Reforestum launches its VCM Navigator to democratise the Voluntary Carbon Markets
The Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) are the main mechanism for channelling investments towards protecting nature and fighting climate change, and it is a way for companies and governments to reach their net-zero emissions targets. However, its credibility is regularly called into question - mainly due to its opacity over decades, and the fact that many projects have failed to deliver results in terms of additionality, verified accounting, absence of leakage, or permanence.
Given the widespread interest in and the need for a well-functioning market, stakeholders and regulators responded with initiatives that aim to ensure the accountability and integrity of net-zero claims, ranging from carbon accounting standards to supranational guidelines for effectively offsetting residual emissions. Furthermore, a thriving ecosystem of tech-enabled solutions has developed, providing the market with increasingly high-quality information which is however not all in one place or easy to find.
“There have undoubtedly been great breakthroughs in recent years to infuse more integrity in the market. However, there is a prevailing distrust that puts funding for immediate climate action dangerously at risk” admits Alban Bressand, CRO and co-founder at Reforestum, referring to the fact that “carbon certifications and registries remain inscrutable for corporate buyers, and flawed projects continue to come to light, undermining the good work happening at the market level”.
In this context, Reforestum has committed to evolving with the VCM in order to make the greatest possible positive impact while maintaining its essence and has set out to restore the confidence needed in the market. True to its pioneering and collaborative mindset since its foundation, Reforestum intends to innovate with its platform to democratise access to the VCM and promote higher integrity practices among its participants.
“Organisations that try to define and implement their climate strategies often face many challenges, such as new reporting and disclosure regulations, multiple providers with manifold technologies, legal and reputational risks, increasing levels of scrutiny, and a lack of transparency in pricing”, Diego Sanz Prieto, CEO and founder of Reforestum states. “We believe we have a unique opportunity to leverage our expertise and experience to really help organisations achieve their net-zero targets while increasing transparency in this nascent but fast-growing market”.
In light of this, today Reforestum announces the release of a beta version of its new VCM Navigator, through which anyone will be able to access enriched, up-to-date and detailed information on all projects from the main VCM registries (Verra, Gold Standard, ACR, and national registries, among others), including transactions (issuances and retirements) and contributors (entities that have retired credits).
The VCM navigator beta launched today discloses information on all projects certified under any of Verra’s methodologies and offers the following functionalities: a search function for projects and their publicly identifiable contributors, as well as the ability to navigate the transactions of each project. Note that full credit attribution is not possible due to the current level of transparency of most registries, but a sufficient degree of confidence is achieved as a starting point thanks to our proprietary algorithms.
“Data and insights about the VCM are currently spread through several data sources such as registries, project documents or press releases. Even for those familiar with the domain, it is quite challenging to get a unified and consistent view of the carbon markets” mentions Pablo de Castro, Product Manager at Reforestum. “With our technology, we aim to provide an accessible window to this information, where all the facts about corporate offsetting portfolios, projects and all stakeholders are linked and enriched so it can be useful and readily actionable.”
In addition, there is a public page for each contributor, where all projects and transactions attributed to them are clearly exposed. This public page can be managed through the Portfolio Manager feature, which will be gradually developed to meet the requirements of offset buyers in terms of carbon project discovery, evaluation and disclosure.
For now, any organisation that has supported one of Verra's projects is highly likely to have its own public profile already on the VCM navigator, and is strongly encouraged to search for it and apply to get verified, as part of a combined effort to bring more integrity to the VCM.
In the following months, Reforestum will work on mapping out more registries and their corresponding projects, contributors and transactions. Furthermore, Reforestum will continue to add relevant reports, analysis and functionalities to the platform in order to meet the needs of the different participants involved in this market. Diego Sanz Prieto envisions that “the Reforestum platform will provide a 360-degree view of the VCM, full visibility and traceability of corporate climate efforts and live validation of the impact of the carbon projects in one single platform”.