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Impact investing deals soar in 2017 – GIIN

Investors committed more than $35 billion to impact investment deals in 2017 and plan to increase allocations by 8% this year.

The Global Impact Investing Network said in its eighth Annual Impact Investor Survey that 225 investors, including pension funds, invested $35.5 billion across 11,136 impact investment deals in 2017. That is up 58% from $22.1 billion across 7,951 deals in 2016.

Across 229 total respondents, total impact investing assets were $228 billion, up from $114 billion across 209 investors responding to the survey in 2016. Three respondents did not report assets. Some 155 respondents were also part of last year's survey.

The top sectors where impact investment capital was allocated were financial services, energy and microfinance.

The GIIN also found that investors are measuring and managing the impact of their investments against social and/or environmental factors, using proprietary metrics, qualitative information, the GIIN's own metrics and other tools and frameworks, said the survey. The survey found that 76% of respondents set impact targets for some or all of their investments, to track their progress vs. social and environmental goals.

Investors are also working to satisfy the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals — a set of 17 goals aimed at ending poverty and protecting the planet. Among respondents, 76% track their investment performance against the SDGs or plan to do so in the future. In the 2016 survey, about 60% of respondents said they already do or plan to track vs. the goals.

"The annual survey demonstrates there is significant momentum in the market and provides data and insights for investors to maximize their impact and ultimately tackle critical global issues such as access to education and health care, gender inequality, poverty, climate change and more," said Amit Bouri, CEO and co-founder of the GIIN, in a statement accompanying the survey.

The GIIN is a non-profit organization aimed at increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing across the globe.

Of the 229 respondents, 59% were money managers, 13% foundations, 6% banks, 4% family offices, 4% pension funds or insurance companies, and the remainder were not specified.