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Decarbonization Strategies: from Measurement to Contribution
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Blog...Decarbonization Strategies: from Measurement to Contribution

Decarbonization Strategies: from Measurement to Contribution

Greenly
Partnership
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The race to decarbonize our economy is becoming more urgent than ever before, meaning that the future of the world is becoming dependent on each individual company’s decarbonization strategy.
Greenly
2023-12-07T00:00:00.000Z
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Decarbonisation involves steps to measure emissions and enact strategies to reduce them. Some emissions can be challenging to abate simply because adequate technology does not yet exist (such as steel, aviation and shipping). Carbon removal is an effective tool to help companies neutralise these hard-to-abate emissions whilst effective abatement technologies are developed, allowing companies to contribute to climate change mitigation on their way to Net Zero.

Why is a decarbonisation strategy important? 

The race to decarbonise our economy is becoming more urgent than ever before, meaning that the future of the world is becoming dependent on each individual company’s decarbonisation strategy to help aid in the fight against climate change. 

Climate change’s impact is increasing in both prevalence and severity; for the calendar year to date, the global mean temperature for 2023 is the highest on record, 1.43°C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average. 

In fact, a report released by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that the planet is likely to surpass even its most ambitious climate target — limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures — by the early 2030s.

The path to a 1.5 °C limit on global warming may be tough, but it remains in the realm of possibility as of today. We all have the ability to implement a decarbonisation strategy, but it will require vast, coordinated efforts to fundamentally change the way business operates.

How Greenly + Patch can help your company develop a decarbonisation strategy 

Greenly and Patch are joining forces to make a dream team for decarbonisation – but how can our new partnership help your company develop the best decarbonisation strategy possible?

At Greenly, our platform makes it possible to measure accurately, reduce sustainability, and report on progress. We combine advanced technology with a team of climate experts to take action on Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. As a result, Greenly has helped more than 1,500 companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, we’re combining our efforts to achieve even greater decarbonisation goals. 

We’re proud to partner with Patch, leveraging their API to bring their network of high-integrity carbon avoidance and removal projects into our dashboard. 

Patch’s infrastructure is powering the carbon market of the future. Their software brings together corporate buyers, project developers, financiers, and policymakers to increase transparency and modernise climate action. Our partnership allows us to guide clients through purchasing individual credits, or portfolios of credits that help them to achieve their climate commitments.

As organisations prepare to take action in 2024, this article will provide details on the right approach to integrating carbon credits into decarbonisation strategies, and how Greenly x Patch can help you on that journey.

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What is the relationship between your decarbonisation strategy and the voluntary carbon market?

As companies have expanded their production lines, many have opted to compensate for their residual emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets, credits, or implementing the use of carbon capture and storage technologies.

The Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) facilitates the sale and purchase of carbon credits, where each credit represents 1 metric tonne of CO2e mitigation. Whilst carbon credits should not be used in place of decarbonisation, they  represent one of the easiest and most accessible ways for companies to contribute to their decarbonisation goals on their journey to Net Zero.

Developers of carbon credits use revenue from the sale of these credits to grow their operations, and buyers may use purchased credits to augment their reduction efforts and meet their climate commitments. Since its start back in the 1990s, the market has evolved, and in recent years, the pace of change has been accelerating.

How to incorporate carbon credits into a decarbonisation strategy

It is critical that businesses take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Greenly has refined its platform and process to support companies like Hello Fresh, Tenth Revolution Group and The Fork - A Trip Advisor Company take meaningful reduction action.

Greenly’s approach starts with measurement, calculating scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions for an organisation. Life Cycle Assessment can be implemented to provide a clear picture of each product’s or service’s impact. This information is then used to guide efforts to reduce emissions, quantifying action plans and tracking progress.

Greenly has built the capability to make contributions to carbon projects from directly within our dashboard, with many projects provided by Patch. We’ve seen companies increasingly opting for a “contribution” approach to climate action, rather than focusing on compensating or offsetting. 

In a contribution approach, companies are not bound to compensate for their emissions on a tonne-for-tonne basis, which often leads to a race to the bottom in terms of price and by extension quality, instead they can form a high-integrity climate action budget, and contribute that budget to the most impactful projects that resonate with their values as a company.

