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Eye for detail: buyers want to know the evidence behind SDG claims

  • Louisa Ruck
    Ratings Ops Analyst
  • Phoebe Bracken
    Ratings Ops Analyst
  • Torrey Sanseverino
    Beyond Carbon Manager
  • Dr Nick Atkinson
    Biodiversity Strategist
According to the literature, project co-benefits influence buyers’ credit purchases. However, there is little existing research on buyer preferences regarding SDG claims. This report details the results of interviews with buyers about how they interpret and utilise project SDG claims. We find that buyers prefer projects with a depth of information behind SDG claims, rather than a breadth of SDGs without detailed underlying information. However, buyers noted several challenges regarding accessing such information about voluntary carbon projects.

More transparency is needed to connect buyers to the detailed information they are looking for. Assessing SDG claims can be challenging due to the complexity and dynamic nature of co-benefits. Nevertheless, analytical tools for co-benefits could encourage integrity in the market.

Here are some key takeaways from the report

  • Buyers consistently expressed interest in co-benefits in the carbon credits they purchase, and take time to compare and research co-benefit claims. 

  • How claims are presented and the depth of information regarding the monitoring of their impacts was influential in buyers' decision-making processes.

  • Buyers identified several challenges when trying to assess co-benefit claims’ integrity, such as a lack of reporting standards, data quantity and co-benefit fungibility.

Contents

  • 01 Introduction 

  • 02 Buyers consider co-benefits in relation to their industry 

  • 03 Buyers are willing to pay more for credits with robust SDG claims

  • 04 Buyers tend to do in-depth research on co-benefits 

  • 05 Buyers face information accessibility challenges 

  • 06 Transparency of SDG claims is essential for buyers

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