As we enter 2024, I want to reaffirm our dedication as an organization – and my dedication personally – to fulfilling our responsibilities to the marketplace. We are making steady progress toward our “New Era for Verra” commitments, achieving great wins in some areas and redoubling our focus on others.
As you likely know, Verra committed last September to immediately addressing the issues our stakeholders identified during my summer listening tour. Based on your feedback, we identified three priority areas to advance climate action and sustainable development:
- Operational Excellence: We must invest in developing the capabilities and infrastructure needed to deliver success.
- Enhanced Program Integrity and Impact: We must leverage the latest science and best practices to strengthen the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program, and to scale up climate action and impact.
- Accountability: We must acknowledge and uphold our responsibility to others – stakeholders, the market, people, and the planet.
We also announced some early commitments under each priority area and provided an update on our progress during COP28 in December. Since September 2023, we have accomplished the following:
- Released the newest REDD methodology
- Launched the new cohort of our VCS Program Advisory Group
- Submitted the VCS Program and its methodologies for assessment by the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM)
- Launched an independent research initiative to support the continuous improvement and ongoing development of the voluntary carbon market (VCM) as a key climate action tool
- Published the process, timelines, and sequencing for the periodic review of existing VCS methodologies
- Completed consultations focused on learning from and engaging with Indigenous Peoples and local communities to inform Verra’s safeguards
- Enhanced our work with governments in achieving their goals under the Paris Agreement
The priority area where we still have work to do is “Operational Excellence.” Registration and issuance processes are taking longer than we would like, and we still want to respond to stakeholder queries within a shorter timeframe.
To ensure our progress toward this priority area, we will, in the coming weeks, launch a new stakeholder support function and release a new validation/verification body (VVB) performance management program. We also have exciting updates about Verra’s Digital Project Submission Tool and improvements to Verra’s project review process and Verra’s Project Tracker.
To hear the latest, please watch the recording of Verra’s first quarterly stakeholder update webinar of 2024, held on Wednesday, January 24, at 11:00 a.m. ET. We started with the update and then held a live question-and-answer session.
We will hold these stakeholder update webinars quarterly throughout 2024. You can register in advance for all sessions on our “Events” page. We hope to see you there!
Thank you for your continued collaboration, patience, and support – and here’s to a successful 2024 for the environmental and social markets!
Verra President and Interim CEO