March 2018 Newsletter
I am thrilled to be sending you our first newsletter as Verra, our new organizational brand under which we have gathered all of our work.
We believe that Verra better communicates the breadth of our efforts around developing and managing “standards for a sustainable future.” Much of our work will continue to be focused on climate change, and we’re committed to ensuring that the VCS Program plays an important role in addressing this problem. In addition, we will continue to build our work in other key areas that relate to sustainability more broadly.
In brief, here is what Verra stands for:
- Sustaining and scaling up high-impact climate projects – We are working in both compliance and voluntary carbon markets to continue to provide the highest quality carbon credits to help meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and maintain a 2 degree world.
- Facilitating the integration of REDD+ across all levels – We are working to ensure that REDD+ projects appropriately align with national priorities and accounting, can contribute to the achievement of NDCs, and continue to find market opportunities, both domestically and internationally.
- Bringing more focus to sustainable development – We are creating new frameworks for VCS projects and others to make credible claims about their contributions to the SDGs.
- Pioneering innovative standards – We are working with partners to develop new standards to tackle some of the most significant problems facing our planet today, including ensuring the supply of agricultural and forest commodities is done sustainably.
In short, we’re committed to continuing to drive finance to innovative activities that mitigate climate change and promote sustainability, and to working with ambitious partners to find practical solutions to complex social and environmental problems.
This newsletter is full of interesting highlights from the last two months and some important announcements, including several open positions we’re excited to share. Please read on.
Fifteen SD VISta Pilot Projects Now Underway
As part of the development of our newest standard, the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta), we put out a call for projects to test the new standard. Now, a diverse array of projects from across five continents are utilizing the draft standard to help Verra refine it for publication at the end of 2018. We are delighted that these projects cover a wide range of activities, with a mix of carbon and non-carbon projects. See our post for more details, including an interactive map where projects can be individually explored.
REDD Case Studies
REDD projects can be an invaluable means to protect forests while transforming local economies and supporting communities. Now that many projects have been in operation for over a decade, we developed a series of case studies that highlight key aspects of how REDD projects operate and the range of benefits they provide, including engaging local communities and supporting national climate objectives. Each one of the case studies addresses a particular topic. Read the series on our website.
Passing the 250 Million VCU Mark
Just a little over a year since we passed 200 million VCU’s issued in January 2017, we’re excited to announce that we’ve already passed the 250 million VCU mark. Of those VCU’s, 160 million have been retired, which is equivalent to the Netherland’s carbon emissions for 2016. Issuances in the last year alone represented about a fifth of total issuances across our lifespan as an organization.
While 2017 was a high issuance year in general, the issuance that tipped us over the 250 million mark was courtesy of the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve Project in Indonesian Borneo, one of the longest-running REDD+ projects certified under the both the VCS Program and the CCB Standards Program. Indeed, most of last year’s issuances were from REDD+ projects, which speaks to the decade-long timespan many REDD+ projects need to fully come to fruition and subsequently to the importance of long-term investment.
Work with Us
With our work expanding, our team is also growing. We are currently seeking candidates for four open positions – two directors, one manager and one entry-level position. We are looking for applicants who understand and are excited about the possibility of leveraging standards to mitigate climate change and improve livelihoods. For more details on our open positions and to apply, visit our opportunities page. Please also feel free to pass relevant announcements along to qualified candidates in your network.
2018 Event Participation
Verra is planning to participate in and sponsor a number of industry conferences and events this year. We would love to connect if you’re planning on attending any of them. Find us at:
- North American Carbon World
- April 4-6 in San Francisco, California
- Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit
- May 1-2 in Melbourne, Australia
- Innovate 4 Climate
- May 22-24 in Frankfurt, Germany
- Global Sustainable Aviation Summit
- October 2-3 in Geneva, Switzerland
- Sustainable Brands New Metrics
- October 29-31 in Philadelphia, PA
- BSR 18
- November 6-8 in New York, NY
Program Manager Sam Hoffer is New Chair of GVAC
We’re very pleased to share that VCS & CCB Program Manager Sam Hoffer has been elected chair of the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Greenhouse Gas Validation / Verification Body Accreditation Committee (GVAC). This important committee is responsible for supervising the operational aspects of ANSI’s greenhouse gas validation/verification accreditation program (specific responsibilities here). As chair, Sam will lead committee meetings and oversee committee operations. Verra has been a member of the GVAC since 2009.
Methodology Open for Public Comment: Plastics Production
Plastic production is an enormous source of emissions worldwide, due to the extremely energy-intensive process required to refine fossil fuels into plastic products. In an effort to help combat this large source of emissions, Newlight Technologies has developed an innovative new methodology for projects that produce plastics from captured greenhouse gases, which is much less emissions-intensive than traditional plastics production and also effectively sequesters greenhouse gasses. Because this methodology is applicable to a novel technology, it uses an activity method for the demonstration of additionality, which will help streamline the project development and assessment process.
The full draft methodology for Greenhouse Gas Capture and Utilization in Plastic Materials is available on our website for you to review. Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 13 April 2018.
VCS and CCB Projects Open for Public Comment
Three projects are currently open for public comment by email at the links provided below.
- The TIST Program in India, VCS 001, which trains community members to plant and tend trees, currently has project documents open for public comment in English and Tamil. The TIST Program already has project sites across Africa and in India.
- The Southern Cardamoms REDD+ Project in Cambodia prevents deforestation through improved agricultural practices, protecting threatened species like the sun bear and clouded leopard.
- The VCS 108 MW Fatanpur Wind Power Project in Madhya Pradesh, India will bring clean energy to the village of Fatanpur.
- We’ve updated the VCS Program section of our website. All program documents, methodologies, and VVB listings are now more accessible and more easily navigated. Please update your links and we hope you like the change.
- Following up on our name change to Verra, for those with whom we have contractual agreements, we want to confirm that our name change does not impact existing agreements and that Verra is the new name for the VCSA, and not a separate entity. We will be updating relevant materials as a matter of course.
- We only send newsletters once every two months, to respect your cluttered inbox. For more frequent updates on what we’re up to and what we’re following in carbon and sustainable development, follow us on twitter.
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