Who shares data on the green economy? Part Six

As part of our continued efforts to give back to the research community, we have compiled a sixth installment of useful data and insight resources for anyone interested in or working in the green economy and impact investment sectors. Insightflow believes strongly in collaboration and information sharing, and will continue to publish more resources as and when we find them.  

Carbon Brief
A particularly useful data resource, covering everything from agriculture, government policy, energy and climate data. Articles and reports backed by data are a feature, making the site very useful for researchers. Their In Focus section covers everything from infographics and fact checkers to country profiles. In addition, their daily briefing collates news items from the web which may also hold useful information. 

NASA – Climate
If you want the bigger picture, seeing it from space certainly helps. NASA’s work to document climate change is significant, and the data they offer visitors to their site is also of a high quality. There is a lot to interest anyone interested in climate change and data here, with infographics and other visual aids for teaching purposes and illustration. Evidence, causses, effects and scientific consensus are all given their own sections, along with sections on sustainability and US government resources. 

Climate Outreach
Founded in the UK in 2004, Climate Outreach was the first British charity to focus exclusively on public engagement with climate change. The site is a wealth of knowledge and information, with insight blogs regularly uploaded on items such as government policies, public engagement and outreach. A section devoted to reports and guides may be of more interest to researchers, and covers topics such as climate-based migration country guides to climate change.

Project Drawdown
Non-profit organisation, Project Drawdown, has been around since 2014, and is a great source of insights on climate change and information on solutions. Its resources include an insights section which was regularly updated last year and should provide a trove of data and insight for researchers. Covering topics such as forestry, energy transition and D&I issues, there are also a handful of in-house publications which may be of use.

Science Based Targets
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) is currently leading the race to net zero for many companies in the private sector. While their practical help is widely known, the website is also a useful resource for researchers. As well as explainers on the methods of science-based climate action, there are reports on SBTi progress to date, the G7’s efforts on corporate climate action and so on. Although not as well populated with information as some other sites we have covered, their position at the forefront of climate change activity makes them worthy of inclusion.

Insightflow now has over a thousand annotations in our Green Economy library, which researchers can access by registering for free on our website. Please click here for further details.

Part Five

At Insightflow, we believe passionately in collaboration and the power of turning information into knowledge. Here, we continue our series on green economy resources. We believe that those we highlight will be of use to anyone researching in the green economy or impact investment sectors. If you would like to access Insightflow’s free Green Economy library, you just need to register for free on our website. Please click here for more information

Low Carbon Business School
Pushing for a low-carbon economy and future, the LCBS has a very useful resource in the shape of its Climate Library. Here, you will find a huge number of reports, studies and articles all linked and collated under subject headings and subheadings. The main categories are Materials, Energy, Packaging and Manufacturing. Searching is easy and the information and knowledge is offered in three layers, from First Steps to Go Deep, depending on your expertise. That allows you to locate the information most appropriate to your project, and it’s a great way of separating things out for visitors. 

Project Drawdown
Project Drawdown’s website describes the organisation as a, “nonprofit that seeks to help the world reach “drawdown”—the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.” Their website is a trove of information, from insights (with what appears to be a weekly publishing schedule) to other materials such as their Climate Solutions, which demonstrate potential use cases and costings in a number of sectors, from agriculture to transportation. There is a huge amount of information and knowledge to work through here, and we recommend that you set aside enough time to look through it.

While primarily an educational portal which offers courses to students in a number of climate-related disciplines, Terra.do also features a good selection of articles in subjects ranging from food systems and climate change to power and energy, usually with links back to original data and studies. While not as comprehensive as some other resources, it still holds enough knowledge to make a visit worthwhile for researchers. 

Although Impaakt is set up to allow consumers to discover whether the companies they use have genuinely green credentials, the site also hosts a vast number of articles – hundreds of pages of them – which look both at individual company performance in terms of climate change as well as D&I, waste and things like food safety. It’s a vast resource, which will take a considerable time to search through. Better still, the articles include citations, allowing researchers to follow the evidence back to the source. A very useful resource. 

Ceres “is a nonprofit organization transforming the economy to build a just and sustainable future for people and the planet,” according to its website. It can trace its history all the way back to the Exxon Valdiz oil spill, and as well as working with corporations, governments and investors, it’s also host to a large number of very useful secondary research reports and insights. Covering topics from carbon asset risk to water reports, there is a lot of detailed information available to researchers here. 

