The Data Sources

New! The International Institute for Sustainable Development is proud to announce that we are contracting with the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), one of the six thematic information services provided by the EU’S Copernicus Earth Observation Programme. Under the contract, we will connect authoritative data on climate in Europe and the rest of the world to the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi).

C3S’s mission is to provide authoritative and consistent climate data and stimulate the market for climate services. To this end, C3S, which is operated by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), offers the Climate Data Store: a single entry point for continuously updated climate data and products on the past, present, and future, obtained from satellite and in-situ observations and models.  

Over the next 18 months, IISD will integrate authoritative climate data from the Climate Data Store to generate sophisticated SAVi analyses on the costs of climate-related risks and climate-related externalities. Governments, investors, and project developers will then have cutting-edge insight into why low-carbon, resource-efficient, and climate-resilient infrastructure will bring the most attractive returns to both capital holders and citizens alike.  

This project will include four use cases to demonstrate the use of the Copernicus climate data when integrated into the simulation models of SAVi. These cases will also show the added value of using the Copernicus Climate Data Store as a single entry point for climate data, helping it to reach new audiences and inform decision making on infrastructure investments worldwide. These use cases are the following infrastructure projects, which are currently in the design phase: 

  • New and upgraded housing and commercial developments in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Stormwater management upgrades in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • The 87-megawatt Kakono hydropower project in the Kagera River, Tanzania
  • Support in the implementation of the renewable energy and climate plan of Welkenraedt, Belgium, including nature-based solutions for climate proofing of urban infrastructures.

Infrastructure is at the core of combating climate change and achieving sustainable development-oriented objectives. Concerns also persist over the global infrastructure deficit, which the New Climate Economy forecast in 2014 to be USD 90 trillion. It is therefore critical that we steer capital away from carbon- and resource-intensive assets; otherwise, we will neither achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals nor the targets of the Paris Agreement.  


The integration of the Climate Data Store into our work is part of a robust process of data collection and analysis that we use in our SAVi assessments, where we engage with our partners to obtain project-specific data and then spend considerable time verifying it, cross-checking it and filling in data gaps.

An indicative list of the data required for a SAVi assessment is given below, though the final list of sources will depend on our specific partner’s needs and circumstances.

  1. Project descriptions and business plans.
  2. Externalities and environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts already identified or measured.
  3. Carbon footprints and greenhouse gas reduction plans.
  4. Characteristics of the asset and material composition.
  5. Financial feasibility studies, including capital expenditure, fixed and variable operational expenditure, funding split (debt versus equity percentage), debt tenor, debt interest rate, project discount rate.
  6. Technical feasibility studies including output/generating capacity, levelized costs, load factor and generating/operating efficiency. Note that SAVi calculates these performance indicators, but we require estimates for validation.
  7. Environmental and Social Impact Assessments.
  8. Pricing strategy.

A primer on the SAVi Database is available here.

The customization of SAVi begins a step before this process, when we develop the SAVi sector models. These are built to combine a wide range of design and technology characteristics, with sound science on environmental, social, economic and governance impacts. They also incorporate key financial performance indicators.

The design and data sources of the sector models are described in the reports below.

Sustainable Asset Valuation: Water Infrastructure

Sustainable Asset Valuation: Roads

Sustainable Asset Valuation: Energy Infrastructure

Sustainable Asset Valuation: Buildings

Sustainable Asset Valuation: Natural Infrastructure

Sustainable Asset Valuation: Materials