IMPAAKT: Crowdsourcing Better ESG Ratings
The global rise of responsible investing in the last decades (boosted by the increasing debates around climate change, business ethics and distribution of wealth) urged the development of coherent and reliable methodologies gauging the effect of business on Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) aspects. However, existing ESG rating methods not only differs greatly among themselves, but they are also typically based on companies' own practices (outputs), not on the final impact (outcome). To measure the latter, a Geneva-based company called Impaakt developed a digital platform, using the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as benchmark, engaging the collective intelligence of the global community (on a Wikipedia-like model) to achieve this ambitious goal. This case explores the strategies behind the design of such a platform, investigates the importance of scale and sides, and analyses to what extent social and environmental impact can be measured objectively.