Thank you for such an interesting post about impact washing Andy, and I couldn’t agree more: Impact washing is an important topic and one we could be doing more about.
The OCED Social Impact measurement for the Social and Solidarity Economy talks about some trends we’re seeing in the social impact measurement sphere and one of them is about using third party verification to tackle impact washing: https://www.impactterms.org/wp-content/uploads/OECD21_SIM-for-the-SSE-1.pdf Similarly, an recent Pioneers Post article that predicts a 300% increase in the the social impact measurement industry says that it’s driven by growing concerns about greenwashing and emerging regulatory requirements are pushing organisations to better measure and report on their impact: https://www.pioneerspost.com/news-views/20230615/300-growth-predicted-us8bn-impact-measurement-and-management-industry-2030-new?utm_source=PPnewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=408
As you describe, the principles and in particular verifying the results is an important contribution as to how to avoid impact washing. But I think you’re also highlighting an excellent suggestions as to discussions (and taskforce) where SVUK could be doing a more to advocate, collaborate and influence the current practices and risk of impact washing.
Open question to all members: What are you currently working to avoid risk or claims of impact washing? How do as SVUK support you on this challenge around impact washing that Andy raises above?
Please get involved and share you thoughts.