This week, the Ecosystem Service Market Consortium (ESMC) announced that its Eco-Harvest Market Program has reached pilot certification under SustainCERT’s Value Change Initiative. The program has reached both project design certification and verification, meaning that in addition to design certification, a subset of producers were verified to show that reported soil carbon removals and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions are materially correct.
This combination of approvals makes Eco-Harvest the first Value Chain Intervention to reach this milestone of combined validation and verification in the US, allowing corporations to use the program’s removals and reductions to meet Scope 3 supply chain commitments in agriculture.
Regrow’s Denitrification- Decomposition (DNDC) model is a scientific biogeochemical model that helps us understand nutrient cycling in the soil, including greenhouse gas emissions and how much carbon is stored in agricultural soil as a result of soil management practices.
The Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS) uses satellite-based data to measure the adoption of sustainable farming practices, like the use of cover crops and specific tillage systems, which impact environmental sustainability.
Both of these tools allow ESMC to use scientifically rigorous quantification tools in its program. As ESMC mentioned in a recent email to its stakeholders and customers, “Our program correctly meets the Value Change Initiative Guidance, which will allow us to add new regions and crop types to our Eco-Harvest market program.” DNDC and OpTIS are both deployed on a global scale.
The Future of Projects Under Value Change Initiative
This approval is a strong sign of support for market programs sanctioned by SustainCERT’s Value Change Initiative. As Regrow’s Director of Environmental Strategy and Climate Policy Jeff Seale, PhD, describes, “This announcement is significant because we now have a demonstration that the SustainCERT pathway is viable for scaling carbon removals and GHG emissions reductions in the ag and food value chain.” Speaking more specifically of Regrow’s involvement, Jeff describes, “Our science and technology is able to support a successful SustainCERT certification through the Value Change Initiative.”
ESMC’s Eco-Harvest market program is a milestone for the Consortium, for its stakeholders and for the industry as a whole.
By developing rigorous, accurate, market-ready programs, these organizations are supporting the future of carbon markets in agriculture and establishing a clear path to success for agriculture-based ecosystem markets.
We are proud to see the success of ESMC’s Eco-Harvest, and we look forward to the opportunities this will bring for climate-smart farming.
To see our other approvals and partnerships, visit our partners page.