Gold Standard Supply Report Q1 2016 Better - The Gold Standard

Gold Standard Supply Report Q1 2016 Better - The Gold Standard

Gold Standard Supply Report Q1 2016 Better information for better decision-making INTRODUCTION Marion Verles, CEO of Gold Standard Welcome to the f...

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Gold Standard Supply Report Q1 2016 Better information for better decision-making


Marion Verles, CEO of Gold Standard Welcome to the first edition of our Gold Standard Supply Report which aims to increase access to market information for planning and decision-making. This report is a response to feedback we received from our Transparency Initiative launched last year as a way to increase confidence and participation in carbon markets. Published quarterly, this report will provide up-to-date supply data for Gold Standard emissions reductions and help build clarity around the complexities of the market, especially in regards to pricing and how it varies from project to project. This work on increasing visibility on the supply side also extends into supporting demand and sustainable pricing for high-impact project outcomes. This includes working with the Science Based Targets initiative to raise expectations for every company to do its fair share to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy by financing emissions reductions outside their operations. We are advocating for the highest quality emissions reductions to be recognised in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) potential new market mechanism, which with its large scale stands to be a tremendous opportunity for our stakeholders. Gold Standard has helped guide the development of the World Bank’s Pilot Auction Facility to support sustainable pricing for GHG reductions, with Gold Standard VERs to be included soon. And at the grassroots level, we are working to bring more climate-friendly products directly to consumers with the well-known and trusted Fairtrade label alongside Gold Standard’s. All these initiatives are helping to strengthen the cornerstone of our strategic plan, Gold Standard 3.0. The restructuring of our standard will enable us to serve as one comprehensive and integrated standard that will allow various outcomes – from reduced greenhouse gas emissions to water benefits to improved health – to be certified through a single certification process. This quantification of impacts is expected to unlock new sources of results-based funding and enable more finance to reach those projects and communities that need it the most. Our draft standard for Gold Standard 3.0 completed its first public consultation on 15 April 2016 with an aim to move to piloting in the beginning of 2017. In parallel, we are working with partners that include the Government of Luxembourg, Bix Capital, World Bank and Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to refine and launch the standard, its first impact methodologies and promote its uptake worldwide. For more information about this work and how to get involved please visit our website: www. We hope you find this report insightful and we welcome any comments to help improve further editions. With best regards Marion Verles

One step towards reducing emissions. Two steps forward in women's empowement.


Pricing based on project cost

What is a carbon credit worth? Investing in climate and development projects is a powerful way to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon, climate secure world. However it can seem complex – especially answering what appears to be a simple question of how much you should pay for a carbon credit. Why is one carbon credit – representing one tonne of carbon dioxide prevented from entering the atmosphere -- more expensive than another? While your carbon credit provider can guide you through the process, we hope to provide some clarity in how carbon credits are valued, taking into account significant differences among the projects that issue them.

Pricing based on market dynamics The voluntary carbon market today is primarily driven by supply and demand, regardless of the implications to the project in terms of long-term viability. The graph below provides the cumulative value and average price by project type over the past 10 years according to the State of the Voluntary Carbon Market Report 2015 published by Ecosystem Marketplace.

credits at prices below what it costs to maintain a project means that these projects may stop operating in the vulnerable communities they support. Further, neglecting to fully account for the real value they deliver in beyond-carbon development benefits can accelerate a race to the bottom, meaning that the highest quality projects might be the first to fail.

Markets can be very effective for driving competition and reducing the cost of accomplishing an objective. However, what if that objective is the security of our climate and providing access to basic human rights, such as food, water, education and good health? Paying for carbon

Gold Standard believes that organisations and individuals have an opportunity and an ethical obligation to consider longer-term environmental and social impacts of their investment decision and consider both the costs and true value of project outcomes.

Fig. 1 Cumulative Value and Average Price of Top 7 Project Types Avoided deforestation

$442 M


$384 M

Landfill methane

$285 M

Tree planting (A/R) Hydropower

$270 M

Clean cookstoves

$162 M

Forest Mgmt.


