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GRI Carrots & Sticks: database of ESG policies from 132 countries. Free

Yesterday Carbon Credit Markets attended the online "GRI Official Side Session HLPF: Enhancing policy for sustainable development through transparency". HLPF stands for UN High Level Political Forum, when countries annually report on their SDG progress through Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

The session provided analysis of policy data from the recently updated - free to use - Carrots & Sticks (C&S) database and document repository of mandatory and voluntary public policies that shape businesses’ sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) impact. It is a joint effort by GRI, Stellenbosch University, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the University of Edinburgh and King’s College London.

The data comprises 2,463 policies in 132 countries, 76 international and regional organizations, in 38 languages. The online repository now offers the original policy documents (in PDF and txt formats), available both in their original language as well as English translations.

C&S started in 2006 - then with 19 countries and 60 policies - basically as a triennual report and was recently converted into an online version. Here our post about the 2020 edition.

Here some other highlights from yesterday's session:

  • Governments write the most policies, followed by international organizations, business & industry bodies, stock exchanges, financial regulators, regional organizations, central banks, NGOs and research

  • Business and industry bodies are relevant in North Amercia and financial regulatos in the Middle East

  • Management, Finance & Insurance, and Manufacturing are the most targeted sectors

  • Most targeted SDG: 8 (Decent work and economic growth), 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and 3 (Good health and well-being)

  • Top SDG per region: South America 8 , Africa 12, Asia Pacific 8, Middle East 5 (Gender Equality), Europe 8, North America 2 (Zero Hunger)

  • SDG 13 (Climate Action) has risen in prominence

  • Socioeconomic compliance is the most engaged GRI topic standard over time

  • Voluntary policies proliferated since the SDGs in 2015

  • Mandatory policies dominate in South America and Africa

  • North America has the largest share of very resctrictive policies

  • Policies getting easier to read overtime

Click at the image below to access the C&S online database. And if you click here you can have a short description of it and a user guide in English, Spanish German or Portuguese. And soon, new C&S features: more filters, ability to compare policies and ............ AI interface.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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