Get the facts on impact investing

Every investment has an impact, both on the investor’s finances and on the wider world. Impact investing provides a way of combining the goal of protecting and growing investors’ assets, with creating a measurable positive social or environmental outcome.

Like all investments, impact investments can fall in value as well as rise and you risk not getting back as much as you invested.

Three main features help to establish if an investment is an impact investment

  • Impact investments seek to generate a financial return and have a benefit to society
  • Secondly, they look to measure and report on the impact they generate
  • They invest in the sectors that have the potential to generate positive outcomes that address some of the challenges that we face as a society.

How is impact investing different?

Impact investing is traditional investing combined with philanthropic aims. New options emerge where the aims of generating a financial return and creating societal impact overlap.

Traditional investing

Investing has traditionally targeted financial returns with no, or minimal, consideration for environmental, social or governance factors, or their effects.

Impact investing

Impact investing offers the possibility of simultaneously generating returns and mitigating or addressing societal and environmental challenges.


Philanthropy has sought to mitigate or address existing societal issues through charitable giving.

Incorporating investment approaches for impact

If impact investing appeals to you, the next steps are to think about how impact considerations can be incorporated and how investments might be selected.

There are many approaches to investing which also apply to impact investing, including making specific investments or constructing an entire portfolio.

Like all investments, impact investments can fall in value as well as rise and you risk not getting back as much as you invested.

Other impact investments

Take a look at the funds and ETFs available on Smart Investor that the Barclays team has classified as having the characteristics of impact investments.

Barclays Multi-Impact Growth Fund

An innovative product created by the Barclays Impact Investing team which invests into as broad mix of asset classes through other funds to give you a diversified investment whilst taking advantage of some of the leading impact products available.

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