Social banks and impact measurement : the cases of Charity Bank and Triodos Bank
MetadataShow full item record
- Master of Science 
Social banks are founded on values of using financial services to “create a positive impact on the society and the environment” (Weber 2011b, 5). How can the banks know that they actually achieve positive impact? How can this impact be measured? This thesis discusses exactly the question on how to verify social and environmental impact. This is analysed using two cases selected based on impact measurement methodology and one contrasting case. The focus of the thesis is social banks and measurement of social and environmental impact created by loan projects in their loan portfolio. To analyse verification of impact, I have dedicated a separate chapter to illustrate challenges connected to conceptualisation of “impact”. Challenges between theory and practice, and between ideals and reality are explored through an analysis of current practices and theoretical methodologies. The case studies illustrate that social banks use different strategies to verify impact. Triodos Bank has chosen an approach based on clearly communicated indicators such as amount of CO2 emission reductions, whereas Charity Bank has selected a spider-web diagram to illustrate impact in every project. Cultura Bank uses storytelling as a way to provide transparency more than impact measures. It seems as Triodos is more focused on quantitative measures, whereas the other two are more in the direction of qualitative. This thesis argues that measurement is a way to verify social and environmental impact for social banks. Quantitative measurement is challenging, but possess great possibilities. Independently of whether the measurement is quantitative or qualitative, social banks need to start measuring something in order to validate their own claim of contributing to social and environmental value creation. Based on this I give suggestions for further research in the field, and present a framework for an impact measurement tool for use in social banks.
Masteroppgave (MSc) in Master of Science in Political Economy, Handelshøyskolen BI, 2013