Regulation database

PRI’s regulation database documents existing and in progress sustainable finance policies around the world. It covers 868 policy tools and guidance and more than 300 policy revisions which support, encourage or require investors to consider all long-term value drivers, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors

Government and policy maker interest in sustainable finance and investment has grown dramatically since the start of the century. This reflects a growing awareness of the benefits and need for such legislation.

Sustainable finance policies and regulations can:

  • support national policy goals on climate change and the SDGs, and therefore address system-level issues and systemic risks;
  • enhance the resilience and stability of the financial system and the economy;
  • improve market efficiency by clarifying and aligning terminologies and investor and company expectations;
  • reward first movers and level the playing field towards better practices;
  • address greenwashing; and
  • increase the attractiveness of countries as investment destinations.

The growth of responsible investment regulation is well-understood and accepted. Therefore, PRI has commenced a review of the regulation database which, rather than focus on growth, will look at the extent to which the regulations focus on sustainability outcomes. The results of our first assessment of the 300+ regulations from 2019-2022 already within our database are presented below1. We intend to publish a full update of the database, including analysis on how regulations support sustainability goals in H1 2024.

The data below is derived from a review of existing databases, primary research by the PRI’s policy team, and interviews with market stakeholders including investors, stock exchanges, regulators, and industry associations.

Sustainability outcomes in financial regulation are increasingly becoming mainstream

PRI assessed over 316 pieces of responsible investment-related regulation from 2019-2022 in our database. We find that outcome-related integration and disclosure requirements are increasingly expected of investors – and that, far from being ‘niche’ or an ‘exception’, there are sustainability outcome-related requirements in regulations the world over. For more information on our assessment see our updated methodology document.

33%

33% of regulations we assessed in the database include direct sustainability outcome requirements.

79%

79% of regulations we assessed in the database include direct or indirect sustainability outcome requirements.

Cumulative number of policy interventions

The graph below demonstrates the accelerated adoption of sustainable finance regulation worldwide between 1960 and 2022. Of the policies identified by PRI, 96% have been developed since the year 2000. 2021 saw 225 new or revised policy instruments, more than double the number in any previous year.

cumulative_number_of_policy_interventions_per_year

Source: PRI responsible investment regulation database 2

Methodology and categories

The growth of responsible investment policies and regulations around the world continues to accelerate. The database includes policies from 116 countries, 30 of those are listed in the database for the first time. The regulation database was last updated in Q1 2022.

This data was updated April 2022 and added to in October 2023 using a methodology which you can read in full here. Please be aware this database should not substitute for your own due diligence. To request a copy of the database please request to join the Collaboration Platform page (you will have to be registered on the Collaboration Platform first to do this). For corrections, additions or questions please contact [email protected]. If you intend on using the information externally, we kindly request to know how you will use it and for PRI to be credited.

Blogs

Continued growth in PRI’s regulation database - a look at 2021

88 new policies added to PRI’s regulation database

By Hazell Ransome, Karen Kerschke, Junru Liu, Freya Bannochie, the PRI’s Policy team

Related content