How We Measure Impact
While traditional investments are measured only by financial risk and return, impact investments are also measured by the positive, measurable social and environmental impacts generated alongside a financial return. As such, Greenline always comes back to the question to what magnitude our capital has made a positive and sustainable economic, social, and/or environmental impact in low-income communities and for economically disadvantaged groups.
Measuring our impact is a key focus for us to ensure that our activities align with our mission, which is to (1) improve the flow of capital into underserved communities and (2) motivate market-rate capital to invest in community priorities. It also allows us to identify opportunities for improvement and assess the social and environmental returns on our investments. We understand that through measurement, we can maximize and continuously improve on our impact for our target communities and for our investors.
To guide our impact measurement we utilize Impact Reporting Investment Standard’s (“IRIS”) metrics, which are generally accepted performance metrics used by leading impact investors. On an annual basis, we collect data from our portfolio borrowers, which include the number of jobs maintained and created through our capital, the number of minority and woman-owned businesses assisted, and the positive social and environmental impacts generated, among other metrics. We then analyze and interpret our overall impact metrics, and ultimately report to the CDFI Fund and our investors.
Please see our Impact Overview here. As a result of our commitment to impact, Greenline has earned the following credentials:
- Certified B Corporation – In 2015, Greenline earned its certification as a B Corporation, an acknowledgment of our commitment to social and environmental ethics, transparency and accountability. The B Corporation community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
- GIIRS Gold Rating– In 2015, Greenline obtained a GIIRS gold rating report from the B Lab. GIIRS Ratings are the gold standard for impact measurement in impact investing. They are rigorous, comprehensive, and comparable ratings of a company or a fund’s social and environmental impact.
- Certified Green Business – In 2019, Greenline earned a Green Business Certification from Green America. Since 1982, Green America has certified green businesses that are committed to using business as a platform for social change. As a member of the Green Business Network, we have adopted principles, policies and practices that improve the quality of life for our customers, employees, communities, and the planet.
Impact Reporting Investment Standard ("IRIS") User
Greenline is a registered user of IRIS metrics, which are designed to measure the social, environmental, and financial performance of an investment. IRIS is the catalog of generally accepted performance metrics that leading impact investors use to measure key impact performance indicators.
Global Impact Investing Rating System ("GIIRS") Rated Entity
In 2015, Greenline obtained a GIIRS gold rating report from the B Lab. GIIRS Ratings are the gold standard for impact measurement in impact investing. They are rigorous, comprehensive, and comparable ratings of a company or a fund’s social and environmental impact.
Awards Management Information System ("AMIS")
The CDFI Fund has created a web-based data collection system known as AMIS. All Community Development Entities ("CDEs") utilize the system to submit their Institution Level Reports ("ILRs") and Transaction Level Reports to the Fund. The ILR includes information regarding ethnics and geography that a CDE had served, staffing levels, financing status and services and training provided.