General Methodology 1 Publications

About General Methodology 1

General Methodology 1 articulates the key purpose of impact accounting, defines key terms and concepts, and clarifies how impact accounting is connected to topics such as materiality assessments.

It is the first methodology statement for the impact accounting methodology, which will be developed through a system of interrelated statements: the General Methodologies, Topic Methodologies, and Industry-specific Methodologies.

General Methodology 1 includes the following sections:

  • Introduction, including the long-term vision for impact accounting and objective of General Methodology 1
  • Purpose and applications of the Methodology
  • Qualitative characteristics of impact information
  • Fundamental concepts of impact accounting
  • Impact materiality and the preparation of impact accounts

“In articulating the conceptual foundations of an impact accounting system with General Methodology 1 – including its purpose and key concepts, and mirroring the conceptual frameworks that exist in financial accounting – the groundwork is set for credible and comparable impact accounting to continue to develop towards a vision where impact accounting is on par with financial accounting in terms of decision usefulness.”

George Serafeim, Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Development process

The development of General Methodology 1 is governed by the Valuation Technical & Practitioner Committee (VTPC), an independent committee established by IFVI to direct, validate, and approve research and methodology produced by the cooperation of IFVI and the Value Balancing Alliance.

In the development of the Methodology, IFVI and VBA follow the rigorous and credible process outlined in the Due Process Protocol balanced with the urgent and dynamic needs of stakeholders in the face of great social and environmental challenges.

The timeline for the development of General Methodology 1:

Public comment summary

The public comment period for General Methodology 1 was held from August 16-October 31, 2023 and solicited feedback on the proposals made in the Exposure Draft.

A total of 26 comment letters were received, containing over 200 individual comments and representing a range of geographies and stakeholder groups. Non-profits organizations that focus on measuring the environmental and social effects of organizations accounted for the largest number of comment letters.

All comments letters were reviewed and taken into consideration. Revisions to the statement emphasized feedback provided in response to the four specific proposals and areas of convergence in the general feedback. Altogether, the comment letters were highly supportive of the overall content and scope of the statement and indicated that most proposals were well received. Several proposals were identified for further clarification. A limited number of letters emphasized the ethical and practical challenges of developing an impact accounting system.

The accompanying Basis for Conclusions provides further detail about how feedback from the public comment was incorporated.

Adequate Wages & GHG Webinar

The International Foundation for Valuing Impacts (IFVI) and the Value Balancing Alliance (VBA) hosted a webinar on February 29 to introduce the exposure drafts for our first Topic Methodologies: Adequate Wages and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG).