If financial markets are to realign towards truly sustainable development the financial sector needs to differentiate commercial actors more accurately on their climate and environmental performance. A potential breakthrough to help in this challenge is the emerging field of ‘Spatial Finance’, the independent assessment of the location of a company’s or a country’s assets and infrastructure using ground data, remote sensing observations and modelled insights, offers a potentially transformative means to gain improved quantitative ESG insights. Rapid development is required if spatial finance is to deliver in the short term.
This report outlines a possible taxonomy and hierarchy for spatial finance, showing how discrete forms of technology, approaches and data can be considered within a single consistent framework. Using this framework, spatial finance could provide insights at differing scales for different applications from the asset-scale for project finance, to company-scale for investment, to country scale for sovereign debt. The report provides insights into current cutting-edge developments within the field, illustrated with case studies from practitioners and data providers, and explore potential future developments.