Philanthropy – Impact Investing Assessment
Tideline Launches Impact Verification Business, “BlueMark”, to Strengthen Trust and Accountability in Impact Investing
The Rockefeller Foundation and Radicle Impact have agreed to be founding investors in BlueMark
October 1, 2020—Tideline, a specialist consultant for the impact investing industry, today announced the launch of BlueMark, an independent business providing impact verification services for investors and companies. BlueMark’s mission is “to strengthen trust in impact investing” through rigorous and independent assessments of an investor’s or company’s impact practices and performance, thereby building confidence and credibility in the impact label. The new business draws on Tideline’s deep expertise helping clients develop sophisticated impact investment strategies and practices, with third-party verification now emerging as the next critical piece of a best-in-class approach.
“Independent verification is essential for scaling the impact investing industry with integrity,” said Christina Leijonhufvud, a Managing Partner at Tideline who has transitioned to become CEO of BlueMark. “By introducing a reliable mechanism for establishing trust and accountability in the impact investment market, stakeholders can have greater confidence in impact claims and performance. Asset owners and institutional allocators especially benefit from the introduction of impact verification, which has the potential to dramatically simplify the impact screening and monitoring process and thereby mobilize greater capital flows toward positive societal impact.”
Impact verification came to the forefront in April 2019 with the introduction of the Operating Principles for Impact Management (“OPIM” or the “Impact Principles”), led by the International Finance Corporation (“IFC”) and now featuring a growing group of more than 100 signatories with $300+ billion in combined impact assets under management dedicated to “establishing a common discipline around the management of investments for impact.” One of these Principles—Principle 9—specifically requires signatories to publicly disclose and independently verify their alignment with the Principles on a regular basis…
… The BlueMark team has designed proprietary methodologies for evaluating how each of the three key components of an investor’s impact management process—impact mandates, impact management practices, and impact reporting—are aligned with industry standards like OPIM, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Impact Management Project (IMP), the Global Impact Investing Network’s (GIIN) IRIS+, UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and others…