VISION: A Smart Tomorrow is a world in which everyone measures and manages what matters. A world beyond GDP and beyond Profits. A world nurtured by a green & equitable "economy of permanence".
MISSION: To deliver leading-edge and timely research on sustainability, to enable governments, businesses, institutions and civil society organizations to transition towards an inclusive green economy of permanence.
Brief History: GIST is an NGO that aims to promote sustainable development in India. It was created in July 2004, with its first project being to research and publish ‘Green Accounts’ to focus on sustainability at the state level in India.
The 'Green Accounting for Indian States Project' (GAISP) was undertaken to encourage India’s policymakers to abandon their dependence on the narrow economic measure of ‘GDP Growth’ with a holistic measure that takes into account all major externalities. Economic growth does not capture the many vital aspects of national wealth and well-being, such as changes in the quality of health, the extent of education, or the quality and quantity of natural resources. GDP accounts are therefore inadequate for properly evaluating the trade-offs encountered by India’s policymakers. In the absence of appropriate metrics to distinguish sustainable from un-sustainable development, the path towards sustainable development remains obscure. Visible symptoms of unsustainable development include large & persistent disparities in wealth levels between rural and urban communities, inadequate public investment in health & education, rapid natural resource depletion, and a widespread incidence of the “vicious cycle” of poverty and environmental degradation in forest-dependent communities. GAISP measured sustainable development at a state level in India, sourcing data only from official Indian national databases, and consistent with the United Nations’ System of Economic and Environmental Accounting - 2003 guidelines. Adherence to these guidelines and sourcing data only from official national databases (but with granularity at state level) ensures legitimacy, fairness, & methodological consistency. GAISP’s results are available through a series of 8 monographs.
Encouraged by the positive response to our green accounting work, the founding trustee of GIST Pavan Sukhdev, started a project to extend the principles of “Green Accounting” to the “Corporate” level by establishing GIST Advisory Pvt Ltd. GIST Advisory provides sustainability consulting to enable governments, corporations, civil society organisations, banks and financial institutions to measure, value and manage their impacts on natural, social and human capital.