Developed by UNEP and UNEP-WCMC, the Directory is designed to support decision making within financial institutions in regards to identification and measurement of how investments generate positive environmental and social impacts. Users can be guided through which of the 19 indicators are most appropriate to their projects and capabilities, or view the full list of KPIs and filter them by impact area and related SDGs.
This Directory was developed in consultation with UNEP's Environmental & Social Knowledge Exchange Network (ESKEN) including public donors, impact fund managers and technical monitoring specialists. More than 180 indicators were reviewed as part of the directory's development, drawn from existing funds and wider sustainable investment initiatives. This process resulted in 19 technically sound and relevant indicators to inform more consistent impact measurement. They have been organised into five impact areas identified as priorities by the ESKEN community: Biodiversity, Climate Mitigation, Climate Adaptation, Forests, and Livelihoods.
The indicators provide guidance on the best available methods to monitor and report environmental and social impacts. Depending on the user's objectives for monitoring positive impacts, it may be appropriate either to report against all indicators, or a selected few aligned to the user’s needs.
For more information regarding this tool or its application, please contact email@example.com
While many financial institutions have begun to make commitments to reduce their negative E&S impacts, progress has so far been slow. Only a third have risk-management policies for deforestation covering the most significant commodities. Although the implementation of these policies will improve outcomes, financial institutions now need to think beyond risk management. They should consider how they can incentivise, monitor and report positive E&S impacts generated through their investment portfolios. Demonstrating positive environmental and social (E&S) impact will be key to ensuring an increase in blended finance instruments and private capital flows into sustainable practices.
This Directory is a curated shortlist of recommended land-use finance indicators to accelerate harmonisation of reporting in this space. The 19 indicators have been selected from over 180 compiled from existing impact funds and wider sustainable investment initiatives, including the IRIS+ Forest, Agricultural and Livelihoods indicators. By compiling and condensing such a range of indicators, we hope to provide some clarity in the bewildering array of options for impact measurement. We also hope to encourage a harmonisation of reporting requirements in this space, so that projects can be compared more easily. The process of compiling the selected indicators was conducted through extensive consultation with representatives from investment funds, banks, donors and non-governmental organisations.
The Directory has been compiled with input from, and considering the needs of impact investors and blended finance funds. However, we hope that other financial institutions and impact-orientated organisations will also find the tool helpful in informing their thinking.
This tool is not designed to provide methodologies to verify or certify positive impacts, such as developing carbon credits. However, if this is the desired outcome, then additional resources can be sought specific to each of the impact areas of interest, and these could be used alongside the relevant indicators which they might align with. For example, a sustainable agriculture certification could be used alongside LIV 04 (Number of farmers trained in, and technology transferred for, best management practices in sustainable agriculture/forest protection), or a carbon certification scheme in conjunction with CLM 03 (GHG emissions avoided due to non-conversion of native vegetation).
As part of the consultative process with the ESKEN community, KPIs were chosen based on those which were frequently used and agreed upon broadly across the range of stakeholders. Although there is not a single indicator for sustainable agriculture, different aspects of sustainable agricultural financing can be measured under a number of indicators in the Directory. For example:
- BIO 03 - Area of avoided conversion of Natural Habitat
- CLM 04 - GHG emissions reduced from changes to on farm practices
- CLA 01 - Number of people in local communities whose resilience has been improved as a result of project activities
- LIV 04 - Number of farmers trained in, and technology transferred for, best management practices in sustainable agriculture/forest protection
We are aware that using indicators for sustainable agriculture can be challenging, as defining one metric for a level that works globally can be demanding. Other organisations have attempted to characterise sustainable/regenerative agriculture KPIs, and we would refer users to these in the first instance: the Global Farm Metric, and OP2B’s Framework for Regenerative Agriculture.
In the development of the Directory, members of the ESKEN community requested KPIs specifically related to deforestation-free and forest positive investments, as these were a focus for their funds. This is how the Forest impact area came about, where indicators are specifically focused on forest management and protection.
However, not all habitats of high biodiversity value are forests, and so depending on the investment or project using the broader term ‘natural habitat’ can be more helpful. Natural or critical habitats encompass all manner of biodiverse habitats, including forest.
Due to this potential for double counting of forest, users should ensure that when choosing indicators for their project or portfolio they tailor them to the habitats expected, and use either forest KPIs, or natural/critical habitat KPIs, depending on the variety of habitats in the project area.
The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is a global Centre of excellence on biodiversity. The Centre operates as a collaboration between the UN Environment Programme and the UK-registered charity WCMC. Together we are confronting the global crisis facing nature.
UNEP & UNEP-WCMC (2022) Land Use Financing Impact Hub – Positive Impact Indicators Directory. Cambridge, UK
This work has been conducted through the generous support of the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg's Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, and the Proteus Partnership. We would like to thank members of the Environmental & Social Knowledge Exchange Network for their guidance and feedback during the consultation which contributed significantly to the development of this tool.
