SustainCERT: “Bringing Credibility To Climate Action”

Marion Verles, CEO of SustainCERT (Photo © SustainCERT)

A spinoff from the Gold Standard Foundation, SustainCERT is bringing transparency and trust to the world of carbon accounting, ensuring the efficacy of climate actions for corporates and consumers alike.

Since the Paris Climate Change conference in 2015, the number of corporates pledging to reduce their emissions has skyrocketed. While this is a good move from a corporate branding perspective, pledges are essentially useless if they are not backed up by legitimate action and data.

SustainCERT CEO Marion Verles knows this which is why she has created a software platform that ensures the legitimacy of carbon credits and consequently “brings credibility to climate action”.

One carbon credit represents a tonne of CO2 which wasn’t released in the atmosphere or that was sequestered. Corporates and consumers can buy these credits to reduce their emissions. By first ensuring that projects which sell carbon credits – such as renewable energy projects, reforestation projects or cookstove programmes – are verifiably reducing emissions, SustainCERT guarantees that all carbon credits which are bought by corporates are actually making a positive contribution to climate action.

“If you buy a carbon offset, it’s completely intangible and invisible. So we’re creating transparency and visibility about what constitutes a high-quality carbon offset. In doing so we create trust that the carbon offset you’re buying is real and delivers a real impact,” explains Marion.

“Strong certification standards are the solution to prevent greenwashing.”

Marion Verles, CEO of SustainCERT

Digital First

Currently, most carbon verifiers are using manual or analogue processes which are inefficient and prone to errors. SustainCERT’s digital platform has managed to nearly fully automate this process, thereby minimising mistakes and increasing the speed at which it verifies carbon credits.

Furthermore, by using data science, SustainCERT can assess whether the carbon offset projects are trustworthy. To date, SustainCERT has certified more than 1,200 projects, issued over 100 million tons of CO2 and generated €14 billion in shared value for climate action and sustainable development.

Who guards the guardian and ensures that SustainCERT doesn’t cut any corners? Already accredited by Gold Standard, SustainCERT is also in the process of being accredited by the American National Standards Institute, the leading accrediting body in the sector.

A Solution To Greenwashing

“Strong certification standards are the solution to prevent greenwashing. That’s why we’re positioning ourselves as bringing credibility to climate action and as a solution to prevent greenwashing,” says Marion.

While SustainCERT has already proven itself to be a trustworthy leader in the industry, Marion is quick to point out that its solution is no panacea for climate change.

“The question is not whether carbon credits are enough because they’re clearly not enough. But the question is to deliver the quality that they promise. And then we also need corporates to use them properly, making sure they’re not using carbon credits instead of reducing their emissions,” explains Marion.

With clients all around the world and partnerships with multinationals like Mars and Danone SustainCERT is rapidly becoming the dominant leader in the industry. Given their impressive growth, this might be the perfect opportunity for Luxembourg VCs to get into the climate action scene.

This article was first published in the Silicon Luxembourg magazine. Read the full digital version of the magazine on our website, here. You can also choose to receive a hard copy at the office or at home. Subscribe now.

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