“A standard with a rating system can help hold the line on social impact and differentiate those who are truly making a difference from those who are simply telling a story."

- Antony Bugg-Levine, Rockefeller Foundation


GIIRS Assessment Weightings & Star Ratings

Weightings and GIIRS Company Rating Composite Score

Points are awarded for positive performance only in a GIIRS Impact Ratings. No points are deducted for negative performance nor does the assessment include negative screenings. In addition, the point allocation system is based on the understanding that there are many ways to achieve impact and no single company can cover all areas.

There are 200 possible points allocated into four distinct impact areas and their respective subcategories and topics. Socially and Environmentally-focused Business Model points ultimately are accrued in their relevant Impact Area (Governance, Workers, Community or Environment.) See Appendix V to see the relationship between the four impact areas and the socially and environmentally focused business models.

Impact Area: Points are allocated into the following impact areas: Governance, Workers, Community, and Environment. Point allocation is determined by company geography, sector and size. See Appendix VI for details.

Subcategory and Topic: Within each impact area, the total available points are allocated into subcategories and then to a topic.

Example: For a 50+ Employee Manufacturing Developed Market Company:

Workers = 40 Points

Worker Metrics = unweighted 


Compensation, Benefits & Training = 27 points


Compensation & Wages = 12 points

Worker Benefits = 10 points

Training & Education = 5 points

Worker Ownership = 7 points

Work Environment = 6 points


• "Workers" (Impact Area) has a total of 40 points available
• "Compensation, Benefi ts & Training" (Subcategory) has 27 points available

• "Worker Benefits" (Topic) has 10 points available

Within each Topic's total available points for allocation, questions are clearly labeled to receive a specific question weight, which determines the distribution of available goal points among the questions in the Topic. Questions are weighted using the following designations:
• "Least Weighted" (0.25x or 0.25 times the equally weighted point distribution)
• "Less Weighted" (0.5x)
• "Equally Weighted" (1x)
• "Heavily Weighted" (2x)
• "Most Heavily Weighted" (4x)

For question weightings, "x" equals the question weighting if each question in the topic received equal weighting distribution (i.e. Total Available Topic Points / # questions in Topic): The weightings for each question are made transparent to all stakeholders and to the general public. See Appendix VI  for weightings of each assessment track (geography, size and sector).

Star Ratings 

GIIRS Star Ratings Explained

The GIIRS Star Ratings methodology is based on actual data of impact investments made by the first 25 GIIRS Pioneer Funds and their portfolio companies (Pioneer Companies.) In September 2011, the GIIRS Standards Advisory Council approved the following Star Ratings based on the impact results of about 150 companies per quintile in both overall GIIRS scores and Impact Area scores. The GIIRS Star Rating point allocation outlined below will remain for two years until the release of the next version of the ratings system (expected Q3 2013).

GIIRS Overall Company Rating

The GIIRS Assessment is a rigorous and comprehensive process based on a 200 point scale; no company has received a perfect score on the Assessment as it is intended to capture a full spectrum of positive impact performance. In fact - a 5 star rating, the highest designation for a company - starts at 125 points or 62.5% of the total points available. While Star Ratings are established based on quintiles, there are only four overall rating designations – "GIIRS Rated", "GIIRS 3 Star", "GIIRS 4 Star", and "GIIRS 5 Star". This is because the bottom two quartiles receive the same designation, as outlined in the table below.


GIIRS Impact Area Ratings

Pages 1 and 2 of your GIIRS Rating Report provide a quintile-based star rating for each impact area – Governance, Workers, Community and Environment – across a 5-star spectrum of impact. These ratings are based on the total points you scored in each area and reflect the level of performance your company achieved benchmarked against your peers. Using the same quintile methodology employed to set overall ratings, the tables below outline the thresholds for each Impact Area rating.