Access to the Land Use Finance Impact Hub Site, Services or data and other content within the Site, including Materials and Third-Party Data, are provided subject to the following Terms and Conditions. PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO ANY OF THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR USE THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE HEREIN. BY DOWNLOADING OR USING THE RESOURCES MADE AVAILABLE ON LANDUSEIMPACTHUB.COM, YOU AGREE TO ACCEPT AND COMPLY WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW.
For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions the following definitions are used: “Website” or “the Site” means landuseimpacthub.com, which is operated by UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). “Services” means the web application and associated functions as provided through the Land Use Finance Impact Hub website. “User” is the organization or individual accessing the “Services”. “Materials” are any basic data, documents, downloads or other information accessible on the Site, with the exception of Third-Party Data and tailored Value-Added Services (e.g. value-added products such as APIs or services tailored to an institution’s need). “CC BY-SA 4.0” means the license Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0): https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode. “Third-Party Data” means the datasets listed as sources on the country and global pages. “Value-Added Services” means all tailored, value-added products and services when available (e.g. APIs).
For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions the following definitions are used: UNEP-WCMC maintains the Site on behalf of UNEP and as a courtesy to those who choose to access the Site (“Users”). UNEP grants permission to Users to visit the Site and to download and copy Materials from the Site under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license terms for the Land Use Finance Impact Hub Website. For the avoidance of doubt, this does not include any Third-Party Data contained within the Site that will be governed by such third-party terms and conditions, as specified in each case. Images may not be reproduced in any form without the explicit prior written permission of UNEP. Textual content and data can be reproduced for all purposes, including commercial purposes, if and only if attribution is provided, and you provide a link to the licence and indicate if any changes were made. This should be done using the citation given in these Terms and Conditions. Videos can be shared via the YouTube link. However, videos may not be reproduced in any other form without the explicit written permission of UNEP. If you remix, transform or build upon the Materials you must distribute your contribution under the same original license terms. Publishers must delete the UNEP-WCMC logo from their edition and create a new design. Translations must bear the following disclaimer: The present work is an unofficial translation for which the publisher accepts full responsibility. No waiver by UNEP of any provision of these Terms and Conditions shall be binding except as set forth in writing and signed by its duly authorized representative. No Grant of Intellectual Property Rights. No rights in the Land Use Finance Impact Hub Materials are granted to the User by virtue of these Terms and Conditions or as a result of any use by the User of the Land Use Finance Impact Hub Materials. However, all intellectual property rights in the database are the property of UNEP.
The User must ensure that the following citation is always clearly reproduced in any publication or analysis involving the Land Use Finance Impact Hub Materials in any derived form or format: UNEP-WCMC (year). Land Use Finance Impact Hub [On-line], [insert month/year of the version accessed], Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC. Available at: https:// https://landuseimpacthub.com/en. All Third-Party Data should be cited according to their respective terms and conditions.
The contents of this Website do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of UNEP or WCMC and their contributory organizations or editors or Member States. The designations employed and the presentation of material on this Website do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The mention of a commercial entity or product in this Website does not imply any endorsement by UNEP or WCMC. Materials provided on this Site are provided “as is” and UNEP or WCMC specifically do not make any warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any such Materials. Under no circumstances shall UNEP or WCMC be liable for any loss, damage, liability or expense incurred or suffered that is claimed to have resulted from the use of this Site, including, without limitation, any fault, error, omission, interruption or delay with respect thereto. The use of this Site is at the User’s sole risk. Under no circumstances, including, but not limited to negligence, shall UNEP or WCMC or their affiliates be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages, even if UNEP or WCMC have been advised of the possibility of such damages. As a condition of use of this Site, the User agrees to indemnify UNEP or WCMC and their affiliates from and against any and all actions, claims, losses, damages, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of the User’s use of this Site, including, without limitation, any claims alleging facts that if true would constitute a breach by the User of these Terms and Conditions. If the User is dissatisfied with any Material on this Site or with any of its Terms and Conditions of Use, the User’s sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the Site. This Site may contain links and references to third-party web sites. The linked sites are not under the control of UNEP or WCMC and UNEP or WCMC are not responsible for, nor do they endorse, any of their content.
Nothing herein shall constitute or be considered a limitation upon or a waiver of the privileges and immunities of the United Nations, which are specifically reserved.
UNEP reserves its exclusive right in its sole discretion to alter, limit or discontinue the Site or any Materials. UNEP shall have no obligation to take the needs of any User into consideration in connection therewith. UNEP reserves the right to deny in its sole discretion any User access to this Site or any portion thereof without notice.
UNEP reserves the right to vary these Terms and Conditions from time to time without notice. Therefore, please ensure that you read these Terms and Conditions each time you use or download materials. By accessing and/or downloading Materials, you signify your acceptance of the most recent version of these Terms and Conditions in full.
The core of the Website and associated data apart from Third-Party Data are available on an open basis as detailed in CC BY-SA 4.0. Certain restricted and value-added datasets, services (e.g. APIs) and other products may be licensed on different terms and conditions if required by the User.