#SustainableFinance / WWF and World Bank report highlights opportunities in spatial finance

Defining spatial finance as “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,” this field could transform how the sector “improved quantitative ESG insights”.

At a basic level, spatial finance refers to ‘asset data’ location of a company’s factory, mine, field or retail estate, assessed against ‘observational data’ be it environmental, social or governance variables. This would then be integrated with assets at subsidiary, parent company, national or sector level to provide “insights at scales relevant to different financial applications, ranging from project finance to sovereign debt”.

The report identifies the “major data barriers” to spatial finance becoming more mainstream – the lack of regular and granular asset level data, the lack of supply chain data and the poor adaptation of environmental data in financial applications – and calls for the financial sector to engage in a strong dialogue with data experts in these fields to develop solutions.