Defining Impact

What does sustainable mean?

What does sustainable mean to us? A sustainable business is one that has minimal negative impact on the local or global environment, community, society, or economy.

A sustainable business focuses on a triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. At Vanderbilt, we incorporate principles of sustainability into each of our business decisions.

What is Impact Investing?

Impact Investing refers to investments made with the conscious intent to generate a measurable positive impact alongside a traditional financial return.

In order to be considered an impact investment, the investment must make a positive social, environmental or governance impact that would not have otherwise been possible without the investment. 

How Do ESG, SRI & Impact Investing Differ?

ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) investments and SRI (Socially Responsible Investments) are in many ways similar to Impact Investments. The main difference is that ESG and SRI are focused on doing no harm to society or the environment while Impact Investments are focused on generating a positive benefit on society or the environment that would not have otherwise been possible without the investment. 

Impact Investments cover a wider scope than Socially Responsible Investing, and may be made in either emerging or developed markets.

How Do You Know an Investment is Impactful?

Measuring the impact of an investment was once tricky, biased or speculative. Recently, however, many large companies have created rating systems that evaluate a company or investment opportunity against a number of qualifications that measure impact on society, environment, and governance.

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