Gold Standard for the Global Goals will enable businesses that support life-changing climate and development projects to measure and report verified impacts toward climate security and the Sustainable Development Goals
Geneva, Switzerland, 10 July 2017. Gold Standardtoday launches Gold Standard for the Global Goals, a new standard to quantify, certify and maximise the contributions of climate and development initiatives toward climate change mitigation and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The standard is set to help those who fund life-changing climate and development projects around the world – including corporates, impact investors and government bodies – measure the full range of benefits they have contributed to and report credible, verified impacts to their customers and other stakeholders. Supported by WWF and other international NGOs, it is also anticipated that the best practice standard will protect businesses against accusations of ‘green-washing’ as well as open up new avenues of funding for large-scale programmes, like green infrastructure and sustainable supply chain interventions around the world.
Marion Verles, Chief Executive Officer of Gold Standard, said: “More and more, we see major corporations making commitments to climate and other SDG targets, yet many are struggling to accurately measure and report their contributions and then translate this into language their stakeholders understand. Our new standard captures what people really care about. Beyond lowering greenhouse gases, we’re reporting impacts such as the creation of new jobs, access to clean energy and water, better health, and the protection of natural habitats. This opens the door to new opportunities to communicate credible impacts and allows businesses to receive the recognition they deserve.”
Established by WWF in 2003, Gold Standard sets the best practice benchmark for climate projects, ensuring the highest levels of environmental integrity and sustainable development in carbon markets. To accelerate progress toward the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, Gold Standard will now certify a range of independently-verified SDG Impacts in addition to its flagship carbon credits.
Edward Hanrahan, CEO of ClimateCare, a partner in the delivery of the new standard, said:
“ClimateCare is delighted to continue its partnership with Gold Standard to support their pioneering work in standards and methodology innovation; now moving from climate finance instruments to a broader set of development outcomes that deliver against the Global Goals.
“ ClimateCare’s approach to delivery of multiple sustainability objectives in its development projects has been a hallmark of our approach for some time; now with the Gold Standard for Global Goals, ClimateCare clients will be able to obtain certification under the Gold Standard for these broader impacts. And since the standard can also be applied within companies’ own sustainable supply chain projects, we see this as a game-changer and look forward to continued close collaboration.”
All projects certified under Gold Standard for the Global Goals must contribute to at least three SDGs, including SDG 13 – Climate Action. Rigorous requirements and safeguards, local stakeholder engagement, and the use of independent, third-party auditors guarantee that funders are supporting real emissions reductions and verified SDG impacts, protecting businesses against accusations of ‘green-washing’. Informed by years of experience and the latest research, Gold Standard has also introduced new safeguards to ensure that gender equality is at the heart of every project.
Gold Standard is partnering with the UNFCCC Secretariat – the body responsible for delivering the Paris Agreement – to develop a range of methodologies, tools and guidance to assist companies and sub-national governments in setting voluntary sustainability targets and assessing the SDG impacts of their initiatives.
Thomas Vellacott, CEO of WWF Switzerland, said: "We're seeing an emerging risk of corporates simply re-branding their CSR efforts to match the SDGs. What WWF would like to see is clear, consistent and comparable performance from one business to another. Gold Standard for the Global Goals provides real metrics and credible methodologies to accurately measure and report on SDG contributions."
WWF, EcoAct and ClimateCare are strategic partners in the development and delivery of Gold Standard for the Global Goals.
Sarah Leugers, Director of Communications for Gold Standard
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About Gold Standard
Gold Standardis a standard and certification body that works to catalyse more ambitious action for climate security and sustainable development. It was established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs as a best practice standard to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) also delivered on the dual mandate to foster sustainable development. Now with more than 80 NGO supporters and 1400+ projects in over 80 countries, Gold Standard projects have created billions of dollars of shared value from climate and development action worldwide.
About Gold Standard for the Global Goals
To keep global warming well below 2oC and meet the Sustainable Development Goals, climate action cannot be one-dimensional. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gases must also help the world develop on a sustainable pathway—providing access to clean energy and water, good health and nutrition, secure livelihoods, and thriving ecosystems. This means that climate and development interventions must be holistic and high-impact, allowing every dollar invested to deliver as much as possible.
Gold Standard for the Global Goals is designed to accelerate progress toward climate security and sustainable development. This next-generation standard enables initiatives to quantify, certify and maximise their impacts, while enhanced safeguards, holistic project design, management of trade-offs and local stakeholder engagement ensure the highest levels of environmental and social integrity. Certification against the standard provides the confidence that these results are measured and verified, allowing us to track progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more: www.goldstandard.org
About the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement
Adopted in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end global poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change. The Paris Agreement, integrated with the SDGs, sets an ambitious but crucial target to keep global temperature rises this century below 2oC above pre-industrial levels.
The estimated market opportunity that comes from meeting the SDGs is $12 trillion, yet the SDGs will fail in the face of severe climate change, which could lead to turbulent weather systems, sea-level rises, severe droughts and community displacement.
Even if all governments manage to meet their Nationally Determined Contributions set under the Paris Agreement, global temperature rises this century are still on track to fall between 3oC and 4oC. The United Nations has therefore called on the private sector to play a major role in meeting the SDGs and keeping global temperature rises below 2oC.