Landmark survey estimates Norwegian impact investing market at NOK 100 billion

November 15, 2023 Frida Vik

A milestone for impact investing in Norway, states NorNAB Chair Espen Daae.

Oslo, Norway – November 14th, 2023 – The Norwegian National Advisory Board for Impact Investing, NorNAB,  launched the publication of the “The State of Impact Investing in Norway” market survey. It’s the first-ever size estimate of the Norwegian impact market, revealing upwards of NOK 100 billion dedicated to social and environmental change, including DFIs. The figure underscores the growing appetite for impact investing in Norway.

At launch, NorNAB brings together 25 leading public, private, and non-profit institutions across Norway. Its stated mission is to drive more capital towards initiatives that accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. NorNAB joins a global network of advisory boards with the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing (GSG) at the helm. 

“The launch of NorNAB marks a milestone for impact investments in Norway,” says Espen Daae, Chair of NorNAB. “ We can see that impact investing is gaining momentum. The report findings boost our confidence that Norway has a global role to play in advancing the Sustainable Development Goals through investments.” 

“I am sure that Norway will benefit from becoming part of a network with people from all over the world who are driven by a desire for change. For GSG, NorNAB will be a valuable member”, says Nick Hurd, Chair of the GSG during his visit to Norway earlier this year.

State of Impact Investing in Norway

“The State of Impact Investing in Norway” survey was distributed to almost 200 different players in the Norwegian capital market, and received responses from 26 organizations that identify as impact investors. According to this first-of-its-kind report, the Norwegian impact investing market is sized at NOK 100 billion, with fund managers and state-owned investment companies accounting for 98% of the direct impact AUM in the survey sample.  

The EVPA (European Venture Philanthropy Association), and the GSG estimate the European direct impact investment market at 80 billion euros (or over 900 billion NOK), based on close to 500 respondents. Given Norway’s population size and number of players, Norway stands out as a significant contributor to the European impact AUM. 

Other key highlights from the survey include: 


Topping the NOK 100 billion mark

Strip away the Development Finance institution's capital, and we're still looking at a robust NOK 77 billion dedicated to impact in the survey sample. Read more in chapter 3. 


Norway punches above its weight in Europe

Now, look at the NOK 77 billion in play against Europe's 80 billion euros (excluding DFIs) and it is clear: Norway notably emerges as an important contributor. Read more in chapter 3.


Impact investors have a global perspective

75% of the surveyed impact investors have assets abroad, while 80% are invested within Norway. 52% allocate investments to both international and local impact opportunities. Read more in chapter 4.


Consensus on environmental impact

All surveyed impact investors pursue climate and environmental impacts, while two thirds also invest in social impact prospects. Read more in chapter 4.


Recent Impact Pipeline Holds Allocations Back

The young Norwegian ecosystem is still evolving and has yet to mature to fully encompass all stakeholders. To further increase capital allocation in impact investments, three primary areas demand attention: 1) Professionals with expertise in impact, 2) access to high-quality investment opportunities with a proven track record, and 3) suitable exit options. Read more in chapter 6. 


Impact investing is on a roll

95% intend to ramp up or keep up their share of impact investments. A quarter of the sample is already channelling every asset to impact. Read more in chapter 6.


No perception of trade-off between impact and returns

That's the view of 95% of the survey sample. Even more eye-opening? Nearly half (45%) believe that impact investments can be more lucrative than traditional investments. Read more in chapter 6.


Booming growth potential

Emerging Interest in Impact: Of the surveyed investors currently on the sidelines, 33% have set their sights on entering the impact investing arena soon. Read more in chapter 4. 


The complete study is available for download here.


Share This: