What is Holistic Impact Analysis and Why Does it Matter?

Holistic impact analysis is the process of identifying the impact areas (topics) that can be positively and/or negatively associated with an entity and/or activity, and of assessing the entity’s and/or the activity’s impact performance vis a vis its most significant impact areas.

It distinguishes itself by the systematic consideration of positive and negative impacts across the three pillars of sustainable development. It is undertaken with a view to anticipating and managing unintended consequences, and to leveraging the interconnectedness of impact areas in order to develop innovative business solutions with better cost to impact ratios.


PII Resources & Tools for Holistic Impact Analysis

The Positive Impact Initiative has devised several resources and tools to help the financial sector analyse and manage impacts. Building from the high-level Principles for Positive Impact Finance, PII offers an Impact Radar, Model Frameworks for different business lines and types of assets, all the way to a set of impact analysis tools currently undergoing testing and soon to be released as prototypes. Please see an overview of the tools below.

The PII continues to work with practitioners, experts and partners to strengthen and update the resources and tools over time.


The PII continues to work with practitioners, experts and partners to strengthen and update the resources and tools over time.

“Impact is becoming a central part of business models”- Whitney McWade, Director, Sustainability Strategy, Disclosure and Impact Measurement, BMO

“Holistic impact analysis enables us to think strategically from the outset – from data collection to analysis and decision-making” – Deia Markova, Head of Trade Commodity Finance (Switzerland), Societe Generale

“The Portfolio Impact Analysis Tool provides a solid start to embedding impact in our corporate DNA” –  Ahmed Nassar, Senior Deputy Manager, Strategy and Change Management, Banque Misr

Find out more about what UNEP FI members had to say about impact and holistic impact analysis at the 2020 UNEP FI Global Roundtable:

  • Watch the replay of the session on holistic impact analysis at the UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2020 here