Bayer and Partners Break New Ground on Certifying Value Chain Greenhouse Gas Impacts with SustainCERT

18 September 2020

SustainCERT announces that the Bayer/Soil Health Partnership Conservation Innovation program, initiated by Bayer, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and other partners to reduce value chain or “Scope 3” GHG emissions has achieved design certification as part of the Value Change Program pilot phase. It is the second intervention, globally, to achieve this step under the Value Chain Intervention Guidance and Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG). This achievement verifies that the project has followed best practice principles and is a key milestone toward unlocking credible value chain emissions reductions and removals aligned with corporate reporting, Science-based Targets and Net-Zero goals.

Begun in 2018 the Value Change program, co-led by SustainCERT and Gold Standard, provides guidance for companies to report on Value Chain emissions reductions in line with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and recognized by Science Based Targets. As an early part of the Value Change Program pilot phase, the design certification process for the Bayer/Soil Health Partnership Conservation Innovation program has resulted in critical learnings for “on-the-ground” application of the Value Change Interventions Guidance. SustainCERT and Gold Standard will use these learnings to adapt processes and recommend updates to rules and requirements for the Value Chain Intervention Guidance and certification process.

In 2016, with funding support from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS’s) Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Program, Bayer, NCGA and partners began work to develop a unique and comprehensive value chain intervention that places climate smart agricultural practices on the right acres, verify the success and impact of those practices, and ultimately create a replicable approach for corporate carbon emissions reduction in their supply chain. One of the most innovative components of the project focuses on delivering management practice systems that create both opportunities to reduce corporate value chain emissions and provide improved economic outcomes for farmers. When complete, it will be the first externally-validated intervention for the supply chain for row crops in agriculture. Bayer is committed to positively impacting climate change and in the past year has set goals to reduce field greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030 as well as be carbon neutral in its own operations.

As a Design Certified Intervention, SustainCERT certifies that the intervention design for monitoring, reporting and verification of Scope 3 claims follows Principles and Requirements of Gold Standard for the Global Goals and the Value Chain Intervention Guidance, such as stakeholder inclusion and monitoring of two additional sustainable development outcomes.

This recognition is a critical step to validate our science-based and transparent efforts towards a carbon-zero future for agriculture. We are confident that, together with farmers and selected partners, we’ll be able to set the standards of this emerging carbon market in agriculture and redefine the value of farming by rewarding farmers for generating carbon credits by adopting climate-smart practices.

Brett Begemann, Chief Operating Officer, Bayer, Crop Science division

The National Corn Growers Association recognizes how agriculture can contribute to sequestering carbon through proper conservation practices and soil management. This accomplishment through our Soil Health Partnership is a significant step to fully recognize and validate our potential on an international scale. We look forward to the opportunities this presents for our growers and the environment.

Nathan Fields, VP Production & Sustainability, National Corn Growers Association

We expect to see an acceleration of the momentum for value chain interventions by the corporate sector as a critical lever to deliver on net-zero commitments. Certification under the Value Chain Guidance ensures these claims are real and in line with international best-practice frameworks like the GHG Protocol and Gold Standard for the Global Goals

Marion Verles, CEO, SustainCERT

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