$113 M

A cost-based model is a step toward ensuring project sustainability. The Fairtrade version with its premium for local communities also ensures funding is channeled directly to the most vulnerable, and it encourages producers to participate in developing the carbon projects and increase their involvement and expertise over time. The Fairtrade Climate Standard also features requirements for buyers of credits to reduce their own carbon footprints. Companies like DHL and Marks & Spencer have already committed to purchasing Fairtrade Carbon Credits from Gold Standard projects. However, a cost-based pricing model does not specifically account for the additional value these projects deliver in sustainable development.

Fig. 2 Fairtrade Minimum Prices for Fairtrade Carbon Credits The formula below shows how to calculate the Fairtrade Minimum Price for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Afforestation/Reforestation projects. Investment Cost

Project Cost

Carbon Cost

Business Margin

computers, machines, etc

transport, repairs, training, monitoring, etc.

certification, registration, validation, training, etc.

energy effeciency and renewable energy: 10%, forestry: 5%

= Fairtrade Minimum Price

$5.2/ tCO2e


$5.9/tCO2e $7.7/tCO2e


$170 M

A cost-based model takes into account the implementation costs of a project and is used to help ensure the on-going viability of projects. The Fairtrade Carbon Credit pricing model provides a great example of how this works in practice, and is currently the only application in carbon markets today. This model calculates a minimum price that ensures the average costs of the projects will be covered. However, in the Fairtrade model a buyer also pays an additional premium on top. This “Fairtrade Premium” goes directly to the local community – smallholder farmers and producers in rural communities – to fund activities that help them adapt and become more resilient to an already changing climate.


Notes: Based on 412 Mt5CO2e of transacted offsets associated with a project type, 2007-2014 Source: Forest Trends Ecosystem Marketplace. State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2015

The minimum price for projects eligible under the Fairtrade Climate Standard Energy Efficiency – 8.20€/tCO2e + 1€ Fairtrade premium Renewable Energy – 8.10€/tCO2e + 1€ Fairtrade premium Forest Management– 13€/tCO2e + 1€ Fairtrade premium

Revenues improved cookstoves, electricity, etc.

Pricing based on value delivered While all Gold Standard projects play a critical role in our transition to a low-carbon economy, some projects go far beyond carbon mitigation. Using a value-driven model to set a price for carbon credits can truly account for the holistic environmental, social and economic impacts of a specific project—that is, both in emissions reductions plus the additional development benefits that can transform lives. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated report in 2015 to estimate the total cost of carbon to society. Figure 3 summarizes these costs over time according to different risks and assumptions of climate science. This means that for every tonne of carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere, we sacrifice an average of USD $36 in environmental degradation and negative social impacts. In theory, these should be accounted for in the price of a carbon credit. And this is being reflected in some organisations, with com-

panies using tools like an internal or a ‘shadow’ price on carbon to account for the economic impact of their emissions. For example, Swiss retailer Coop sets their internal price on carbon at CHF 150 (roughly USD $150) to drive innovation and investment into Gold Standard-certified emissions reduction activities that also support communities within their supply chains. To take this a step further and shine a light on the value above and beyond carbon mitigation, Gold Standard commissioned a group of economists to conduct a comprehensive valuation of the socio-economic benefits delivered by our projects. The conclusion was that projects that follow our principles of inclusive design, transparent governance and outcomes that are longterm, consistent and comparable, deliver additional outcomes worth billions of (US equivalent) dollars. The economic value of Gold Standard project impacts per tonne of CO2 can be seen in fig 4.

Fig. 3 Social Cost of CO2 2015-2050* (in 2007 dollars per metric ton) Source: Technical Support Document: Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866 (May 2013, Revised July 2015)

Discount Rate and Statistic Year 5% Avg. 3% Avg. 2.5% Avg. 3% 95th Percentile 2015 $11 $36 $56 $105 2020 $12 $42 $62 $123 2025 $14 $46 $68 $138 2030 $16 $50 $73 $152 2035 $18 $55 $78 $168 2040 $21 $60 $84 $183 2045 $23 $64 $89 $197 2050 $26 $69 $95 $212 *The SC-CO2 values are dollar-year and emissions-year specific.

