The Positive Impact Initiative was launched in January 2017 with the objective of addressing the SDG funding gap, including in emerging markets where it is the largest.

Our landscaping work in the past year has confirmed the need and appetite for an impact-based approach that will ultimately bring together impact-based financing (products and services) and programmes that local and national governments establish to elicit SDG-related solutions from the private sector (requests for proposals and tenders), including corporations and their financial backers.

Banks and investors can join us to adopt impact-based approaches and issue Positive Impact products. Public authorities can work with us to explore impact-based requests for proposals for the delivery of Positive Impact programmes.

In 2018 we are developing guidance for the delivery of Positive Impact products and programmes. We are also releasing a research paper that clarifies the scope and nature of the financing gap and exposes the need for a new, impact-based approach on both the supply and demand side. We are continuing to build the momentum for positive impact finance.

Positive Impact Products

In 2018, we’re interested in seeing PI products hit the market. We’re also developing Guidance Notes. Bonds, loans, export or project finance, investment funds – we’re clarifying what it means to perform an impact-based analysis of underlying assets and counterparties for these products and share lessons learned on product launches. We’relooking at the kinds of teams and processes needed to implement an impact-based approach and how to engage with clients and investee companies. We’re doing this with in close collaboration with investors, extra-financial rating agencies and auditors.

Case in point: PI and the UNEP FI Property Working Group, along with several collaborating organisations, have published a discussion paper for the development of an impact-based investment framework. We invite readers to review the Positive Impact Investment Real Estate_Discussion Paper and respond to the several discussion questions it contains. A webinar will be hosted on 6 July  –Please email for more information or to provide your feedback by 13 July.

Join us to become a PI product issuer!

  • Are you interested in delivering products that are consistent with the Principles for Positive Impact Finance? Do you think some of them may already be, at least in part?
  • Is your organization using or developing methodologies that are consistent with the holistic, impact-based approach embodied in the Principles?
  •  Contact

Sustainable finance is moving fast, but there’s still a chance to be part of a group of first movers and get a head start in understanding and mastering the transition to impact-based business.


Positive Impact Programmes

In 2018 we also want to progress the demand side of our agenda. We’ll be working with the public sector with a view to develop impact-based requests for proposals that can give rise to the new programmes creating the missing market for SDGs achievement.

In 2018, we’re publishing a research paper that clarifies the scope and nature of the financing gap and exposes the need for a new, impact-based approach on both the supply and demand side.











The impact-based approach


Participation in the Positive Impact Initiative is open to all UNEP FI members. Non-UNEP FI members, including all relevant stakeholders such as auditors, financial and extra-financial rating agencies and research providers, corporates, public entities, NGOs, and academic institutions, can also become actively involved in the Initiative, as supporters.

Both member and supporter status imply a public endorsement of the Positive Impact Manifesto and the Principles for Positive Impact Finance.