16 March 2023

Lost in translation: SDG claims are more than meets the eye

Torrey Sanseverino

Research Associate

Cara Howse

Research Analyst

Dr Nick Atkinson

Chief Science Officer

8 min

SDG claims are increasing in popularity in the VCM; in 2022 over half of all projects that issued credits make SDG claims. However, we believe the impacts behind the claims are not well communicated to buyers through the current system. 

Our conversations with project developers suggests more MRV is carried out for SDGs than is required by the accreditation. This additional information is not made available on accreditor platforms and thus is rarely available to buyers. We conclude that transparency behind SDG claims is key for building credibility around co-benefit claims. The rating of SDG claims could bring that to fruition.

Key Takeaways:

1. Almost two thirds of project developers we spoke to go beyond accreditor MRV requirements for SDG claims. This additional data is rarely accessible to end buyers.

2. Making this data available is integral for building credibility around SDG claims, in our view.

3. Transparency behind SDG claims may also be supported through the rating of SDG claims, as it is with carbon credits.

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SDG claims in the VCM: 2022 insights report
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