Fig. 4 Monetary value of Gold Standard project impacts per ton of reduced CO2 emissions













Prices in the voluntary carbon market do reflect some of these “economic value” principles. For example, prices for clean cookstove projects, which often deliver life-saving health benefits to women and children, are generally higher than projects that focus more on the emissions reductions. But they ultimately yield to the forces of supply and demand, without safeguards such as a minimum price. This is why there is a tremendous gap between the average historical prices for carbon credits from Figure 1 compared to the economic value of impacts they deliver as noted in Figure 4. Gold Standard’s new holistic standard “Gold Standard 3.0,” currently in development, aims to address this discrepancy by more rigorously quantifying the beyond-carbon benefits and allowing for these to be either sold on top of the carbon emission reduction or at least more accurately accounted for within the price of a Gold Standard carbon credit. But in the meantime, we advocate for buyers of carbon credits to more fully recognise these values in their negotiations with sellers.

In setting a fair price on carbon credits, Gold Standard recommends accounting for the true cost of carbon emissions plus the value of the development impacts.




Gold Standard Recommendations In conclusion, deciding on what project to invest in and how much it’s worth remains a bit like navigating the real estate market. There are a number of different considerations ranging from quality, type, size, and geographical location. While ‘value’ can remain somewhat subjective depending on your organisation’s ideals, objectives and requirements and is subject to the forces of supply and demand, Gold Standard advocates for prices of carbon credits to more closely mirror the true social cost of carbon and the economic value provided in additional impacts, while using the power of markets to help deliver this in the most cost-effective manner.

Our best practice pricing tips • Consider the full economic value of a project’s impacts from carbon mitigation to development outcomes • Commit to paying a price that can sustain and expand project activities • Contribute to a more transparent voluntary carbon market by requiring price disclosure in your carbon credit transactions


What the leaders are doing to take climate action Annina Böhlen works for Coop Cooperative, one of Switzerland’s largest retail and wholesale companies, and is responsible for the Coop sustainability fund. We asked Annina to tell us about Coop’s climate strategy and what they are doing to ensure their long-term corporate success.

Can you give us an overview of Coop’s climate strategy? Throughout its value chain Coop makes a conscious effort to use energy carefully to protect the climate. In 2008, Coop drew up its “CO2-neutral by 2023” vision. To achieve this vision, Coop is cutting its absolute energy consumption by 20% each year and increasing the proportion of renewable energy to 80%. It focuses on the following CO2 reduction measures: • Stores: Coop systematically implements the Minergie low-energy standard in all new and refurbished buildings, also using LED technology and CO2 as a refrigerant. In addition, Coop also makes increasing use of renewable energy sources for heat generation. • Transport: Wherever possible, Coop transports goods by rail. For its lorries, environmentally friendly fuels such as biodiesel and biogas are used. • Production facilities: Coop makes use of the resulting waste heat and cold from the production facilities Besides the reduction measures of the “CO2-neutral by 2023” vision, Coop also compensates the air miles travelled by its goods and its staff business trips and has been doing this since 2007. It also offsets the CO2 emissions caused by deliveries as part of the [email protected] online service, working with WWF to support CO2-reducing projects that are certified to the Gold Standard.

Does COOP use an internal price on carbon? If so, how does it influence your decision-making? The goal of reaching “CO2 neutrality by 2023” meant that Coop had to closely examine its potential for reducing energy requirements and increase its use of waste heat and renewable energy sources. To help Coop do this, it has defined innovative principles for evaluating investments and for decision-making processes. The investment evaluation process focuses on the

investment’s lifetime and anticipates possible increases in energy prices. In order to drive investment in emissions reduction activities, Coop introduced in 2010 an internal price of carbon of 150 CHF/t CO2.

Why did you decide to begin investing in climate protection projects? Are you interested primarily in ‘climate neutral’ claims? No, Coop does not make any climate neutral claims. Coop is convinced that sustainability is a cornerstone of long-term corporate success. As a cooperative, Coop pledged 150 years ago to procure products in a cost-effective way while preserving the commercial and social interests of our members. Today, these rightful interests include preventing any negative impact resulting from its business activities and conducting its business in a sustainable manner. Environmental protection has been enshrined in our Articles of Association since 1973.