We will continue to add these resource updates as and when we have new ones to share. If you know of any we have missed, please let us know. We welcome your contributions and comments, and would be delighted to share our own annotations with you, via our Green Economy library at Insightflow.io

Part Four

We have written previously about data resources for researchers working in the green economy and impact investment sectors, but now turn our attention to secondary research. Making use of insights and publications from others is a staple of research, although the usual caveats about veracity and citation certainly still apply. After all, you need to be able to trust any data you are re-using.

Here are some of the sites where we have discovered a range of reports and insights which we believe will be of use to others working in the sector.

World Resources Institute
The World Resources Institute has a range of insights available, covering all aspects of the climate, from Cop26 and carbon removal to renewable energy and soil erosion, making it a very valuable resource for secondary research.

Research Gate
An obvious choice, Research Gate is absolutely full of useful and interesting insights and papers from research teams around the world. The green economy and related issues is well covered, with a lot of interesting work coming from China at the time of writing.

IE University
Another valuable site for secondary research Insights, IE University has a policy of making research based analysis more available, making it the perfect resource for anyone interested in green economy and related matters. They have a large selection of insights and reports on sustainability, which is well worth your time.

Bain and Company
With impact investment driving positive change in many countries, it’s often worthwhile taking time to see what the financial world is taking interest in. Bain has a good selection of insights in the energy and natural resources sphere which researchers may find useful. It also gives an indication of where investors are currently looking, and what factors most influence their decisions.

GlobeScan has a number of helpful resources available for researchers, including its own insights, gathered from its work with EU agencies and universities. From sustainability and circular economies to biodiversity, there’s a range of materials which researchers should find useful.

Insightflow maintains two free-to-access data and information libraries on the green economy and D&I, and we encourage you to use them. Simply register for free by clicking here to begin using them.

Part Three

Welcome to the third part of our ongoing series listing data resources which we believe will be of use to anyone working in green economy research or impact investment. Insightflow continues to build our own free-to-access library of green economy data, which you can access by registering for free on our website by clicking here.

Climate Watch

If you’re looking for reliable climate data, then this should be your first bookmark. Information, maps and modelling all kept together along with dozens of datasets which allow researchers to really dig in to the data and see how countries are faring with climate change ambitions.

The GDELT Project

This one can seem rather daunting. As the site itself says: “GDELT is the largest, most comprehensive, and highest resolution open database of human society ever created.” And it’s not wrong. The scope is huge and the data possibilities for researchers in the green sector are endless. However, it can take some time to find exactly what you need. It’s a very popular resource for researchers and we recommend setting some time aside to browse through the possibilities. It’s so vast, that attempting to summarise it in a single paragraph is a disservice. 

Global Carbon Atlas

For researchers looking for specific information on carbon emissions by city or country, the Global Carbon Atlas should be high on your resource list. As well as offering complete insights, the Carbon Atlas allows you to search datasets and has great visual data set options for anyone interested in breaking down data on the impact of climate change and carbon emissions.


If you need to know more about renewable energy, then IRENA has the datasets. The International Renewable Energy Authority has data on energy generation and capacity, finance, costs, policy, transition and innovation all with accompanying dashboards to make searching ta more manageable process. Publications and insights are also available for interested parties and, given IRENA’s involvement in renewable energy projects globally, it’s an excellent resource for anyone interested in impact investment in the energy sector.

Our World in Data

Another large scale data project, with plenty to distract you if you suddenly lose focus. However, the sections are searchable by topic, and the Energy & Environment sections cover subjects such as renewable energy, climate change, pollution, fossil fuels and there’s also a sustainable development tracker which uses statistics from the UN and other agencies. Definitely a resource worth investigating.  

Insightflow will continue to publish these brief guides to useful research resources in the green economy and sustainability sector as and when we can. If you are interested in the latest data, then please visit our website and access our Green Economy library by clicking here.

Part Two

With the climate change issue front and centre of most people’s minds this month, Insightflow continues to build free-to-access libraries of Green Economy and D&I data, which can be accessed simply by registering (for free) on our main website. Click here to join us and access the data.

Insightflow is passionate about collaboration and information sharing. That’s why we have collated another group of open source platforms which share data on the green economy and sustainable development. Our last article looked at some of the big names (scroll down to read our previous piece), and here, we’ve rounded up a few more which we think will be of interest to researchers.

