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How robust are SDG 3 & 7 claims in the VCM?

  • Cara Howse
    Research Associate
  • Torrey Sanseverino
    Beyond Carbon Manager
In the VCM, SDG 3 ‘Good Health and Well-Being’ and SDG 7 ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’ are the second and third most commonly claimed SDGs since 2015. These SDGs are widely claimed by household devices and energy sectors. Analysis of the United Nations indicators found that SDG 7 indicators are more robust metrics for measuring progress towards their goal than SDG 3 indicators. Nevertheless, the indicators which have strong connections and direct measurements are commonly claimed by VCM projects.

Overall, SDG 3 & 7 claims are adequate representations of impacts towards their objectives. Thus, VCM stakeholders should keep in mind several characteristics when purchasing credits with SDG 3 & 7 claims.

Here are some key takeaways from the report

  • The majority of SDG 7 indicators are more appropriate at a project scale than SDG 3 indicators. 

  • On average, low & lower middle income countries report more data for SDG 3 & 7 indicators, increasing the contextualisation of claims. 

  • About 43% of SDG 3 indicators and 50% of SDG 7 indicators are strong and effective representations of their goals with direct measurements.

  • Cookstove projects with SDG 3 claims and renewable energy projects with SDG 7 claims have a price premium of about 11% compared to other SDGs.


  • SDG 3 & 7 are commonly claimed in the VCM

  • SDG 7 indicators are stronger metrics for progress

  • Lower income countries are easier to contextualise SDG 3 & 7 claims

  • SDG 7 indicators are more appropriate at the carbon project scale

  • SDG 3 & 7 appear to have a price premium

  • Conclusion

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