Press Release: Aspire Impact & Aspire Circle Launch ‘Impact Future Project’ for India To Persuade India INC. To Embrace Impact Capitalism
Aspire Impact, a social enterprise and Aspire Circle, a non-profit trust, twin initiatives focused on leadership and ecosystem development in the social and environmental impact space, have announced the launch of a thought leadership platform, Impact Future Project (IFP) at the Sankalp Forum on 2 November 2020. The unique thought leadership platform will bring together over 250 business, investment, non-profit, media and government leaders to generate investment ideas and unlock private capital for public good, enabling India Inc., with a view to embracing Impact Capitalism and Impact Accounting.
Amit Bhatia, Founder of Aspire Impact & Aspire Capital, shared his excitement about the launch, “Impact Future Project (IFP), a thought leadership platform, will prepare India Inc. for Impact Transparency; integrating social and environmental impact in corporate reporting. The environment cost of leading 35 Indian companies is three times their net profit, at $200 billion1. IFP will enable India Inc. to responsibly integrate Impact Accounting with knowledge, tools and training.”
“We aim to help unlock $1 trillion for the achievement of the SDGs and support India’s ambition to become a $10 trillion economy by 2030,” he added.
The Impact Movement, which has grown globally to $30 trillion2, is an unstoppable trend. India. Despite the pressing need to address social and environmental challenges, India has attracted only ~1% or $51 billion of this global capital pool: $30 billion in Responsible or ESG Investments3, $10.3 billion of sustainable or green investments4, and, $10.8 billion of impact investments5. The root cause is lack of corporate alignment with impact, as there is no mandatory Responsibility, Sustainability or Impact Reporting. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has recently indicated that it wants to increase companies doing similar Reporting, from the top 500 to the top 1000 next year.
IFP will create 10 Impact communities aligned with the SDGs and Government programs; to advance research & knowledge; awareness & advocacy; education & training; and, collaboration for action by identifying 100 investment ideas for impact. The ten sectoral communities are: (i) Accessibility, Disabilities and Inclusion; (ii) Affordable Housing & Sustainable Urbanisation; (iii) BFSI, Financial Inclusion & FinTech; (iv) Education, Employability, Skills & EdTech; (v) Food, Agri & AgTech; (vi) Gender Equality, Women & Livelihoods; (vii) Healthcare, Medical & HealthTech; (viii) Renewables, Climate Infra & CleanTech; (ix) Sustainable Manufacturing, Infrastructure & Supply Chains; and (x) WASH (Water, Sanitation & Health) & Waste Management.
Over 150 Business, Investment, Non-Profit & Media leaders who have signed up to IFP include:
- Anant Maheshwari, President- Microsoft India
- Chetna Gala Sinha, Chair- MannDeshi Bank
- Praveer Sinha, CEO- Tata Power
- John Alex, CEO & Executive Director- Equitas Holdings
- Manoj Kumar, Former CEO- Glaxo Smithkline and P&G
- Ravi Kant, Former VC & CEO- Tata Motors
- Reema Nanavaty, Executive Director- SEWA
- Tamal Bandyopadhyay, Consulting Editor- Business Standard
- Vineet Rai, Founder & Chair- Aavishkaar Group
- Vishakha Mulye, Executive Director, ICICI Bank
Each Impact Community at IFP will be supported by Knowledge Partners and Industry Partners. IFP has built a broad industry consortium which includes Microsoft, IVCA, Sankalp Forum, PWC, Sattva, India Sanitation Coalition, CropLife India, Toilet Board Coalition, CLEAN, etc. as partners.
1 As per Harvard Business School’s Impact Weighted Financial Accounts project
2 As per Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, 2018 data
3 As per Yes Bank report
4 As per Climate Bonds Initiative
5 As per IIC report
Some of these bold investment ideas for aiding India’s transformation to an impact economy will be shared by 25 IFP leaders from varied sectors at the Sankalp Forum every day, from 2-6 November, including leading global figures like Sir Ronald Cohen (Chair- GSG), Cliff Prior (CEO-GSG), Halla Tomasdottir (CEO- B Team), Bart Houlahan (Co-Founder & CEO- B Labs), Professor George Seafeim (Harvard Business School), and, Gabriela Gandel (Executive Director- Impact Hub).
The envisaged long-term impact of this project is the integration of these impact ideas into state investment agendas and impact policies for SDGs, generation of employment opportunities and galvanization of the impact start-up ecosystem. Considering the rapidly evolving Indian impact ecosystem, with new BRSR guidelines, and the impending transition to impact accounting, the launch of this platform is opportune.
Photo courtesy of Fabian Blank.