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Discover our range of powerful tools aligned with international standards to guide your social and environmental strategy.

Tools for the Universal Standards Pathway & Green Pathway

The Universal Standards for Social and Environmental Performance Management, promoted by SPTF since 2012, bring together best practices that help financial service providers put clients and the environment at the center of all strategic and operational decisions, and align their policies and procedures with responsible business practices.

Learn more about the Universal Standards

Looking to report on your management of social and environmental risks? To take the first steps towards a social and environmental strategy? To adopt a "Do No Harm" approach in your operations?

ESG Risk offers what you need to identify and reduce environmental, social and governance risks. ESG Risk evaluates the fundamental "Do No Harm" requirements in line with international standards (ILO, IFC Performance Standards, UN Global Compact Principles, OECD Multi-National Enterprises, 2X Challenge, OPIM), so you can streamline reporting and manage risk exposure with confidence.

Commit to robust ESG risk management:

  • Assess the main negative impacts to prevent them
  • Ensure that clients, employees and the environment are protected (“Do No Harm” approach)
  • Make investment decisions based on a solid understanding of ESG risks
  • Demonstrate your compliance with ESG regulatory requirements

Download ESG Risk Factsheet

Looking to make investment choices based on social and environmental performance? Monitor your partners and tailor your technical assistance? Identify your partners’ social and environmental profiles?

ALINUS is a tool created by and for investors committed to the solid management of social and environmental performance.

Evaluate and manage your investments with a standard tool used by a wide range of investors and networks in responsible finance. With ALINUS, you can:

  • Benefit from all the functionalities of ESG Risk, integrated into ALINUS
  • Make informed investment decisions to screen and monitor your investees
  • Identify thresholds, benchmark, and references to guide your selection and monitoring process
  • Reduce the burden of reporting and information gathering
  • Identify weaknesses and risks to define monitoring, covenants, technical assistance needs
  • Build data to tell your impact story
  • Use your results, compared to your peers, to strengthen your social and environmental strategy

Download ALINUS Factsheet

New to the field of social evaluation and audit? Looking to improve your social and environmental practices to create greater impact on employees, end-clients, environment?

Use SPI5 Entry, a shorter version of SPI5 Full (below), to get familiar with social and environmental performance assessment. SPI5 Entry is the perfect tool to focus on the essential practices first:

  • Report ALINUS results or ESG risks to investors, as both tools are integrated into SPI5 Entry
  • Evaluate practices and find solutions for employees, clients, and the environment based on recognized standards
  • Transform your management systems to align with your social and environmental strategy.

Download SPI5 Entry Factsheet

Already an expert in the Universal Standards, or champion of social and environmental performance management? Looking to push your strategy and operations even further?

SPI5 Full offers a 360° review of your social and environmental management practices, integrating demanding new standards and approaches that place clients, employees and the environment at the center of strategic and operational decisions.

Use SPI5 Full for a cutting-edge social and environmental performance review:

  • Find all the results of ESG Risk, ALINUS, Client Protection Certification, Environmental Performance
  • Move your social and environmental performance from good to great
  • Benefit from an in-depth analysis of your practices to create demand-driven products and services, motivate governance and human resources, and create robust social and environmental impact

Download SPI5 Full Factsheet

Looking to assess your strengths and weaknesses in terms of managing environmental risks and promoting eco-responsible practices? Want to define or improve your environmental strategy, reduce your clients’ vulnerability to climate change, or support the transition to a more sustainable economy?

Use Dimension 7 of the Universal Standards, created in collaboration with the GICSF (Green Inclusive & Climate-Smart Finance)* Action Group of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP):

  • Focus on a simple and operational review of your environmental practices
  • Identify the main environmental challenges and possible areas for improvement
  • Develop an environmental strategy aligned with your social performance strategy

Download Focus Green Factsheet

* The essential standards and practices of Dimension 7 are fully aligned with the Green Index 3.0 developed by the e-MFP GICSF Action Group. The Green Index 3.0 offers an in-depth analysis for organizations wishing to develop a detailed action plan; Dimension 7 offers a practical analysis for organizations wishing to develop an action plan consistent with their social performance management strategy, within the framework of the Universal Standards.

Tools for the Client Protection Pathway

Cerise+SPTF offers the Client Protection Pathway to help financial institutions implement the Client Protection Standards. The following assessment tools allow you to take stock of a financial institution's situation with regard to Client Protection Standards.

Learn more about the Client Protection Pathway

Are you looking to demonstrate your commitment to client protection? Are you on the first step of the Client Protection Pathway? Do you want to get familiar with the essential practices and indicators of the Client Protection Standards?

CP Commit is a sub-set of the Client Protection Standards. Integrated into our ALINUS tool, CP Commit allows for an initial self-assessment to get started on Step 1 of the Client Protection Pathway ("Commit to Implement").