European Environment Agency

The EEA has a very large library of data sets for green economy and environment researchers, and updates regularly with the latest publications from EU member states. Data sets include land management, as well as satellite imagery tools that allow researchers to study changes to land use on a daily and annual basis. Topics covered include agriculture, climate change adaptation and mitigation, resource efficiency and sustainability, and can be filtered by region. There is an incredible amount of data available and it should certainly be on the bookmark list of any researcher in the field.

Data Europa EU

‘1,093,779 datasets found’. That gives you an idea of the scale of data available at Data Europa. Usefully, it combines European, national and international data sets, which users can search through, and the search process is relatively intuitive. The site holds data in a number of languages, although specific country searches by sector make finding specific data relatively simple. The site contains a host of data from EU member states on subjects such as ammonia emissions and energy usage. 

Green Growth Knowledge

While part of the Green Policy Platform, which we touched upon in our last article, there is significant depth to this particular section. The tools and metrics on offer make it a very useful resource for anyone interested in the green economy. As well as water impact and solutions tools, there are links to third party data sets from places like the Climate Policy Initiative and NGOs. Searchable by sector and country, there is a lot to explore here and it’s well worth bookmarking.


The statistics website of Eurostat is an excellent resource for researchers interested in European data on a wide variety of topics, including the environment, trade, energy and agriculture. The data is easily accessible and features databases, tables and published reports for secondary research purposes.

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Another highly useful resource for anyone interested in sustainable development. While reports dominate the website, within those are data sets and tables which will be of interest to researchers. From sustainable development of enterprises at a micro scale to sustainable transport solutions, there is a lot of information for any researchers looking for secondary research and completed reports in their chosen sectors.

Insightflow will continue to publish these brief guides to useful research resources in the green economy and sustainability sector as and when we can. If you are interested in the latest data, then please visit our website and access our Green Economy library by clicking here

Part One

As consumers, corporations and investors begin to accept and address the challenges posed by climate change, impact investment is becoming increasingly important and viable. However, stumbling blocks still remain for many people hoping to make a positive difference with their investments, not least of which is greenwashing of ESG policies and associated offerings.

While governments and financial institutions are looking at new standards to combat this, there is still a significant knowledge gap in play in the impact investment sector. 

Research efforts need to bridge three key gaps in the path forward for impact investing: the Perception Gap, the Knowledge/Expertise gap, and the Action Gap. — Abigail Noble World Economic Forum, via Impact Assets Issue Brief #14.

Insightflow has created two free, open information and data libraries which we keep updated for use by researchers interested in D&I and green economy issues (please click here to access them), but sourcing knowledge can still present a challenge.

So, just where can you find reliable data on the green economy? We believe these links may help in the initial stages of research:


The open source Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) website has a good section on green growth and sustainability, with plenty of detailed reports on their own work in the sector as well as more detailed studies on green policy decisions and resources. For anyone beginning research in the sector, it should be a bookmark. There is more than enough data for anyone in research to get their teeth into; from detailed tables on green growth indicators to the latest expert papers, it’s a trove.

Green Growth Knowledge Platform:

A useful source of secondary research, with completed insights from experts in their fields, as well as links to further research and resources, which are broken down into themes, allowing easy exploration. Their knowledge hub has tools, resources and guidance on items as wide ranging as water resources, chemicals and microplastics. The GGKP has three distinct platforms; Green Policy, Green Industry and Green Finance, which provide distinct insights into each sector. The platforms work with a significant number of knowledge partners from around the world, which means there is a considerable breadth of knowledge available to researchers. 

UN Environment Programme:

UNEP has been operating since 1972, although arguably it has never been more necessary, and it offers a significant amount of information on-site. Around 15,000 items can be found on the platform, ranging from research insights to tools, across multiple sectors. The World Environment Situation Room is a comprehensive resource which should be of interest to researchers. 

Green Economy Coalition:

A coalition of NGOs, trade unions, UN agencies and citizens’ groups, the Green Economy Coalition has a very useful library and resource section where they host the latest in-house articles and studies on sustainability and the transition to green economies around the world. From articles to case studies on individual countries and their efforts to transition, it’s a very useful resource for anyone researching the sector.


CDP is a non-profit charity that, “runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts”. The website will be of particular interest to impact investment researchers, with a large section given over to impact investment opportunities, as well as a data and insights section which covers everything from emissions to mitigation actions. 

The above resources represent some of the better places online to locate secondary research for impact investment. However, it remains true that finding information and data can be a problem. While we hope this short article helps those new to the sector, we would also urge researchers and interested parties to sign up for free to Insightflow and make use of our own Green Economy data and information library to keep up to date with the latest green economy and green tech news and knowledge.

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