Clients can browse projects based on various criteria including:

  • Mechanism: choosing either avoidance credits (incentivising keeping CO₂ from entering the atmosphere), or removal credits (incentivising taking CO₂ out of the atmosphere).
  • Vintage: the year in which a carbon credit’s impact will be delivered. Past and present vintages may be used towards specific climate commitments, and forward year vintages help provide critical funding to more nascent projects
  • Technology: from nature based to cutting edge engineered solutions 
  • Region: choosing the country of impact - many clients look to support projects from the regions within which they operate
  • Co-benefits: noting where projects provide additional benefits, such as restoring local biodiversity, or improving local livelihoods through job creation.

There are a wide range of credits available in the dashboard, including:

  • Concrete Mineralisation from CarbonCure: CarbonCure injects captured CO₂ across the concrete manufacturing process, with commercialised solutions for ready mix concrete, precast concrete and reclaimed water. Upon injection, CO₂ immediately mineralises in concrete, becoming permanently embedded. Even if a structure is later demolished, the nanoparticles of mineralised carbon will not return to the atmosphere. This mineralisation also enables producers to reduce the amount of cement needed for each batch of concrete.
  • Planboo Malawi Biochar: Planboo is an artisanal biochar carbon removal company. Their approach involves pyrolysing agricultural waste to form a carbon-rich char which they then distribute on farmland across the Global South, improving soil health and enhancing local biodiversity.
  • Enhanced Weathering from Lithos Carbon: Lithos’ technology accelerates mineral weathering by spreading crushed-up basalt rock on croplands where it reacts with the CO2 in rainwater, mineralises and is eventually stored  in oceans as carbonate minerals. Their technology uses novel soil models and machine learning to maximise CO₂ removal while boosting crop growth.

Learn more

View our on-demand webinar where we share practical steps and insights on the importance of proper carbon contribution. 🌱

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How the voluntary carbon market is evolving

In the VCM, new technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere are being developed — such as Concrete Mineralisation, Enhanced Rock Weathering, Biochar (all described above), and Direct Air Capture, which sucks carbon from the air and buries it underground in geological form for thousands of years. These technologies have great potential, but they are early in their development cycle and standards and methodologies are still being defined and developed, which means many companies are hesitant to make meaningful purchases to help these solutions scale.

The more traditional carbon avoidance and removal solutions have relied on natural ecosystems, including forest protection, afforestation/reforestation and regenerative agriculture. Recently, however, there has been heightened scrutiny regarding the capacity to measure, report and verify the climate impact of these nature-based solutions, particularly forest protection projects known as REDD+.

These headwinds must be addressed if we are to stay within planetary boundaries. It’s important to note, however, that the fact that performance has been evaluated and lessons learned is not cause for alarm, but a sign of an efficient system. Forest carbon is a critical tool and it is undergoing continual evolution and improvement. This is how science works. 

Criticism has driven waves of technological innovation, including the emergence of carbon credit ratings providers like BeZero and Sylvera, which should be seen as a means of increasing confidence and trust amongst entities wishing to purchase credits. 

That said, a lack of unity around carbon credit quality assurance, combined with uncertainty about the role of carbon credits within broader climate action strategies, has impeded progress towards scaling these important solutions. This year is noted for strong progress with voluntary carbon credit standards and guidelines, including the release of the ICVCM’s Core Carbon Principles and the VCMI’s Claims Code, which provide initial rules of the road for project developers and buyers, respectively. 

Although further guidance is still to be delivered, these notable developments demonstrate that we are closer than ever to achieving clarity and unity within the VCM.

How can the government help with your decarbonisation strategy?

Governments are also starting to play a role in helping to guide the VCM, which ultimately aids in the development of a decarbonisation strategy. The United States Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions that incentivise the use of carbon capture and storage. 

In California, the Climate Accountability Package stipulates that businesses with more than $1 billion in revenue must publicly disclose their emissions, beginning with Scope 1 and 2 emissions from 2026, and then Scope 3 emissions by 2027. Additional legislative changes are anticipated in many regions, from the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and beyond. 

Businesses are taking note. In 2022 there was an 87% increase in companies setting science-based targets, and 929 companies from the Forbes 2000 list have now set Net Zero targets. 

For those wishing to take action and get ahead of the game before governments make it compulsory, Greenly and Patch are here to help.

Take action today 

The journey to curate the best possible decarbonisation strategy is pivotal to rebalance the planet, and proactive businesses are taking key steps to improve their sustainability. 

Looking to integrate carbon credits into your decarbonisation strategy? Book an appointment with the Greenly team to get started.

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By
Ines Gendre

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