Gold Standard credits are known to sell at higher prices. How do you consider this in your decision-making? Coop invests only in certificates which meet the highest requirements and which are supported by WWF. Therefore Gold Standard is a basic requirement for all our certificates. By working with WWF, Coop is able to invest in the development of projects that help support its value chain and is committed to pay a price which guarantees not only a reduction in CO2-emissions but also enables co-benefits regarding biodiversity, livelihood, health impacts and employment.

What other CSR commitments do you have? Coop pursues a comprehensive sustainability strategy based on three pillars and ensures that sustainability is incorporated into all relevant company strategies and processes. We’ve already talked about “resource efficiency and climate protection”. The next pillar is sustainable products and services. Coop’s broad range of organically, humanely and fairly produced goods allows Coop to offer consumers the chance to make environmentally and socially responsible purchases. Coop’s internal guidelines dictate that goods may only be transported by air if there are no other options available due

to quality reasons or lack of time – and for all those products that do travel by air the emissions are compensated. The third pillar of our sustainability activities refers to our employees and the society. An important tool here is the Coop Sustainability Fund: The fund allows the origination of innovative solutions in socially and environmentally relevant areas and thus to make consumption more sustainable and to give something back to society. The Coop Sustainability Fund invests at least CHF 16.5 million every year for this purpose. Coop’s emission reduction projects are also financed by the fund.

What are your reflections on COP21? Has the Paris Agreement figured into any of your discussions for the future? If so, how? Already in 2008, Coop formulated the vision of achieving CO2 neutrality in all of its retail and production activities by 2023. With this in view the COP21 did not directly influence Coop’s decisions. But in the run-up to COP21, Coop, alongside WWF and others, took part in a campaign to ensure that Switzerland sets itself more ambitious climate objectives. The outcomes from Paris have strengthened our determination to continue consistently on the chosen path to CO2 neutrality.

Why did you decide to support Gold Standard projects in particular? How do you select your projects? The Gold Standard guarantees high quality emission reduction projects. Together with WWF, Coop has developed Gold Standard projects that fit within the Coop value chain. By choosing Gold Standard, Coop ensures that its CO2-reducing projects are not only real and verifiable, but also make measurable contributions to sustainable development - benefitting the local communities involved in the Coop value chain.

Coop has succeeded in reducing its annual CO2 emissions from 2008 by old Standard credits known to sell in 24.8 per cent -are thereby remaining line with its vision.

Coop’s CHF 150 internal price on carbon helps drive finance to climate and development projects in their value chain.


with our Gold Standard projects There are a number of different considerations ranging from quality, type, size, and geographical location, when deciding on what projects to invest in and how much they’re worth. These projects are just a couple of examples of how our projects are contributing to both climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Hydrologic water filters, improving health in Cambodia In rural Cambodia, clean air and water remain out of reach for millions of people. Hydrologic, a Cambodian social enterprise, has set out to change this with its locally made ceramic water purifiers. With a filter in their homes, families no longer need to boil their water to make it safe. This reduces indoor air pollution, slashes household fuel costs, and protects Cambodia’s vulnerable forests – making a profound difference in the hands of those who need it most.

Project Impacts • 400,000+ water filters distributed to more than 1 million people • 90,000 tonnes of CO2 saved per year • A total saving of $32,000 on fuel purchase and collection • 230 hectares of forest saved per year – equivalent to 320 football pitches • Savings of over $16 million in health co-benefits from reduced diarrhea and respiratory illness related to smoke inhalation

What’s the project worth?

• Based on cost and according to Fairtrade, the MINIMUM price should be 8.20€ • Based on value delivered, a credit from a Gold Standard Water Filter project provides $118 in additional benefits beyond carbon

The Paradigm Project: Providing clean cooking and safe water in Kenya The Paradigm Kenya project is one of the first in the world to combine efficient cookstoves with water treatment interventions, providing hundreds of thousands of people with access to cleaner cooking and safe water. The project model offers consumers a wide range of stove, water, and solar products alongside the financing required to make them affordable.

