Impact investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
The latest report published by the GIIN estimates the current global impact investing market at USD 404 billion (as of June 2020).
The impact investing market is also growing in Japan. Accordingly the research done by GSG-NAB Japan, the investment balance of impact investing has grown from around 71.8 billion JPY in 2018 to around 1320.4 billion JPY in 2021.*Note 1 One of the factors behind this growth is the entry into the impact investing market by asset management firms, insurance companies, and financial institutions as organizations newly engaging in impact investing.
|Total cumulative investment balance||JPY 33.7 billion||JPY 718 billion||JPY 344 billion||JPY 317.9 billion||JPY 512.6 billion||JPY 1320.4 billion|
|Number of organizations who responded to the questionnaire||21||24||20||16||26||31|
(Source) Japan Social Innovation and Investment Foundation/
Japan National Advisory Board, The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (2021)
＊Note 1 GSG-NAB Japan conducts an annual survey to capture the size of the impact investing market in Japan. This article was created with reference to the survey. Please see “The Current State and Challenges of Impact Investing in Japan FY2021 Survey (Published on March 31, 2022)” for further details.
We sent out survey forms to the target institutions and tabulated the results after confirming the responses collected qualified as impact investing. Please note that the amount is not exhaustive as it is an aggregate of the results of the questionnaire to which responses were obtained.
Cases of impact investing have been diversified.
For example, as of 2019, about 20 projects of Social Impact Bond (SIB)*Note 2 and Pay For Success (PFS)*Note 3 have been developed in Japan, with the cumulative investment amount reaching about JPY 900 million. The investor base is also expanding, including the entry into the impact investing market by major financial institutions.
Source)Social Innovation and Impact Foundation Annual Report 2019
＊Note 2 Social Impact Bond (SIB) refers to a Pay For Success with external finance from private sectors.
＊Note 3 Pay For Success (PFS) refers to a type of outsourcing contract for government services to private sectors in which the final payment amount of commission is determined in conjunction with the results of the project, based on predetermined performance indicators.
The following five trends should be noted for the development of the impact investing market in Japan.
Over the past few years, international organizations including International Finance Corporation (IFC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have also actively worked on impact investing.
Also, within the G20 countries, expectations are running high for impact investing in the international society, including acceleration of discussions toward the promotion of innovative financing mechanism. In the G20 Osaka Summit held in June 2019, reference was made in the Prime Minister’s speech to Japan’s active initiatives in the promotion of impact investing.
“Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) are crucial for realizing SDGs. Japan will widely share the basic concept for the development of the STI for SDGs Roadmap, newly agreed upon at the G20. In addition, Japan will lead the international discussion by examining ways to employ diversified and innovative financing schemes including social impact investing and utilizing dormant bank accounts for financing necessary to address global issues.”
Since Japanese impact investing market is still at growth stage, proactive actions by the public and private sectors, and catching up with the international trends are essential for the impact investing market to further expand and mature.
＊ Please see “Proposal for the Expansion of Impact Investing 2019: Executive Summary” for further details.