Risk-based, transparent, universal carbon credit ratings

The BeZero Carbon Rating provides users with a risk based assessment for understanding and interrogating carbon credit performance of any type, in any sector and country. Non-public information is not considered. Our methodology and approach are available here.

Definition and scale
The BeZero Carbon Rating (BCR) of voluntary carbon credits represents BeZero Carbon’s current opinion on the likelihood that a given credit achieves a tonne of CO2e avoided or removed.

The BeZero Carbon Rating uses a seven point scale across three categories.

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A

The credit issued by the project has a low likelihood of achieving 1 tonne of CO2e avoidance or removal.

AA

The credit issued by the project has a moderate likelihood of achieving 1 tonne of CO2e avoidance or removal.

AAA

The credit issued by the project has a high likelihood of achieving 1 tonne of CO2e avoidance or removal.

BeZero Carbon may apply '+' (plus) or '-' (minus) signs for 'AAA' and 'AA' ratings to reflect comparative standing within the category.
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See the headline letter ratings for over 270 projects around the world.

Qualifying criteria

Projects must fulfil the following criteria to be eligible for a BeZero Carbon Rating.

  • The project must have applied an additionality test or provide sufficient information on how it is deemed additional.

  • The project must be audited by a recognised third party auditor in order to ensure the robustness of the data and information published.

  • Sufficient information on the design and ongoing monitoring of the project must be available in the public domain at all times. Non-public information will not be considered.

Analytical framework

The BCR follows a robust analytical framework involving detailed assessment of six critical risk factors affecting the quality of credits issued by the project.

Additionality

The risk that a credit purchased and retired does not lead to a tonne of CO2e being avoided or sequestered that would not have otherwise happened.

Over-crediting

The risk that more credits than tonnes of CO2e achieved are issued by a given project due to factors such as unrealistic baseline assumptions.

Non-permanence

The risk that the carbon avoided or removed by the project will not remain so for the time committed and any associated information risk.

Leakage

The risk that emissions avoided or removed by a project are pushed outside the project boundary.

Perverse incentives

The risk that benefits from a project, such as offset revenues, incentivise behaviour that reduces the effectiveness.

Policy

The risk that the policy environment undermines the project’s carbon effectiveness.
Rating process

Creating ratings is a four step process

  • Stage 1: macro factor assessment

  • Stage 2: project specific assessment

  • Stage 3: risk factor weighting

  • Stage 4: BCR committee review

Monitoring, watch, withdrawal processes

All BeZero Carbon Ratings (BCR) are valid at all times and are monitored on an ongoing basis.

  • The monitoring process involves reviewing all new information pertaining to the project, sector and methodology.

  • Such information includes, new research including alerts from satellite monitoring, new project documents including new monitoring reports, new/changes in regulations, changes in methodology and other information deemed relevant to the project or the rating.

  • Ongoing monitoring can lead to a rating being reaffirmed, placed on watch, upgraded, downgraded or withdrawn.

Geospatial and Earth Observation

Monitoring nature based projects from space.

  • Geospatial and earth observation data inform ratings, and are used to monitor ongoing activity around projects to ensure dynamic and up to date assessments.

  • Satellite monitoring provides an independent view of how things have changed before, during and after project activities.

  • Geostatistical models control for environmental variation, governance and human pressures, to distinguish project impacts from baseline expectations.

  • Natural hazards such as wildfire and drought are modelled to inform our view of non-permanence risk.

Sector classification

The BeZero Carbon Sector Classification system is a hierarchical sector classification system for the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM).

It comprises of three tiers; sector group, sector and sub-sector. There are 6 sector groups, 14 sectors, and 42 sub-sectors. To learn more, see our full Sector Hierarchy Classification.
FAQs

Total transparency

To scale effectively, participants across the Voluntary Carbon Market need more information transparency, which is why we publish our ratings process in full. Here we cover any outstanding questions.
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