SustainCERT’s CEO reflects on her mission to deliver credibility to climate action
SustainCERT founder and CEO Marion Verles joined “A Moment With” to reflect on her professional journey in climate action and share how her business delivers quality and credibility to climate action.
‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure’ is a phrase that has underpinned many elements of climate action in the last decade. That is where SustainCERT comes in. As a climate impact verifier, it provides third party assessment of climate impact projects. This brings credibility to these results, used in the context of sustainability reporting and contributing towards corporate emission reduction strategies.
Marion has been committed to addressing climate change since being at school and pursued an initial career in finance then climate action to help deliver the change needed. Through spending time on the ground in Cambodia in 2005, Marion realised both the benefits of carbon markets – to channel finance to projects – and how manual and costly the process was to issue carbon credits. Since then, as CEO of The Gold Standard and through being the entrepreneur to establish SustainCERT as a spin off in 2018, she has been focused on scaling both climate impact verification, and pioneering how technology can be applied to accelerate this.
“Technology is much better placed to quantify and control the quality of the data. Right now, we have people auditing spreadsheets behind computer screens. There is a better way to do the work.”
“We are the credibility layer in the climate ecosystem. We verify that projects on the ground have real, measurable, tangible climate impact.”
Carbon credits are intangible, so the importance of independent verification can’t be overstated. SustainCERT’s technology delivers real-time verification, which changes the economics for developers who can then see the benefits of trading their credits at the most optimal time.
Scope 3 emissions are a key area of focus for SustainCERT. They include all indirect emissions, and often represent up to 90% of a company’s total emissions.
“No one is carbon neutral today. We are not on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
Verles recognises that the business case to reduce these emissions is not in place for many organisations, but with these coming into focus with regulators it will be a critical area of focus in the future.
Scaling its solutions and working with the market to create a level playing field for digital verification are the immediate priorities for Verles and SustainCERT, an organisation and a leader with a major role to play in the future of climate action around the world.