“ ‘Triple bottom line’ (or TBL) means expanding the traditional reporting framework to take into account ecological and social performance in addition to financial performance. In 1981 Freer Spreckley first articulated the triple bottom line in a publication called ‘Social Audit – A Management Tool for Co-operative Working‘ as he described what Social Enterprises should include in their performance measurement. The phrase was coined by John Elkington in his 1998 book Cannibals with Forks: the Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business.”

Numbers4Good (N4G) is a pioneering financial organisation bridging the worlds of finance and positive social and environmental impact. Our vision is a financial system that serves people and planet. We create financial solutions, and advise organisations, tackling social and environmental challenges in the growing social investment market.

“Creative capitalism isn't some big new economic theory. It is a way to answer a vital question: How can we most effectively spread the benefits of capitalism and the huge improvements in quality of life it can provide to people who have been left out?”
— Bill Gates

What is social investment?

Social investment is the provision and use of capital to generate social as well as financial returns.

Drawing on its strengths as a leading financial centre and the site of a flourishing social sector, the UK is emerging as a global hub for social investment. It has a strong set of relevant expertise and a cluster of social investment financial intermediaries. These have been boosted by the Government’s decision to create Big Society Capital with £600 million of funding, which is intended to provide wholesale finance to the sector. A new infrastructure for social investment is developing, including the launch of the Social Stock Exchange in June 2013.

On the product side, the UK has pioneered social investment products such as the Social Impact Bond which aims to link investment returns to quantifiable social impacts and the world’s first bond is now operating in Peterborough as part of the Government’s ‘rehabilitation revolution’ reforms to probation services. The UK is forging ahead in creating this asset class, which is predicted to be worth £1 billion by 2016 as a result of high double-digit annual growth.