New 2X certification mechanism to enhance transparency, credibility & impact in gender lens investing
29 June 2022
On the occasion of the G7 Summit on 27 June 2022, the 2X Collaborative announced the launch of a co-creation process to develop an independent 2X Certification Mechanism for the investment industry.
The 2X initiative was launched at the G7 Summit in 2018 as a joint commitment by the world’s development finance institutions (DFIs) to move more capital with a gender lens and crowd in private sector investors. Under the 2X Challenge 2018-2020, the DFIs invested and mobilized over $11 billion under the 2X Criteria, significantly surpassing the original US$ 3 billion target, and subsequently announced a new $15 billion target at the G7 Summit in 2021 for the period 2021-2022.
Today, the 2X Collaborative is a global industry body for gender lens investing (GLI) convening the full spectrum of investors, capital providers and mobilizers to increase the volume and impact of capital flowing towards gender-smart businesses.
The 2X Investment Framework has quickly become a global industry standard for GLI, adopted by investors and companies around the world and has been harmonized and aligned with other standard setting initiatives and frameworks, such as the IRIS+ framework of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). The wide adoption of the 2X Criteria has led to growing demand for verification and assurance of 2X-aligned strategies and products.
“With the rise in gender-lens investors, vehicles and products, we see significant demand among investors and investee companies for an independent universally available 2X Certification mechanism to move beyond self-assessments and increase transparency on what good, better and best-in-class looks like in GLI”, says Jessica Espinoza, CEO of the 2X Collaborative.
The 2X Certification mechanism, supported by the G7, will be developed in collaboration with the wider industry and partners in a co-creation process. It will build on major standard setting trends in the broader ESG, impact investing and sustainability space as well as leverage innovative data solutions like Equilo and groundbreaking new tools for thematic deep-dives such as s Criterion’s GBVH assessment tool.
The 2X Certification mechanism aims to create more transparency, credibility and ultimately impact in the global field of GLI by providing a clear benchmarking framework with different levels of ambition and third-party assurance around the 2X Investment Framework. The demand for it comes from a range of target audiences including companies, funds, financial institutions and institutional investors as well as for instruments and products like gender bonds and sustainability-linked loans.
2X Certification will be a powerful lever to unlock gender-smart capital at scale and deliver on the 2X Collaborative’s goal of increasing the volume and impact of GLI across asset classes, sectors and geographies globally.
About the 2X Collaborative
The 2X Collaborative is a leading industry body for gender lens investing, launched at the UN Generation Equality Forum 2021 in partnership with GenderSmart and the Investor Leadership Network (ILN) of global pension funds. It builds on the 2X Challenge, launched at the G7 Summit 2018 as a joint commitment, which has invested and mobilized more than US$ 11 billion under the 2X criteria since. The 2X Collaborative now brings together the full range of investors deploying capital with a gender lens all over the world: DFIs/IFIs, pension funds, family offices, financial institutions, asset and wealth managers, private equity and venture capital funds, and other capital providers and mobilizers. It provides members with access to peer learning networks, knowledge, co-investment platforms, partnership and training opportunities, and innovative investment tools.
To enhance the positive impact of its activities on gender equality and empower women and girls, the EIB Group adopted a Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment and a Gender Action Plan, with the aim of embedding gender equality and, in particular women’s economic empowerment in the EIB’s business model. It covers its lending, blending and advising work within and outside the EU.
The EIB is also committed to driving gender equality in the workplace. The EU Bank champions diversity and inclusion not only because of the undeniable business benefits they bring, but also because of their power to enrich the working environment for all staff.
CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), are joining forces under the 2X Climate Finance Task Force to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in climate finance investments.
During the Finance in Common Summit, responsAbility Investments, a leading Swiss sustainable asset manager, commits to apply a gender lens to its investments through its climate fund. With this commitment, the climate fund, a private debt fund addressing lack of access to clean power primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-East Asia, qualifies for the 2X Challenge. The 2X Challenge is a leading initiative deploying and mobilizing capital to empower women and enhance their economic participation in emerging markets.