What Is Blending Capitals?

In partnership with Impact2030, TheBC.lab in Colombia has recently coined the term “Blending Capitals” as a key strategy for financing the SDG gap and more specifically SDG #17. Blending Capitals focuses on integrating non-financial capitals in support of attracting sustainable blended finance. Over the past years, we have been investigating the social & human capital shortfalls, and other non-financial challenges in implementing a Blending Capitals strategy to help finance the SDGs. Based on current research and information available on the topic, as well as interviews with stakeholders and other interested parties, our work in Colombia strongly suggests that Blending Capitals in support of Blended Finance is a valid approach to supplementing both MSMEs and the peace process, simultaneously, in the country.

The emphasis on the inclusion of non-financial capitals speaks, in part, to the global effort of changing the nature of corporate reporting, markedly impacted in the aftermath of the 2008 Global Economic Meltdown. The Global Reporting Initiative, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and Reporting 3.0 have all played a role in raising our awareness of non-financial capitals and what they represent in terms of sustainability, regeneration, and human & ecosystem thriving across the planet.

In December 2013, the IIRC published the Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework, identifying five additional capitals to that of financial – 1) social & relationship, 2) natural, 3) human, 4) intellectual, and 5) manufactured – as integral to the value creation (preservation, and/or diminution) of companies. Thousands of companies worldwide have adopted the <IR> Framework.