The impact of impact: Are you innovating in ESG?

Whether it’s the devastation wrought by climate change, the challenges thrown up by covid-19 or the diversity issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement, one thing is abundantly clear: there has never been a greater need for fresh thinking in the realm of responsible investing.

That’s where our new list of private equity’s top Innovators in ESG and Impact Investing 2021 comes in.

For more than a decade through its global conferences and editorial coverage, PEI has highlighted private equity’s growing focus on environmental, social and governance issues and the way impact investing can provide measurable social and environmental benefits in addition to financial returns.

Now we plan to go a step further with our first-ever recognition for private equity funds and investors that show innovation and new thinking in ESG or impact investing.


The closing date for entries is Thursday, 15 October 2020.


We are looking for big ideas that make a difference and demonstrate original approaches to ESG and impact investing. Fund managers, investors, banks and finance firms can submit up to three 500-word case studies outlining responsible investing or impact investing initiatives at a fund or a portfolio level via this online form. Marks will be given according to the extent to which the entries show fresh thinking and a demonstrable impact across a number of award categories.

For ESG the categories will comprise:

  • Innovation in the environment
  • Innovation in social responsibility
  • Innovation in corporate governance
  • Innovation in sustainability
  • Innovation in changing behaviour
  • Innovation in diversity
  • Innovation in education/training
  • Innovation in due diligence
  • Innovation in measuring impact
  • Innovation in providing finance
  • Innovation in technology

For impact investing, the recognition will be regionally based. The categories are:

  • Impact in Africa
  • Impact in Asia-Pacific
  • Impact in Central and South America
  • Impact in Europe and the Middle East
  • Impact in North America

What we are looking for

Each case study will be given a score out of 10 for:

  • Originality
  • Strategy
  • Ambition
  • Impact

We will be able to award a further score of up to 20 points for how much we think an initiative will make a difference, giving an overall maximum score of 60.

How to enter

Entries must be sent via this online form by Thursday, 15 October 2020. The results will be published on our website and in the PEI Responsible Investing Report which is published on 1 February 2021. We are also looking to feature the winners in a new podcast series that we plan to launch in conjunction with the innovators list.

Email any queries to: