3 things to know about our work, where we are headed and why

One in five of the world’s largest publicly-traded companies has made a net zero commitment. An encouraging momentum that was swiftly followed by questions around greenwashing.

In the current context, getting clarity on what is really delivered on the ground is paramount. Where greenwashing is a problem, we see credible claims as the solution. And where monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) remains limited, we see a potential for digital technologies.

Here is how we intend to bring the verification industry for climate action at the speed, scale and quality we all need to build a sustainable and climate secure future.

Our commitment: Driving a Race to the Top

Carbon accounting is one of the few sectors left untouched by the digital revolution. We’re shooting for the moon when it comes to setting ambitious climate targets yet rely on archaic tools to make sure we are reaching them. Current approaches to collect data and calculate greenhouse gas emissions reductions are still using manual or analogue processes which are inefficient and prone to errors.

At SustainCERT, we leverage digital technologies to make credible claims the new business as usual. We are striving for both speed and quality in MRV because we believe creating a race to the top, where those taking action can be recognised and incentivised to aim higher, is the only way to truly meet our collective climate objectives.

Our work: The SustainCERT Platform

We are developing the world’s first software platform for digital verification and management of climate claims across carbon markets and value chains (Scope 3).

Here is what you can expect from the Platform:

What's coming and how to engage

Carbon Markets: Digital verification and reporting capabilities will be available to project developers later this year.

  • Piloting digital verification & reporting capabilities: We are looking for Gold Standard registered renewable energy projects to onboard our Platform and provide feedback on process, data verification and emission reduction outcomes. Get a look inside the next-generation of mRV solutions, gain early adopter experience and benefit from the speed and quality digital technologies can bring to carbon markets.
  • Extending to cookstove projects: In May 2022, we will explore an extension of digital verification and reporting capabilities for cookstoves and pilot use-cases with two projects.
  • Followed by forestry projects: Towards the end of the year (Q4), research and piloting to extend the Platform’s digital verification & reporting capabilities to afforestation and reforestation projects will begin.

Scope 3 Reporting: With the rising demand for credible scope 3 claims, we are working with our partners to unlock digital verification and reporting capabilities for Scope 3 interventions. Additionally, we are developing a Scope 3 Software to enable corporates to track and transfer verified Scope 3 units. A solution that will help recognize those taking action in their supply chains and incentivize much needed co-investments in climate action.

  • Emission reductions in agriculture value chains: Use cases with members of the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) will begin this summer. This piloting phase will help build and test the Scope 3 software and digital verification capabilities for emission reductions in Agriculture Value Chains across 6 crop types and dairy, and allow for better alignment with user needs as well as civil society quality requirements, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
  • Extending to removals: This year we plan to explore and test an extension of our Scope 3 software and digital verification capabilities for soil organic carbon in agriculture value chains.
  • Extending to new sectors: Building on the Value Change Initiative’s work, we plan to extend our digital verification capabilities and Scope 3 software to new sectors and/or Scope 3 categories.

Our approach: Science-led, user-centric, partnership oriented

Our goal is to create a level playing field where projects have access to best available D-MRV solutions and where D-MRV providers can strive. This requires a redefinition of the rules and the creation of a new consensus on how to implement MRV in a way that is scalable, credible and efficient.

Our approach to making this happen is threefold:

  • Science led: We are partnering with the Climate Ledger Initiative to make sure our work is anchored in the latest science.
  • User-centric: We actively engage project developers in the development of our Platform to better understand their needs and expectations, and to ensure we design our solution to best meet those. We see piloting with early adopters as a vital phase in developing the Platform.
  • Partnership oriented: Redefining the rules for MRV in a digital context is not something we can do alone, which is why we are actively engaging with carbon standards and key actors in our space to drive consensus on new, digital-MRV compatible requirements. This includes working alongside Gold Standard and the TAC to support the development of new D-MRV rules, participation in Verra’s D-MRV working group

What’s coming & how to engage

Through the Climate Ledger Initiative and mandate on D-MRV, SustainCERT and INFRAS have a history of collaborating. 2 ongoing research pieces will be presented and published in the coming months.

  • Assessment of Digital MRV: This paper will provide an overview of the state of activities, actors, opportunities, and barriers in the digital MRV space, with a focus on examples of D-MRV technologies for off-grid energy provision and nature-based solutions.
  • The “V” in digital MRV: Principles for best-practice digital verification: Technology can be leveraged to drastically improve verification processes, reducing costs, time, complexity, and increasing the quality of outputs but what implications will this have on the verifier? This white paper aims to explore principles for best-practice verification of emission reductions in a digital context. Preliminary hypothesis will be discussed at Innovate 4 Climate on May 25th (5:40 – 6:30 PM CEST).

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