Project Impacts since 2010 • 770,897 tonnes of CO2e avoided • 550,000 people impacted • 3.9 million trees saved • 65 million hours of productive time saved • $61 million in household income saved

What’s the project worth? • Based on cost and according to Fairtrade the MINIMUM price should be 8.20€ • Based on value delivered, a credit from a Gold Standard Cookstove project provides $151 in additional benefits beyond carbon

When you invest in this Cambodian project, you are helping: • More than 1 million people to access safe water • Households to save $73 a year on fuel purchase and collection • To protect over 230 hectares of forest • To significantly reduce the number of people suffering from diarrhea and respiratory illness

On average, for every tonne of CO2 purchased from this Kenya programme: • You impact approximately 2 people • You save 2 trees • You save women 79 hours of time otherwise spent collecting wood • You save families $43 in household income otherwise spent on cooking fuel


This section of the report provides our up-to-date supply data. As this is our first report, we’ve included information on our issuances and retirements for 2015 as well as the latest supply and demand data from Q1 2016. The report also provides our project issuance projections for the next three months.

Gold Standard Overall We have 1300+ projects in our pipeline with a potential to save more than 9 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. Figure 1 provides an insight into the total supply and demand for Gold Standard. In total over half of our issued credits have been retired.

25 million GS VERs retired in total Fig. 1

47 million GS VERs issued in total

To date Gold Standard projects have saved 54 million tonnes of carbon from being released into the atmosphere – the equivalent of Switzerland’s annual GHG emissions.

2015 Gold Standard issuances + retirements

2015 GOLD STANDARD Issuances + Retirements

Figure 2 shows the supply and demand for Gold Standard VERs throughout 2015. Although there is no direct correlation between issuances and retirements from the same year – i.e. retirements could have come from projects issued in previous years – this graph provides an indication of the market for Gold Standard projects.

7.8 million GS VERs retired in 2015 Fig. 2

Table 1 shows how many emission reductions were issued by quarter and by product type (e.g. CER, VER or Validated A/R VER) for 2015. In total, 744 projects issued over 13 million carbon credits or validated A/R certificates. The majority of these credits (74%) were VERs. The table also shows the VER retirements for 2015. Retirements ranged from corporations such as Microsoft, Danone, Jaguar Land Rover, KLM and M&S to Green World Rising Films starring Leonardo di Caprio. Table 1 Issued CERs Issued VERs Validated A/R VERs Total Issuances

Q1 664,636 794,846 904,927 2,364,409

Q2 1,226,223 3,824,861 103,184 5,154,268

Q3 96,871 1,906,170 240,037 2,243,078

Q4 35,807 3,399,773 142,216 3,577,796

Grand Total 2,023,537 9,925,650 1,390,364 13,339,551

Total VER Retirements






2015 issuance + retirement volumes by project type Figure 3 shows the issuances and retirement volumes by project type. The chart is colour coordinated to better visually represent the data. In 2015, more emission reductions from cookstove, water filter and energy efficiency projects were retired than issued. Fig. 3

9.9 million GS VERs issued in 2015

2015 retirement volumes by location Table 2 provides insight into which regions are retiring credits from which countries. For example, organisations based in Europe like to retire credits from projects in Africa or Asia. Table 2 From ê retired in è Africa 2 Table America Asia Europe Oceania Grand Total

Africa 26,572


America 139,392 55,866 71,521





Europe 2,854,442 282,213 3,805,776 445 14,985 6,957,861

Oceania 26,615 15,557 441,337 1,354 484,863

Grand Total 3,047,021 353,636 4,375,174 445 16,339 7,792,615

2015 issuance volumes by location In 2015 we issued carbon credits from projects based in 40 different countries around the world. The graph below provides an overview of where these issuances took place.

