featured in PERE’s 2021 impact investing roundtable, Angela Goodings, Research Director, Strategic Insights, discusses with other participants the rise of impact investing and how firms are differentiating themselves from the crowd.
It has become a dictum of the post-pandemic real estate industry that the upheaval of the past year has raised consciousness of social issues in the investing community. Certainly, impact investing has become a focal point for investors, not just in Europe as had long been the case, but increasingly in North America and other parts of the world too. Many investors and managers are backing and launching impact strategies, or at least claiming to do so.
The roundtable participants noted three principles crucial in impact investments: intentionality (setting out with the deliberate intent to solve a problem); additionality (doing more than the market would have provided anyway); and measurability. The participants agree that the third of the three pillars of impact investing, measurability, remains the most challenging, despite the progress made in developing benchmarks for energy efficiency and emissions.
It is challenging to measure something from a social perspective that can be more qualitative, rather than quantitative. We need to understand how real estate fits into the wider community and gauge the positive societal impact of investing.