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Global Sustainable Finance Observatory

A hub for data and resources on sustainable finance

About the Observatory

The Global Sustainable Finance Observatory (GSFO) is dedicated to promoting the full and effective integration of sustainable development into the global financial ecosystem by engaging all stakeholders along the investment value chain, including institutional investors, stock exchanges, standard-setters, and regulators to bring more credibility, consistency and transparency to the market.

Vision

The UN Global Sustainable Finance Observatory (GSFO) envisions a future global financial ecosystem in which sustainable development - as defined by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - is fully embedded into the business model and investment culture.

Outcomes

The Observatory promotes credibility, transparency, and consistency in the market. It addresses the challenges of fragmentation in standards, proliferation in benchmarking, complexity in disclosure, and sustainability washing concerns.

We work with

We work in tandem with the standards setting processes of the financial industry and regulatory bodies, and seek to leverage and partner with leading sustainable finance-related initiatives. We also work with institutional investors, stock exchanges, data providers and accounting and reporting bodies.

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Activities

The Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR), the United Nations focal point on accounting and corporate governance matters, assists member States in their efforts towards implementation of international standards, codes and best practices to promote the harmonization and improvement of quality of enterprise reporting to facilitate financial stability, international and domestic investment, social and economic progress. It achieves these objectives by facilitating the exchange of views and best practices, building consensus, developing guidance documents, and providing technical assistance on issues related to both financial and sustainability/SDG reporting.

ISAR

The Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) initiative is a UN Partnership Programme organised by UNCTAD, the UN Global Compact, UNEP FI and the PRI. The SSE’s mission is to provide a global platform for exploring how exchanges, in collaboration with investors, companies (issuers), regulators, policymakers and relevant international organizations, can enhance performance on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues and encourage sustainable investment, including the financing of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The SSE seeks to achieve this mission through an integrated programme of conducting evidence-based policy analysis, facilitating a network and forum for multi-stakeholder consensus-building, and providing technical assistance. » and advisory services.

The Sustainable Stock Exchange

The SDG Investors Partnership, initiated by the UNCTAD Investment and Enterprise Division, aims to foster partnerships among institutional investors, governments and international organizations to facilitate institutional investment in key SDG sectors, in particular in developing economies, and maximize its contribution to development through sustainability integration.

The SDG Investors Partnership

The UNCTAD Asset Owner Sustainability Rankings monitor and evaluate the sustainability integration performance of the world’s 100 largest public pension funds (PPFs) and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) (70 PPFs and 30 SWFs). The rankings cover funds’ overall sustainability integration strategies, policies, disclosure and impact measurement.  The initiative helps identify and disseminate best practices and lessons learned to support PPFs and SWFs to integrate sustainability and the SDGs in their investment decision making and operations.

The UNCTAD Asset Owner Sustainability Rankings

The UNCTAD global sustainable fund database provides publicly available information on the sustainability performance of sustainability-themed investment funds, in terms of ESG integration, climate impact, alignment with the SDGs (investment in key SDG sectors), and exposure to controversial sectors. By making the sustainability performance of these funds publicly available, the database aims to enhance the transparency and credibility of sustainable funds to address sustainability-washing concerns.

The UNCTAD global sustainable fund database

The Sustainable Finance Regulations Platform maps the latest developments in sustainable finance-related policies and regulations in 35 developed and developing economies and country groupings, including G20 member states, accounting for 93% of the world’s GDP. It therefore provides an overview of the global regulatory landscape in sustainable finance.

The UNCTAD-PRI Sustainable Finance Regulations Platform

Partner organizations

The Observatory seeks to leverage and partner with leading sustainable finance-related initiatives,such as the UN Global Compact,the Principles for Responsible Investment,UNEP Finance Initiative,International Organization of Securities Commissions and the World Federation of Exchanges,among other stakeholders.
Finance
compact
IOSCO
PRI
WFE

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All enquiries about the Observatory’s activities, or about becoming a partner of the Observatory can be directed to UNCTAD’s Division on Investment and Enterprise:Contact us