UPDATED 29 February 2024

Certify the Positive Impact of your Investment

Manage, Measure and Maximise the SDG Impact of Debt and Equity Portfolios

Whether an impact fund manager, corporate investor, government, development finance institution, philanthropic organisation, insurer, or another type of an investor, Gold Standard enables your portfolios or programmes of activities to credibly deliver on Sustainable Development and Climate impacts using best practice impact management and performance monitoring practice.

Building on 20 years of maximising the impact of finance toward ‘climate security and sustainable development for all,’ Gold Standard helps all types of investors: 

Maximise sustainable development impact alongside financial returns

Claim best-in-class practices today and as expectations evolve

Stay ahead of regulation as our impact solutions are aligned with or exceed compliance requirements for reporting frameworks*

Avoid greenwashing and make robust and credible claims of progress toward impact targets

* Including UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Operating Principles for Impact Management (OPIM), Equator Principles, and other sustainable finance regulations and labels.

Portfolio Certification

Gold Standard helps portfolios for both equity funds, and debt funds deliver on their sustainability strategies, ensuring real impact without compromising on financial returns.

Our Requirements provide guidance to fund managers from the start and throughout the entire project investment cycle. The Requirements inform the investment strategy and decision making, as well as impact monitoring and data collection. Third party verification at the fund level provides confidence in impact reporting and associated claims, protecting against greenwashing.


A fund’s projects or investees can also issue carbon credits or other results-based financial assets through additional applications of Gold Standard for the Global Goals, including provisions such as additionality, permanence, and others. 


Requirements for portfolio certification can be viewed on Impact Portfolio Registry.

Aligning with or exceeding best practice

The Portfolio Requirements were created through a working group of corporates, impact investors, NGOs and thought leaders and developed in line with ISEAL best practice standard requirements.

They represent the first independent, third-party verified certification system for equity and debt funds or programs of activities aiming to contribute to sustainable development outcomes. They build on approaches developed by OECD for Impact Fund Compliance, IFC Compliance, SDG Impact, and others for alignment where relevant and higher ambition where possible yet practical.

Gold Standard impact metrics are harmonized with financial and sustainable development standards and labels, such as SFDR – Article 9, IUCN, Blue Dot Network and biodiversity standards, with an aim to help advance sustainable finance from simply ESG disclosure toward real impact investing that affects meaningful change for climate, nature and society. This helps investors: 

  • Stay ahead of rising regulations and reporting requirements 
  • Save time and financial resources by streamlining data collection 
  • Support strategic decision-making 
  • Promote transparency and disclosure 


Early Movers

Requirements for portfolio certification and portfolios that have already applied these requirements can be viewed on Gold Standard’s Impact Portfolio Registry.


Blended Finance for Public/Private Collective Investment

Ensure blended finance initiatives are ambitious, equitable, and effective.

Blended finance can leverage public and private resources to channel funding where it’s needed most, yet where private sector investment alone may be insufficient or where risks are high, and to maximise the impact of that finance.

By blending different types of capital, financing gaps can be bridged, investment risks reduced, and the viability of projects improved that would otherwise not be financially feasible. Whether issuing tradable certificates like carbon credits, delivering impact claims, or certifying a fund or debt vehicle, Gold Standard’s value-add to blended finance vehicles lies in supporting a broad range of partners to work together efficiently to achieve impact goals in the short and long term and to report credibly and transparently, ultimately driving more private sector investment.

Traditional Blended Finance Vehicles

Drive SDG outcomes and certify impacts where they are most needed through traditional blended finance vehicles.

Traditional blended finance vehicles typically involve the use of concessional funds, such as grants or low-interest loans, to help mobilise additional private capital for investments. These can support projects such as sustainable infrastructure, healthcare, education, or renewable energy that deliver positive social and environmental impact. 

Blended finance vehicles can reduce the following barriers to private investment: 

- High perceived and real risk  

- Lower risk-adjusted returns relative to comparable investments

Example: Subnational Climate Fund (SCF) Initiative

The Fund Requirements within Gold Standard for the Global Goals are a cornerstone of the collaboration between Catalytic, IUCN, and Pegasus Capital Advisors in the Subnational Climate Fund. The Gold Standard team supports the impact investor, Pegasus Capital Advisors, to deliver on their sustainable development strategy, through the development of tools for impact assessment at each decision point in the process.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) serves as the risk-taking anchor investor on this USD $750 Million equity and $28 million technical assistance blended finance vehicle. Technical assistance supports the identification, feasibility study and environmental impact assessment (EIA) financing, development, and implementation of a pipeline of subnational projects ($5-$75 million), aligned with host country Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Landscape Level Investments

Leverage Gold Standard’s expertise and impact measurement and management tools to attract investment into landscape, seascape, and jurisdiction level initiatives while complying with emerging regulations and sustainability targets.

A landscape approach works to align the interests of government, business and people within a defined area. It coordinates across all biomes, sectors, and stakeholders, balancing the needs of the economy, the environment and society while allowing complex sustainability challenges to be addressed for the long term. The approach in effect can define investment opportunities that stacked together contribute to sustainable development outcomes at the level of the defined landscape.

Gold Standard is collaborating with the Landscape Finance Lab, Commonlands, WWF, IDH, and other landscape innovators to inform how to structure sustainable investments in a broad set of interventions that foster sustainable development, conservation, and responsible land management practices, while managing the complex trade offs, minimising risks, and optimising for impact.

Example: Pamex Local Invest Finance Facilitiy - PLIFF

PLIFF is a public-private independent finance facility launched by 8 Mediterranean governments (France, Monaco, Spain, Italy, Greece, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt) and 5 international organisations as part of an initiative to reverse the dramatic loss of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea by 2030. Serving as a regional platform to coordinate and promote initiatives and concrete projects, PLIFF serves as a “one-stop shop” supporting local authorities and project developers in securing access to tailored finance. 

PLIFF is targeting €1+ billion of committed equity and debt capital into projects supporting PAMEx’s impact objectives by 2030. A Minimum of 25% of all PLIFF investments must be directly towards nature-based climate solutions and specifically restorative adaptation and biodiversity related projects at a landscape scale.  

Gold Standard is leveraging its brand experience to drive the work in impact management, measurement and maximisation within the PLIFF.

Corporate Collective Action

Address data gaps, drive change and earn recognition toward sustainability targets by working collectively in shared sourcing areas.

Gold Standard supports companies seeking to drive climate and sustainable development impact within and beyond their supply chains, and the challenging spaces in between where sustainability data is not traceable, and in shared sourcing areas where incentives to invest in change is limited.

Collective action funds can help companies address multiple sustainability challenges and meet relevant targets, comply with regulations, and improve their business performance by improving the resilience of their supply chain. These funds can support multiple projects within a landscape, seascape or jurisdiction, across a value chain, or through a portfolio approach to beyond value chain action.

Learn more about Gold Standard’s work with corporates

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