The start of a new year is a great time to reflect back on 2023 and evaluate what to incorporate into your company’s scope 3 approach for the year ahead. At AgSpire, we were particularly excited about the following developments that will create infrastructure for more on the ground scope 3 outcomes, streamlined claimability, and more payments to producers in the coming year.
- ESMC became the first user of SustainCERT’s market-first value chain decarbonization impact solution, which will enable more co-claiming of shared scope 3 intervention outcomes.
- Verra launched a scope 3 Standard Program Development Group that will work to ensure Verra’s scope 3 program is designed to unlock immediate and large-scale investment in credible supply chain action.
- Science Based Targets Network released the first science-based targets for nature – specifically related to freshwater and land.
- Athian announced the establishment of the first-of-its-kind voluntary livestock carbon insetting marketplace.
- More than 120 USDA Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities Grants were signed into action and are now in the process of generating outcomes and paying producers.
- NRCS awarded more than $1 billion across 81 projects under its Regional Conservation Partnership Program that prioritize the scaling of climate-smart practices.
Needless to say, there are a multitude of opportunities through which to generate progress. But how do you pick? With only a handful of growing seasons left until 2030 – the deadline for many companies to achieve their near-term science-based targets – even the smallest component of your scope 3 approach needs to have purpose and value.
Here are three ways to ensure you are moving into 2024 with focus and impact:
> Manage Costs: To scale programs and achieve a greater impact, managing costs is paramount. Careful prioritization and strategic utilization of available resources will help manage costs.
GHG Protocol makes a clear differentiation between what is required and what is recommended. Prioritize the essentials to ensure your cost of carbon stays within budget. Additionally, public funding mechanisms or other financial partners can be leveraged to amplify the reach and magnitude of outcomes you hope to generate.
> Watch the Evolving Standards: GHG Protocol has stated that their Land Sector & Removals Guidance is scheduled to be finalized for implementation in 2024. Focus on adhering to those requirements that should not change and those where multi-stakeholder initiatives like the Value Change Initiative are amassing valuable feedback.
> Provide Programmatic Assistance to Farmers: Technical assistance is just one form of support that producers need to participate in sustainability programs. Most programs also require large amounts of data collection, data cleaning, reporting, and in some cases, audit time to allow buyers to claim outcomes. As GHG Protocol requirements become clearer, so will the need to help producers accomplish these tasks.
About the Author
Director, Carbon & Ecosystem Service Markets
Zach promotes company strategy and client success by assisting industry groups, food and ag companies, and farmers on their sustainability goals. Zach has worked on carbon issues for stakeholders across the agriculture value chain and in a wide array of commodities, developing expertise in farm-level carbon accounting, MRV platform usage, voluntary and compliance market schemes, science-based targets, ESG reporting, and strategic planning.