ABC of Enterprise Impact | ABC at Enterprise LevelThe overall impact of an organization is the combination of all its significant positive and negative impacts.

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these norms were facilitated by the Impact Management Project and its Practitioner Community of over 3,000 enterprises and investors. THEY WERE UPDATED THROUGH A PUBLIC CONSULTATION FACILITATED BY IMPACT FRONTIERS IN 2023.


Classifying each of an organization's significant outcomes enables classification of the organization as a whole.

Practitioners follow a common logic to classify organizations based on the underlying classifications of their outcomes:

  • All enterprises should at a minimum be Acting to reduce harm (A’s) for all significant negative impacts. Organizations causing significant negative impacts that are not improving are classified as Does cause harm. Until performance on that outcome improves (becoming an “A”) the organization cannot be classified as A, B or C overall.
  • Organizations with at least one Benefit stakeholders impact are classified “B” overall if all other significant negative impacts are “A’s.”
  • Organizations with at least one Contribute to solutions impact are classified “C” overall if all other significant negative impacts are at least “A’s.”

Organizations can be classified prospectively based on goals, or retrospectively based on performance.

ABC at Enterprise Level


An Act to avoid harm organization:
A clothing company that historically paid employees at or below minimum wage and had instances of human rights abuse in its supply chain. Its operations were inefficient and carbon intensive versus peers. Two years ago, the company made a commitment to clean up its act. Since then, the company has reported meaningful increases in workforce salary and it is on its way to becoming a living wage employer. Management have taken responsibility for eradicating human rights abuses across all business relationships. This initiative is not yet complete but there has been a marked improvement year-on-year. The company has set targets to reduce its carbon emissions and has made substantial investments in new carbon efficient technologies across its manufacturing plants.

A Benefit stakeholders organization:
A carpet manufacturer that produces carpet tiles through use of environmentally friendly materials and production methods. Through various initiatives, the company has achieved net-zero carbon emissions across its operations. It is celebrated as a leading employer in terms of workforce diversity and well-being. It is the buyer and seller of choice in its industry because of its fair practices.

A Contribute to solutions organization:
A soap company that manufactures a range of personal hygiene products from natural ingredients. All ingredients are naturally occurring and ethically sourced. Aside from the quality of its products and service, the company’s focus is on providing quality employment and training to those who otherwise find it difficult to secure a job. Over 90% of the employees are either previously long-term employed or registered as disabled.

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