Use CP Commit as an entry point into the Client Protection Pathway:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to implementing client protection
  • Learn about essential client protection practices, and the client protection metrics most valued by investors
  • Start with an initial assessment to identify key areas for improvement

Download CP Commit Factsheet

Are you already familiar with the Client Protection Standards and ready to go farther? Are you on Step 2 of the Client Protection Pathway or preparing for a client protection external assessment?

CP Full includes all the indicators under the Client Protection Standards, thus offering an in-depth review of client protection practices. CP Full uses exactly the same indicators that rating agencies use to award client protection certifications.

Use CP Full for a comprehensive client protection assessment:

  • Carry out a complete diagnosis of your client protection practices
  • Use results to prepare an action plan to implement required improvements
  • Find out the level (Bronze, Silver, or Gold) of certification for which you could potentially qualify

Download CP Full Factsheet

Are you seeking a Client Protection third-party validation/certification for your organization? To select a third party, you can contact organizations that adhere to our Guidelines.

CP Certification is the framework used to grant client protection certification, which is Step 3 of the Client Protection Pathway.

CP Certification uses exactly the same indicators as CP Full. The only distinction is the scoring methodology: CP Full reports results on a scale (Yes / No / Partially); CP Certification is a binary pass-or-fail.

The Client Protection Standards are an integral part of the Universal Standards for Social and Environmental Performance Management. They are fundamental to creating a strategy, products, processes and policies that avoid harming clients. Assessing client protection practices is often a starting point for client-centric social performance management.

The 8 Client Protection Standards are as follows:

1. Appropriate Product Design & Delivery The provider’s products, services, and channels benefit clients.
2. Prevention of Over-Indebtedness The provider does not overindebt clients.
3. Transparency The provider gives clients clear and timely information to support client decision making.
4. Responsible Pricing The provider sets prices responsibly.
5. Fair and Respectful Treatment of clients The provider enforces fair and respectful treatment of clients.
6. Privacy of Client Data The provider secures client data and informs clients about their data rights.
7. Mechanisms for Complaints Resolution The provider secures client data and informs clients about their data rights.
8. Governance & HR  The governance and management are committed to Client Protection, and HR systems support its implementation.
Download the Client Protection Standards

Other assessment tools for purpose-driven organizations

Cerise+SPTF also offers assessment tools to support social investors and businesses in managing and implementing their impact thesis.

A social strategy assessment tool designed to help investors, foundations, fund managers, holding companies and donors overcome the challenge of turning intention into impact.

IDIA assesses the implementation of your impact thesis, thanks to a rapid appraisal of the social strategy, governance, practices and products, business model and outcomes.

Use IDIA to analyze five key areas that are critical to turning your intentions into impact:

  • Impact thesis
  • Governance
  • Products and procedures
  • Business model
  • Data protocols

Download IDIA

Co-developed with impact investors and widely shared since October 2018.

A self-assessment tool for social businesses to assess themselves against practices that are fundamental to a socially driven enterprise.

SBS aims to identify clear criteria and a common framework for analyzing social businesses, to boost credibility and avoid misuse of the concept. Indeed, as witnessed in microfinance, the absence of principles to guide practices in a so-called double-bottom-line sector, opens the door to mission drift and abuse.

The SBS indicators analyze management practices in 7 dimensions considered key for defining what is important to be a social business:

  • Purpose – refers to the social mission to provide a solution to a social and/or environmental problem.
  • Public – refers to who the social business targets. It may be at the demand level (clients) or supply level (the employees themselves, or other actors up the value chain)
  • Product – refers to the product or service the social business offers. It must contribute to reducing or at least mitigating the social issue identified in the project concept.
  • HR Policies – refers to HR dimension of a social business. A social business should have exemplary HR practices, and consider employees an asset, not a liability.
  • Ethical Principles – refers to the way the social business respects ethical principles regarding the environment, social responsibility and transparency.
  • Profits – refers to the fact that a social business should be sustainable. It’s business model should be robust and adapted to its social goals.
  • Partners – refers to the partnership that may have a structuring effect on the business. Partners may support operations (procurement, distribution or purchase), have historical ties with the business, or be particularly visible in the business’s communications. The partner(s) brings technical expertise and/or capital.

Use SBS for:

  • Refine your social strategy
  • Define social indicators
  • Drive decision-making based on your mission
  • Improve your services to clients
  • Generate an ergonomic dashboard to share your social achievements to your Board, your investors, your partners

Download SBS

SBS is the result of a three-year collaborative effort of the CERISE SB Working Group. Made up of NGOs, foundations, and companies that support social businesses worldwide, the group first came together in 2015 to discuss this rapidly developing form of entrepreneurship that lacked a clear definition.

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Powerful evaluation tools to turn intentions into impact.