Climate change and global warming are the most serious challenges of the twenty-first century. Although transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we need better tools to mitigate climate change, and help our planet rebuild.
Carbon credits directly compensate green house emissions, and help companies meet their climate targets or at least manage their carbon footprint. A carbon credit is a permit that allows the owner to emit a specific amount of CO2 (1 credit = 1 ton of CO2) or other greenhouse gasses. It can be purchased by an individual or, more commonly, a business to offset carbon dioxide emissions from industrial production, delivery vehicles, or travel.
While carbon credits are an important tool, they are no replacement of cleaner production options and thorough analysis of new technologies and ideas.
A Carbon offsetting strategy is NOT an environmental sustainability strategy, and by focusing on carbon only, organizations miss out on the big picture: the connection of emissions with social consequences, biodiversity loss, and land degradation.
Moreover, with a Carbon only approach, companies miss out on untapped business opportunities, and basically compromise their long term ability to actually help revert environmental damage. In a world where “everything is connected”, focusing only on Carbon is being in denial of what is really happening, and the role we play.
What is the starting point then? In a day and age when “data is the most valuable asset for companies”, the starting point is a data strategy which understands relevant categories, clearly defines markers and finds ways to gather data throughout the value chain. That is only the beginning that leads to analysing data, and making decisions to correct deviations. For most companies the biggest challenge comes next: Taking action to correct deviations, to become more precise, and to implement a data driven sustainability strategy.
Buy or make?
Is the proverbial most basic business question. Can we do it ourselves? Can we buy it or rent it from somebody? What are the time-frames, cost and implications to each approach? Frequently we encounter companies at this stage. There is nothing wrong with the “Evaluating and assessing” stage, as long as it does not last indefinitely and lead to nowhere. It’s a vision and leadership thing. It trickles top-down in organization. There is no other way.
There are different ways to proceed, of course. Making this happen internally is a capability building exercise. Typically, corporations need to bring talent to make it happen. This can be complemented with, or led by sustainability consulting professionals, who, as you would expect, grow more and more abundant by the day. Regardless the option, it all starts with a clear and bold vision on what is the role of the company in the big picture, how they want to appear for their customers and relevant stakeholders, and where they want to be in the years to come. It’s a leadership thing.
Nature+ is an alternative to accelerate and complement the sustainability strategy, creating real impact through a crisply defined data strategy, and the right partnerships- which are already in place. It would be a “buy” solution, EXCEPT our model produces yield as a financial return. We call this a dual yield model, where creating impact correlates to financial returns.
Corporations don’t “buy” sustainability offsetting from us, they become investors in our ecosystem, create impact on real projects we have agreements with (or in their own value chain, depending on their business model), and get data with all relevant markers, categories and indicators. Moreover, the data is secured on a blockchain, which ensures its accuracy and integrity: no double registering, no tampering, no green-washing. Companies can use data for enhancing their ESG profile (and reporting), of course, but also for branding, customer engagement and other business goals. Imagine having your sustainability data visible for your customers via a QR code on the label of your product, on your website, or on the tickets of your airplanes. Science and technology make this possible.
Nature+ would be a “buy” solution, EXCEPT our model produces yield as a financial return. Corporations don’t “buy” sustainability offsetting from us, they become investors in our ecosystem, and own the data generated.
Our investors help us fund high-impact projects, new business models and technologies that have a regenerative impact. This “nature positive” and “far beyond sustainability” thinking is an innovative way to create a path to a better and more balanced future.
At Nature+ we focus on assessing solutions through a score, developed on the idea of releasing pressure and rebuilding the regenerative capacity of the planet, by impacting specific ecosystems that we select and regenerate. A score helps stakeholders to benchmark themselves.
We agree with experts that it is critical that any offsetting undertaken as part of climate commitments is carried out through an efficient ecosystem model which looks at the bigger picture in sustainability transition, but also supporting projects capable of producing both the highest impact, and accurate impact data through careful measurements and layers.
Let’s talk data
The environmental impact of our projects is calculated through Life-cycle assessment (LCA), a process that allows us to understand a product or nature project resource/energy intensive materials, hot spots, pollutant load, and carbon footprint throughout its entire life cycle, and make the interventions necessary to correct deviations for maximum impact.
Through our conceptual setup for assessing environmental impact of incentives, we produce a Digital Asset Certificate (DAC). This certificate addresses the results related to the regenerative development goals (RGD) in several impact and environmental pressure categories. Think acidification, land use, climate change, ecotoxicity and eutrophication, and continuing with human toxicity, water use and efficiency, and ozone depletion.
For instance, the Digital Asset Certificate (DAC) of ReFeed Farms, a Circular Food System project we support in Canada, shows the total regenerative score of their impact in a timespan of 100 days in several sections that indicate:
Amount of food preserved: 745 tons
Carbon emissions saved: 1334 tons
Soil created by worms: 102 tons
Through our data processing and analytics, circular recovery of food waste, regenerative soil improvement and climate avoidance and segregation are looked at and covered.
There’s more: via our traceability and visibility capability, we can show:
Score for circular recovery of food waste: 88
Estimate food waste recovered (3 years): 18 M lb (8+M Kg).
Regenerative soil improvement score: 80
Estimate soil enriched with worm compost (3 years): 2.5 Mio lb (1+M Kg)
What about climate and social aspects?
Climate avoidance and segregation score: 73
CO2 avoided from landfill (3 years): 16200 Tons
This means around 16200 tons CO2 can be avoided from landfill in an estimate of 3 years. Based on this assessment, ReFeed Farms has a regenerative scope and recovery of nutrient value for food waste in their farms, with a return system, thanks to which vulnerable local communities get food that otherwise would be wasted.
The amazing thing about a quality data model, and gathering accurate data, is the ability to make projections, and (in business terms) set goals and targets.
Refeed Farms is a great example of a circular food system and a land regeneration project. If the business model of your company involves a value chain with food production from farms and plantations, this can be implemented with your suppliers. Companies with other business models, including transportation, but also Venture Capital or Traditional Funds have the possibility to fund any of the amazing projects we are working on, and get the benefit of the impact data and the financial yield.
Our Digital Asset Certificate (DAC) allows businesses to gain access to layered information and detailed calculations related to impact data that go beyond carbon emissions scores and improve the availability, privacy, accuracy, and timeliness of their LCI data. All of this significantly distinguishes the Nature+ Digital Asset Certificate (DAC) from any ordinary climate credit and reflects the Nature+ mission to work alongside the natural world to create a movement that encourages people to solve issues. How? By supporting innovative projects through technology to find the best creative solutions.
Nature+ Digital Asset Certificate does not only look at carbon footprint, it pays close attention to every relevant aspect across all phases of a project.
Check the detail of the project we are running with Refeed Farms in Canada
Learn more about us and what we’re up to