According to “Offset Guide,” an organization ceasing an emission-causing activity or enabling an equivalent emission-reducing activity somewhere else in the world will have the same climate action impact. Therefore, carbon credits are a desirable solution for businesses and individuals to compensate for unavoidable emissions.
Quality of Carbon Offsets:
Carbon offset projects are incredibly diverse, ranging from Renewable Energy power generation projects to Biochar and Carbon capture technologies and each project type issues from 1000 to 10,000,000 offsets. Furthermore, projects can be located anywhere in the world, and some might offer additional social benefits (AKA co-benefits).
With so many project factors to consider, this industry can be challenging to navigate. And more importantly, it can be complicated to compare carbon offset effectiveness to one another.
So, how does Azzera navigate and select the most trustworthy projects to maximize your environmental impact?
Our experts have developed a quality assurance system based on project registries and a proprietary rating system to create a carbon marketplace that offers high-quality carbon offset projects.
Azzera only sources projects from official registries such as Verra, Gold Standard, and American Carbon Registry to ensure that independent experts have thoroughly reviewed each project.
The offsets issued by these registries have been measured and validated, meaning the climate impact is scientifically proven and valid. As each project can be tracked from issuance to retirement, sourcing from these registries is a way to ensure that strict rules of traceability and accountability have been followed.
A carbon offset vintage refers to the year in which the climate benefit was validated to happen. For example, a project with a 2020 vintage implies that the emissions reductions you claim occurred in 2020. The protocols and methodologies of the different registries evolve over time. Hence, the more recent the vintage, the more confidence we can have that a credit precisely relates to a tonne of carbon removed or avoided into the atmosphere.
- Azzera’s Impact Score
Azzera’s score is a 5-point system resulting from a weighted sum of 4 criteria: Mechanism, Additionality, Permanence and Co-Benefits. A value of 0.5 points is added for outstanding participation in sustainable goals outside the project scope. The resulting rating can be more than 5 for a few exceptional projects.
- Mechanism: 30%
We classify offsets into two categories based on their impact: Avoidance and Removal. A project providing clean water to communities via the distribution of water filtration systems is avoiding emissions from the use of fossil fuels to boil water: its offsets will all be labelled as Avoidance offsets. On the other hand, enhancing natural photosynthesis from a forest to help it sequester more carbon would be labelled a direct natural removal.
Our mechanism rating is not binary. It is a scale from 100% avoidance offsets to 100% removal offsets.
Measuring the avoided emissions of a project is a much more difficult task as it relies on the prediction of greenhouse gas emissions to estimate the number of credits. However, Avoidance projects are essential to reform the existing system and reach Net Zero. We believe that Removal offsets should be preferred to maximize carbon impact while supporting Avoidance projects to protect existing carbon sinks.
- Additionality 30%
Anyone can develop a project avoiding or removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Tree planting in a garden and consider selling removal offsets. Why not consider those types of projects as offsets? The answer is clear: because they are not additional as those trees were going to be planted regardless of receiving funding from carbon credits.
Projects can be considered additional if they indeed do more for climate change mitigation, and project developers would have succeeded without funding via carbon offsets.
- Permanence 30%
Whether removing or avoiding carbon dioxide emissions, knowing how long it will stay out of the atmosphere is vital. This is what our permanence assessments try to answer. If we want to meet global goals of limiting global warming, we cannot risk funding projects that will remove emissions today and release them back in 10 years. Our ideal project should have an infinite storage time limit.
- Co-Benefits and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development 20%
Carbon offset projects go much beyond just offering climate action benefits, which we call co-benefits, to range from helping the populations living in the immediate environment of these projects with decent work and quality education to protecting biodiversity on land and below water. Our projects align with the significant current and future challenges of our society and its community.
In 2015, world leaders agreed to 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) to build a greener, fairer, better world by 2030. They provided a framework for a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
At Azzera, we base our co-benefits evaluation on the SDGs target that has been set. For this, we use the open-source SDG-tracker (Our World In Data) to calibrate our analysis of measurable indicators and carefully analyze how each project may impact each target. And we automatically reject projects that have a negative impact on any of these SDGs.
Each project is scored, and rating carbon credits are done. Our mission is to make climate action effortless. And we believe Azzera’s Impact Score is one of the best tools available for you to compare carbon offset projects. Available at Azzera’s marketplace, we have provided a diverse portfolio of high-quality carbon offsets with guaranteed climate impact.