IFVI was formally established in 2022, but our work on impact accounting has roots beyond the organization.

The Impact-Weighted Accounts Project

IFVI grew out of the Impact-Weighted Accounts Project (IWA) at Harvard Business School, which was founded in 2019 to prove that impact accounting was both feasible and valuable.

During its existence IWA made groundbreaking strides in advancing the idea of financial accounts that reflect a company’s financial, social, and environmental performance. By 2021, it had achieved proof of concept for impact accounting, demonstrating both feasibility and value, with more than 20 papers, two dozen pilots  – including with BlackRock, EQT, and Summa Equity – and four published datasets displaying monetized impact figures for over 6,000 companies .

Prototype of impact-weighted account statement. Source: Framework for Impact Statements, Impact Institute 

Momentum for impact accounting

With this validation of the value of its work, most significantly in the call to action from the G7 Impact Taskforce for “mandatory accounting for impact as a destination,” the time was ripe to scale the work of translating company impacts into currency.

IFVI launched as an independent organization with the global leadership and rigorous due process to make impact accounting the foundation of a more just economy. The research conducted at IWA and the former IWA team now drive IFVI’s mission of building and scaling the practice of impact accounting. In addition, Sir Ronald Cohen, who served as the chair of IWA, is the interim chair of IFVI’s Board of Directors, and former faculty co-chair of IWA George Serafeim is chair of our Valuation Technical and Practitioner Committee, the body overseeing research and methodology development. 

“Investment decisions are being taken today with inadequate information on their social and environmental impact…we need to move with urgency to transform the quality, usefulness and accessibility of information on impact available to investment decision-makers and to those holding them to account. Such a future will require a change in the norms of accounting, auditing and assurance practices.”

G7 Impact Taskforce, “Time to deliver: mobilising private capital at scale for people and planet