IRIS+ System / Strategic Goals

Last updated: 2019

This document describes the core concepts behind impact performance measurement toward the SDGs, both through the use of IRIS+ Core Metrics Sets and the IRIS Catalog of Metrics.

Use this resource to:

  • Strategy: Within the IRIS+ Thematic Taxonomy, begin a Theory of Change from published evidence.
  • Identify: Discover other factors to consider, including impact risk.
  • Measure, assess and value: Access IRIS+ Core Metrics Sets to help define what to measure in the context of your strategy.
  • Set targets and plan: Access curated third-party resources on targets.

Impact Protocol for Banks

Last updated: 2022

The Impact Protocol provides a step-by-step overview of how to analyse and manage bank portfolio impacts.

Use this resource to:

  • Understand how to manage bank portfolio imapcts as per UNEP FI’s holistic impact approach and in conformity with the requirements of the Principles for Responsible Banking.The Protocol provides an overview of the impact management process as a whole; it is complemented by further UNEP FI resources such as the Impact Management Tool and the Thematic Target-Setting Guidance, which can be used to operationalise the methodology.

Core Characteristics of Impact Investing

Last updated: 2019

The Core Characteristics of Impact Investing define the growing approach of impact investing, and offer the financial markets greater clarity on what constitutes credible impact investing.

This resource calls upon organisations to:

  • Intentionally contribute to positive social and environmental impact, use evidence and impact data in investment design, manage impact performance, and contribute to the growth of impact investing

PRB Target Setting Guidance

Last updated: 2022

The Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) have released a set of target-setting guidance on topics such as Resource Efficiency & Circular Economy, Biodiversity, Financial Health & Inclusion, Climate, and Gender Equality.

Use this resource to:

  • Set targets and plan: Set targets in line with the requirements of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.

Target Setting Protocol: Second Edition

Last updated: 2022

The Protocol sets out the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance Alliance’s approach to target setting and reporting. The first edition of this Protocol focused on the period 2020–2025. This second edition also outlines the ambition towards 2030.

Use this resource to:

  • Set targets and plan: Set science-based targets on financed emissions using short-term targets for a 1.5 degree Celsius aligned, net-zero world by 2050. 

Finance Sector Supplement

Last updated: 2018

The overall objective of the Initiative is to advance human rights and positive outcomes for people through A framework for financial institutions – including banks, investors and insurers – to measure and value natural capital impacts and dependencies across the entities and portfolios that they finance, invest in or underwrite.

Use this resource to:

  • Strategy: Establish the business case for undertaking a natural capital assessment that is relevant to your institution.
  • Governance: under construction
  • Identify: Define what should be included in your natural capital assessment.
  • Measure, assess and value: Interpret results and identify actions that you can take.
  • Set targets and plan: under construction
  • Implement: under construction

SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises

Last updated: 2021

Practice standards that provide a common language and a system for integrating sustainable development issues, the Sustainable Development Goals and impact management into business and investment decision-making. These practice standards also outline the ‘ABC’ classification methodology, which helps organisations assess whether an impact ‘Acts to reduce harm’, ‘Benefits stakeholders’, or ‘Contributes to solutions’ in relation to the SDGs.

Use this resource to:

Set up processes and embed practices that orient an organisation towards achieving the SDGs. The SDG Impact Standard contains practice indicators that are relevant to several actions. Use the links below to access guidance for different practice indicators. Alternatively, view the whole guidance document here.

EU Taxonomy

Last updated: 2020

Regulation that sets out performance thresholds for organisations to classify their economic activities as “sustainable” according to European policy objectives.

Use this resource to:

  • Identify: Find the economic activities that correspond to the financial institution’s activities and review what the taxonomy says about likely impacts on sustainability. This can be an input into identifying sustainability topics to measure. This regulation is based on research connecting economic activities to likely significant impacts on six environmental objectives. Currently, research related to objectives of climate change mitigation and adaptation are most developed.
  • Measure, assess and value: Assess whether underlying assets are sustainable. Underlying assets that fall under the taxonomy regulation will report on the portion of their revenue, capital expenditure and operational expenditure that are ‘taxonomy aligned’, and therefore considered a ‘sustainable investment’ according EU policy objectives.
  • Set targets and plan: Set objectives for a portion of the portfolio to be ‘taxonomy-aligned’. Regulation provides investors with a set of performance thresholds that have to be met for an underlying asset to be viewed as operating sustainably in relation to one the EU’s six environmental objectives. Underlying assets that are ‘taxonomy aligned’ are generating sustainable outcomes and are therefore also ‘Benefiting stakeholders’.