Unlocking the Value of Social Investment

Unlocking the Value of Social Investment

This edition of Sustainable Insight explores corporate and foundation approaches to measuring and reporting social investment, and presents a framework to help companies improve the effectiveness of social programs.

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Companies around the world and their charitable foundations invest billions each year into social programs that aim to address some of the biggest challenges the world faces, from poverty, to lack of access to healthcare or education, to natural disasters, climate change and much more.

There is significant potential for these investments to bring positive social and environmental benefits. But who benefits from these investments and how much? Do companies fully understand the value of their investments?

Unlocking the Value of Social Investment presents results of research on corporate and foundation approaches to measuring and reporting social investment. This edition reviewed corporate reports issued between 2012 and 2013 by the 10 largest global companies in each of 10 industry sectors.

KPMG's research found these 100 companies and their associated corporate foundations invested, on average, the equivalent of 2.5 percent of their pre-tax profits in programs to tackle social and environmental challenges such as access to education, healthcare and disaster relief. However, only 20 out of the 100 companies report quantified metrics on the outcomes or impacts of their social investment programs.

The paper also includes examples of social impact assessment projects that KPMG has worked on around the world and a framework to help companies improve measurement and reporting processes.

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