30 November 2022
Introducing our Carbon Accounting Template
Standardising and publishing a project’s carbon accounting is one of the most effective ways to help scale the Voluntary Carbon Market.
Current public reporting lacks consistency in format and structure across Standard Bodies and project types.
BeZero’s project carbon accounting template is a simple tool for all project developers to make disclosure faster, and easier to assess. It is now freely available on our website.
We are running a public consultation until 27th January 2023 to gather feedback.
Current state of play
Designing and implementing carbon projects is not an easy task. Project types are extremely heterogeneous and methodologies range from relatively simple to extremely complex.
Renewable energy projects typically have only two moving parts (energy generated and the grid intensity factor used to convert it to carbon savings). At the other extreme, avoided deforestation projects require hundreds of calculations to derive carbon credit issuance.
In the absence of any guidance on format, project developers report calculations to the Validation/ Verification bodies (VVBs) as required to gain accreditation. Public disclosure of a project’s workings are largely the result of this process, with the accessibility of this information to a broader audience often overlooked.
Reporting it as it is
Assessing or comparing a project’s carbon claims is critical for navigating how quality affects price in the VCM.
Today, a lack of top-down guidance on the reporting structure of a project’s carbon accounting has led to each project’s public documentation being reported in a unique way. Many project documents are also often derived from the bottom-up, i.e. they are structured around elements specific to that project.
Furthermore, we find ample examples where the calculations behind vintage level credit issuance cannot be recreated from the information available in the public documentation.
The upshot is that parties seeking to dig into the weeds spend significant time collecting and refining inconsistent documents into a format that is both intelligible and directly comparable.
We see the lack of a standardised and accessible reporting framework is one of the biggest barriers to scaling the voluntary carbon market.
Why we developed the Carbon Accounting Template
The BeZero Carbon Rating is an assessment of the likelihood that a credit achieves a tonne of carbon dioxide or equivalent GHG (CO₂e) avoided, reduced or removed. We analyse the risks a credit faces in achieving its carbon commitment using a range of information sources.
This always starts with a project’s own disclosures because these set the parameters around which we interrogate carbon efficacy. All other things being equal, a project’s carbon accounting should substantiate its core claim; that every credit represents a tonne of carbon dioxide or equivalent GHG (CO₂e) avoided, reduced or removed.
We also need to be able to understand the carbon accounting of different projects in a fungible way. To achieve this, we built a standardised model that can be applied to any project type, and any Standards Body.
This is a simple, but powerful tool. It consists of the four key components required to calculate issuance*:
Project net emissions
Risk buffer allocation