I'm really excited about this. I worked on the Index for two years - yes, it all began in early 2018 with a request from the founder of Impakter Magazine to create a new tool for rating "green" products and companies that are engaged in CSR policies. Of course, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index exists, and many others, not to mention sustainability certificates and labels. So many of them that for most consumers and investors, it's a veritable jungle. You can get lost among all the claims for sustainability! Which one is credible? Reliable? Trustworthy? Who knows...
Well, now, thanks to the Impakter Index, you will know - you'll know as a consumer when you purchase a so-called "green" product and you'll know as an investor when you engage in "impact investing" and sustain CSR in businesses. Yes, if we are to contain climate change and arrest environmental degradation, we need to "vote with our wallets" for socially-responsible and eco-friendly companies.
We must stop purchasing from businesses that damage the environment and hurt people. And we can do that thanks to the easy-to-use Impakter Index. Now online with the first 100 companies that we have ranked at Impakter (with a team of 37 experts) using a reliable system (based on meta-analysis techniques) to identify the sustainability certification systems that are credible and discarding those that are not. More to come by September, until all relevant companies are covered. Take a look, click here: https://index.impakter.com/
Here's the opening of my article:
Few would disagree that we need a more sustainable world, where climate change is finally under control and the degradation of the environment is stopped. But as consumers, we feel helpless, caught in the vortex of endless consumerism. As investors, it is hard to discern the real deal among all the so-called “impact” investment opportunities. We all are unwilling contributors to the general disaster. This is where the just-launched Impakter Index can make a difference: It is the first sustainability index that empowers people, consumers and investors alike, to vote for sustainability.
At the launch (July 31, 2020), the Impakter Index found immediate endorsement in Common Place, a publication of the Knowledge Futures Group (founded as a partnership between the MIT Press and MIT Media Lab). As noted in the foreword by the Common Place editor, Quincy Childs, she “reached out to Impakter earlier this week about the necessity of sustainability badging, not realizing they were in the process of finalizing a sustainability index that has been two years in the making”. And, in just a few words, she summarized why the index is important: it “empowers the public to use their purchasing power for planetary and social benefit.”
The Impakter Index empowers the public because it is intuitively simple and easy to use, with a five-letter system that ranks business sustainability. Companies classified A are “great” in terms of their carbon footprint and social responsibility, those ranked F “fail”. You type in the name of a company – for example, Danone as you stand in front of the yogurt section in a supermarket – and you instantly get a reliable indicator of where this company stands on its way to sustainability:
Likewise, the certification of products in the consumer goods market, with a wide range of catchy labels and badges, is intended to help the consumer to extricate herself from the avalanche of organic products and fair trade that vie for her attention.
But the Impakter Index is different. It builds on the work of other certification systems, picking out the best and weeding out the less reliable systems. In other words, in constructing the Impakter index, no certification system was accepted at face value, no matter how popular: Each certificate and index was independently reviewed and assessed by the Impakter team before it was used. That approach follows the concept of mega-evaluation (evaluation of evaluations), aka meta-analysis, widely used, particularly in medical research, to quantitatively combine and pull together the findings of a wide range of studies that are often at varying levels of quality.
Why was meta-analysis deemed necessary in constructing the Impakter Index?