The Motivations and Practices of Impact Assessment in Socially Responsible Investing: The French Case and its Implications for the Accounting and Impact Investing Communities

Arjaliès, D-L., Chollet P., Crifo P., and Mottis N. (2022). The Motivations and Practices of Impact Assessment in Socially Responsible Investing: The French Case and its Implications for the Accounting and Impact Investing Communities, Social and Environmental Accounting Journal, https://doi.org/10.

43 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2022

See all articles by Diane-Laure Arjaliès

Diane-Laure Arjaliès

Ivey Business School at Western University

Pierre CHOLLET

Université Montpellier I

Patricia Crifo

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics; CREST-ENSAE; Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO)

Nicolas Mottis

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE

Date Written: January 11, 2022

Abstract

This research note elaborates on the impact assessment practices of the French Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) industry. The research was conducted by the Scientific Committee of the French public SRI label based on interviews, participative observation, a survey, and documentary evidence. SRI is usually distinguished from impact investing in terms of investors’ different intentions (contributing to sustainable development in a financially savvy way for SRI vs. demonstrating a societal impact for impact investing). We show that, beyond this distinction, the meanings and motivations behind impact assessment in the SRI community are broadly different from impact assessment practices in impact investing, creating a distance between the two communities. In fact, little is known about impact assessment practices in SRI, despite the market power of this asset class. We address this shortcoming by investigating 1) who is interested in impact assessment in the SRI industry, 2) why SRI investors want impact assessment, and 3) what impact assessment looks like in the SRI industry. We develop this analysis to suggest areas of concern and opportunities for the SRI, impact investing, and accounting communities. SRI investors’ recent appropriation of impact assessment indicates that the three communities’ interests and success will increasingly be linked to one another. The topic therefore warrants investigation.

Keywords: Impact Assessment, France, ESG, Responsible Investing, SRI, Label, Impact Investing

JEL Classification: M40, M41, M14

Suggested Citation

Arjaliès, Diane-Laure and CHOLLET, Pierre and Crifo, Patricia and Mottis, Nicolas, The Motivations and Practices of Impact Assessment in Socially Responsible Investing: The French Case and its Implications for the Accounting and Impact Investing Communities (January 11, 2022). Arjaliès, D-L., Chollet P., Crifo P., and Mottis N. (2022). The Motivations and Practices of Impact Assessment in Socially Responsible Investing: The French Case and its Implications for the Accounting and Impact Investing Communities, Social and Environmental Accounting Journal, https://doi.org/10., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4028557

Diane-Laure Arjaliès (Contact Author)

Ivey Business School at Western University ( email )

London, Ontario
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/faculty/directory/diane-laure-arjalies/

Pierre CHOLLET

Université Montpellier I ( email )

Avenue de la Mer Site Richter
163 Rue Auguste Broussonnet
Montpellier, Cedex 2 34090
France

Patricia Crifo

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau - Department of Economics ( email )

Route de Saclay
Palaiseau, 91120
France

CREST-ENSAE ( email )

France

Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO)

2020 rue University, 25th floor
Montreal H3C 3J7, Quebec
Canada

Nicolas Mottis

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE ( email )

Route de Saclay
Palaiseau, 91128
France

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