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The original GIST (The Green Indian States Trust) is an Indian NGO which was created in July 2004 to promote sustainable development in India. GIST's first project was to research and publish State-level 'Green Accounts' to encourage India's policy-makers and opinion-makers to overcome their almost exclusive dependence on the archaic and limited economic compass of "GDP Growth" to measure and manage India's progress. GIST replaced "GDP Growth" with a holistic alternative, Environmentally Adjusted GDP, by accounting for all major externalities.
GAISP (Green Accounting for Indian States Project) measured sustainable development at a state level in India, sourcing data only from official national databases, and in a manner consistent with the United Nations' SEEA - 2003 guidelines. GAISP's results are available through a series of monographs which adjust for externalities such as the non-marketed services of forests (carbon storage, bio-diversity values, ecological services, etc.), the hidden costs of agriculture, losses in freshwater quality and depletion of sub-soil assets. Human capital externalities are also evaluated and adjusted: the positive externalities of education, and the negative impacts of pollution on human health. Among the recognitions of GIST work internationally was the appointment of one of its co-founders, Pavan Sukhdev, to head the global G8+5 initiated study, The Economics of Ecosystems and Bio-diversity (TEEB).
GIST'S "GREEN ACCOUNTING FOR INDIAN STATE PROJECT" (GAISP, 2003 - 2008)
Encouraged by the positive global response to our pioneering Green Accounting work at the national and state level in India, we begun a research project to extend the principles of "Green Accounting" to the "Corporate" level. The team which handled GIST, launched GIST Advisory, a specialist consulting firm incorporated in India and the UK. GIST Advisory works with governments, banks, financial institutions, civil society organisations and corporations to discover, value and manage their impacts on natural, social and human capital.