ESMC is the First US Market Program to Achieve Multiple Milestones

The Ecosystem Service Market Consortium’s (ESMC) recently launched Eco-Harvest market program is the first to reach pilot certification under the Value Change Initiative in the US. ESMC’s program achieved project design certification, which means it aligns with the Value Change Initiative Guidance1. A subset of enrolled Eco-Harvest producers were also verified to show the reported soil carbon removals and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions are materially correct, making ESMC’s program the first Value Chain Intervention to reach this milestone of combined validation and verification in the US.

“ESMC is excited to achieve these significant milestones with our members and partners,” said ESMC’s Executive Director Debbie Reed. “It confirms to buyers and sellers and all stakeholders that our science-based, standards-based market program can meet the rigor and requirements of independent third-party validation and verification. These achievements are another success for ESMC and our non-profit collective engagement supply chain program. We are proud of our team and our members for their participation and contributions that led to this latest program achievement.”

Brought forward for pilot certification under the Value Change Initiative, ESMC’s Regenerative Cropland Program is designed to enhance soil organic carbon removals and reduce GHG emissions for corn, soy, wheat, and alfalfa producers in four ESMC regions: the Midwest Corn/Soy Belt, Northern Great Plains, Southern Great Plains, and Great Lakes regions. This certification applies to ESMC’s recently launched Eco-Harvest market program. The objective of pilot certification is to first validate that the project design, protocol, and quantification approach for calculating GHG emission reductions and carbon removals are aligned to the Value Change Initiative Guidance. The reported GHG impacts from validated interventions can then undergo third-party verification, providing assurance that the project was implemented as designed and that it achieved what it intended to accomplish.

Through the process of pilot certification, ESMC has aligned its program to the Value Change Initiative Guidance. This milestone will allow ESMC to continue to grow its Eco-Harvest market program and equips the program to undergo annual verification moving forward. Annual verification is important because ESMC’s Eco-Harvest program is designed to align with annual Scope 3 GHG inventory accounting cycles and corporate reporting.

Pending the finalization of the GHG Protocol’s Land Sector and Removal Guidance and subsequent alignment of the Value Change Initiative Guidance, verification of ESMC’s program will provide assurance that the verified GHG impacts are materially correct and can be used to show progress towards a reporting company’s science-based climate mitigation targets.

1 Value Chain (Scope 3) Interventions – Greenhouse Gas Accounting & Reporting Guidance (dated Sept. 2018)