Review of impact assessment methodologies for ethical finance

Giacomo Pinaffo, Malcolm Hayday, Aurora Prospero, January 2015

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Summary :

FEBEA (the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks), ISB (the Institute for Social Banking) and ALTIS (the « Graduate School Business and Society » of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan, Italy) are pleased to present the « Review of impact assessment methodologies for ethical finance ».

This study, launched in January 2014, through an open call for research, was commissioned and financed by FEBEA, with the technical and scientific expertise and support of The ISB. From amongst 13 proposals, ALTIS was invited to carry out the research.

The study undertook a comprehensive review of existing material and identified the apparent gaps in the field of impact analysis of financial activities (from the economic, social, environmental as well as organisational view point) in the context of the particular characteristics of ethical finance actors.

Accepting that the impact analysis of the work of ethical banks is patchy at best, today, the study offers a detailed review of potential indicators that could be used wholly, or in part, to measure the impacts of ethical banks’ activities. The gap analysis also opens up new paths to explore. These are linked more specifically to the essence of what it means to be a social bank but no specific measurement indicators have been proposed at this stage, given the inherent differences of approach amongst these banks. However, they do offer stepping stones to future analysis.

We hope very much that this study will be a tool useful not only for ethical banks but also for researchers and organisations interested in this subject. As a minimum it is a new contribution to the ongoing debate on ethical finance practices and the role of impact assessment in the economy and finance.

Sources :

Febea website