How to Write an Impact Analysis

Faye Turner

8 min Read Time | January 22nd 2020

Writing your Impact Analysis

Impact analyses are short sustainability notes relating to a specific company’s activities and what impact they are having. Thank you for taking the time to understand how to write them!

Firstly we’ll get the technical stuff out of the way so you can get going!

  • Click on the "Join Now" button to get started or if you already have an account, click on "Log-in"
  • Once signed in you’ll arrive at the impact dashboard, scroll down to the bottom and click the button “Write new impact analysis”

The impact analyses you write and the ratings they receive from the other members of the community are aggregated into the company impact score, this is why your contribution is so valuable! Read on to learn how to write your impact analysis.

Typewriter white background

How to write an Impact Analysis

1. Pick a company to write about.

Choose a company amongst the 1,600 in our database. These have been selected as they are considered to have the largest impact on the planet, so they are currently the priority for coverage. Ask yourself - is there a company that has been in the news for something they have done? A new product launch, innovation or action? Or what about a company you are simply interested in? Do some research to find out what these companies are doing and how they might be impacting the planet and society.

2. Pick a specific topic/theme to write about.

Once you have selected a company to write about, hone in on the topic you want to cover. It needs to be specific so that the community can rate the impact. Could it be about fossil fuel investment? Pollutants emitted by the company? Equal pay initiatives? Sustainable products? Renewable energy? The list is endless, be sure to focus on just one topic and its impact.

3. Pick the SDG that this impacts the most.

Then you will need to think about which Sustainable Development Goal the topic and company you have selected will impact the most.

Writing on keyboard

How to structure your Impact Analysis

1. Headline

Start with a clear headline to summarise your analysis, this should be as descriptive as possible in order for the readers to understand what your impact analysis is about.

2. Content

Now you have 2,000 characters (it's not much!) to write your analysis. Don’t forget that readers must be able to rate the impact of your impact analysis. So, make sure it is specific and fact-based.

Start with an introduction – why is this issue important? Why do you want to write about it? Then go on to develop your analysis. Give details on the company’s impact based on facts and figures. Detail potential remediation/acceleration measures taken by the company and mention your sources. We recommend using around 1000-1500 characters for the main body of the impact note. Finally to finish the note, summarise it in the final part of your analysis with any final conclusions.

TOP TIP: Make sure you are talking about the actual impact a company is having - rather than their practices, intentions or promises.

3. Sources

Always ensure your sources are included by stating the source number and the page number in your body text.

We leave an area for you to list the sources you used, this enables the members of our community to verify your information. So your sources must be diverse, objective, reliable and verifiable.

Events Option 2 Speaker

Rating your Impact Analysis

Now that you've written your analysis, you must rate it, these ratings contribute to the company impact score.


Based on your impact analysis, rate the impact value the company has. Is the impact that you described very negative, neutral or very positive for the environment or society?


Rate the severity of the company’s impact from very small to very large. Will the impact that you described have an influence on a large group of people? Will it last over generations? The severity is split into 3 dimensions: scale, scope, and irremediability.

Submit your impact analysis

Finally – you can submit your impact analysis for validation by our team of experts.

They will publish it, or come back to you with suggestions for improvements. You can also save your analysis as a draft to continue with later.

Why not check out our guide on how to rate others impact analyses.

Sign up to a free webinar.

If you want to improve your knowledge on how companies impact the environment and society or improve your impact analysis skills, why not sign up to one of our free Certified Impact Analyst webinars and get your certification?
Learn More


Based on the article you've just read, here are some more we think you'd be interested in.

7 Min read

Step 3: Learn How to Assess Impact

Learn how to rate the environmental and social impact of companies.

4 Min read

30+ How-to Guides to treat Relevant Topics

30+ how-to guides to help you correctly analyse your impact topics.

8 Min read

9 Basic Steps to get Started as an Analyst

Pass your Analyst certification by following these 9 simple steps.

7 Min read

9 Golden Rules for an Outstanding Publication

Read these 9 rules to go from apprentice to expert.

6 Min read

Impact Checklist

Want to ensure your Impact Analysis gets published? Well, that's what this list is for.

World Green Background Sustainability small

Let’s take action together

With the right investment companies having a positive impact on the planet are able to flourish. Our community forms part of that mission by measuring their impact.

Join Us