Fig. 3

> 5 million

West Asia 5,057,303 Georgia Turkey

760,763 4,296,540

South Asia 486,333 Bangladesh India Nepal Sri Lanka

East Asia 2,585,195

Central America 681,852 Costa Rica Guatemala Honduras Nicaragua Panama

94,566 206,161 200,046 121,222 59,857

North America 91,119 Canada USA

19,350 71,769

South America 354,517 Bolivia Brazil Colombia

< 100 thousand

2,381 112,099 240,037

31,954 445,334 1,967 7,078

China Mongolia Taiwan

East Africa 1,682,000 Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Malawi Mozambique Rwanda Tanzania Uganda

29,509 945,522 181,996 150,821 9,834 52,144 80,026 232,148

North Africa 21,258 Sudan


South Africa 117,521 Lesotho South Africa

21,840 95,681

Central Africa 9,891 Cameroon


West Africa 27,521 Ghana Nigeria

9,359 18,162

1,676,810 44,531 863,854

South East Asia 1,963,906 Cambodia Indonesia Thailand Viet Nam

Aus & NZ 112,707 Australia


Melanesia 148,428 New Caledonia 47,876 Pap. New Guinea 100,552

223,775 59,344 792,573 888,214

Q1 2016 GOLD STANDARD Issuances + Retirements

1.9 million GS VERs retired in Q1 2016 Fig. 5*

1.9 million GS VERs issued in Q1 2016

Table 3 shows how many emission reductions were issued this quarter compared to Q4 2015. In total, 168 projects issued over 2.5 million carbon credits or validated A/R certificates in Q1 2016. The table also shows that nearly 1.9 million VERs were issued in Q1 and the same amount retired (see figure 5). Table 3

*This graphic is for guidance only. There is not a direct correlation between retirements and issuances, as retirements made in 2015 could have been against projects issued in previous years.

Issued CERs Issued VERs Validated A/R VERs Total Issuances

Q4 2015 35,807 3,399,773 142,216 3,577,796

Q1 2016 609,042 1,877,384 45,230 2,531,656

Total VER Retirements



%. Diff. 1700.90% 55.22% 31.80% 70.76% 93.77%

Q1 2016 issuance + retirement volumes by project type Figure 6 tracks the issuances and retirement volumes by project type for Q1 2016. Biomass, geothermal, energy efficient agriculture activities and water filter projects all retired more credits than were issued in this quarter. Fig. 6

Q1 2016 retirement volumes by location Table 4 provides some insight into which regions retired credits from which countries in Q1 2016. Projects based in Africa or Asia received the most retirements. Table 4 From ê retired in è Africa America Asia Europe Oceania Grand Total

Africa 52,720

Asia 5,347


America 90,172 9,803 53,072






Europe 495,033 62,575 960,582



Oceania 2,633 117,072

Grand Total 645,905 72,378 1,153,864

To date Gold Standard 7,379 7,379 projects saved 54 mil1,525,569 119,705 have 1,879,526 lion tonnes of carbon from being released into the atmosphere – the equivalent of [FIND FACT] 1,525,569



Q1 2016 issuance volumes by location In Q1 2016 we issued carbon credits from projects based in 16 different countries around the world. The graph below provides an overview of where these issuances took place.

Fig. 7

> 500 thousand

West Asia 445,436 Turkey


South Asia 767,353 Bangladesh India Nepal

Central America 233,156

East Asia 260,816

Aruba 344,453

South East Asia 179,669



Bolivia Peru

China Taiwan



South America 14,902 11,996 5,906

Laos Viet Nam

East Africa 118,293 Kenya Rwanda Uganda

17,265 66,135 34,893

South Africa 3,466 South Africa


West Africa 1,093 Togo

< 20 thousand

39,910 653,423 74,020


Aus & NZ 112,707 Australia


260,756 60

43,740 135,929

Gold Standard Projections for Q2 2016 Approximately 40 projects are expected to issue just under 3 million emission reductions over the next three months, of which 40% are cookstoves, 18% waste management and 16% wind. Figure 8 provides a breakdown of these activities by project type and location. Fig. 8

Projected Projects for Q2 2016 Table 5 Project Type ê Region è Biogas Biomass Solar Wind Cookstove EE - Domestic Water Purification Waste Management Grand Total

Africa 81,238


Asia 216,243



192,035 124,785 1,042,956

169,261 306,751 189,149


6,929 50,818 1,181,941


544,937 1,426,341



Grand Total 297,481 192,035 169,261 495,536 1,232,105 6,929 50,818 544,937 2,989,102

We hope you find this data of value, we would like to evolve and improve this report over time and welcome your comments or suggestions. Please send any feedback to Claire Willers at [email protected]