Bio-based construction materials

Carbon credit eligibility criteria

1. Measurability

Definition: The avoided/reduced emissions are quantitively and rigorously measured.

Information needed:

  • Expected lifetime of products
  • FDES (Fiches de Déclaration Environnementale et Sanitaire) qualification
  • EPD (Environmental Product declaration) research with avoided/removed emissions

2. Real

Definition: The emission removal/avoidance has actually occurred, according to the monitoring plan.

General KIIs used in LCAs to show real removal and avoidance occurred are:

  • CO2 eq  avoided per functional unit of material (kg, m2, m3… should be in FDES)
  • Amount of biogenic feedstock incorporated per construction material
  • Numbers of construction materials produced per year (m2, ton/year)
  • Percentage of feedstock with PEFC/other certification of sustainable management

These will be used for year-on-year verification.

3. Additionality

Definition: The project activity would not have occurred without the sale of carbon credits.

Information needed:

Regulatory additionality:

None of the project's activities are made mandatory by law.

The following regulations get insight into the project's activities:

  • French Environmental Law: sets a minimum threshold of 50% of biobased materials for public buildings.
  • The French Energy Transition Law
  • REACH regulation
  • French Bioeconomy strategy

Financial additionality:

  1. Proof that the money for the carbon credit sale will be used to extend an existing factory, buy a new product necessary for the company to scale, open a new factory branch…
  • Are there any material improvements (in machinery, infrastructure…) you want to make on the site that could be funded from carbon credit sales?
  • Are there any improvements in efficiency or environmental performance that you could implement with this funding?
  1. Carbon credits can help structure stay afloat
  • How have changes in the cost of your inputs (electricity..ect…) increased over time?
  • Compared to the expected costs, defined in the budget and planning for the project?
  • How has the price that you sell your products for changed?
  • Has it kept up with the increased cost of operation?

Prevalence additionality:

  • Prove that the solution is currently far from being market practice.
  • Show how additional fundings could help the product be more competitive - inputs are too expensive, prices too high…- in order to scale and be adopted more widely.

Technological additionality:
Carbon credit money can be invested in new previously - unreachable technology for the project to scale

4. Permanence

Definition: Carbon will be removed/avoided for at least 50 years, and the project outcomes will not be reversed.

Information needed:

Determine the following commitment period:

  • If the lifetime of the biobased construction materials is less 50 years, this results in avoidance credits
  • If the lifetime of the biobased construction materials is between 50 and 100 years, the project qualifies for short-term removal credits and will emit removal credits
  • If the lifetime is expected to be 100 years or more, then the project qualifies for long-term removal and will emit removal credits

5. Unicity

Definition: Carbon credits are only counted once and are not double-issued or sold.

Information needed:

  • Signed contract committing not to use another certification body or label to issue carbon credits for the given project.
  • The project developer signed the Riverse Project Developer Contract for exclusivity on carbon credit issuance for the project.

6. Co-benefits

Definition: Projects must provide additional positive impact towards environmental and social sustainability

Information needed: At least 2 UN Sustainable Development Goals have to be justified with LCA results or KIIs.

  1. Goal 7: “Clean and affordable energy
  • 7.3. improve energy efficiency
  • KII: Primary energy consumption of the building for heating, cooling, production of hot water in kWhep/m2.year
  1. Goal 8: “Decent work and economic growth”
  • 8.4 resource efficiency in consumption and production
  • KII: material footprint
  1. Goal 9: “Industry, innovation and infrastructure”
  • 9.1: Develop sustainable, resilient and inclusive infrastructures
  • 9.3 integrate small-scale industrial enterprises into value chains and markets
  • KII: time saved for the construction of the building in comparison to a concrete building
  1. Goal 11: “Sustainable cities and communities”
  • 11.1 support economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas
  • 11.3 Inclusive and sustainable urbanisation
  • 11.6 Reduce the environmental impact of cities
  • KII: tons of waste avoided per year
  1. Goal 12: “Responsable consumption and production”
  • 12.2 Sustainable management and use of natural resources
  • 12.5 reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse
  • KII: amount of concrete saved per m2 of living space
  1. Goal 15 “life on land”
  • 15.2. End deforestation and restore degraded forests
  • KII: list of providers of biobased materials with PEFC/other certification ratios of sustainable forestry used per materials. Does the project promotes sustainable forestry? or promote reforestation projects?

7. Substitution

Definition: The products/services generated as project outputs must appropriately, realistically, and efficiently be substituted to those of the baseline scenario, rather than create new demand.

Information needed:

The project has:

  • Results of product testing (humidity, noise…) to show efficiency compared to other alternatives
  • FDES verification and present on the Inies base project inputs? Certifications like CEN/TS 16721, EN 16640?

8. Environmental and social do not harm

Definition: Projects must not contribute to environmental or social damage.

Information needed:

  • Does the project comply with regulations like REACH regulation, The French Decree n° 2011-321 or others? - provide SDS IF Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) are used?
  • Are there any co-products that need special waste management?

9. Leakage

Definition: The project’s avoided GHG emissions must not be indirectly transferred elsewhere.

Information needed:

Need to verify information about the origin of the products and where they are distributedJustification with certification schemes, such as FSC or PEFC sustainable wood production

10. Rebound effect

Definition: Efficiency-improvement projects must not lead to increases in overall consumption.

Information needed:

  • Is this proposal less material-intensive use than others within the biobased construction sector?
  • Does the project ensures that the feedstock is certified with Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Sustainable Forest Management Standard or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management Certification?

11. Technology readiness level

Definition: Technology Readiness Level must be 6 or higher.

Information needed:

Provide proof of technological progress and/or production capacities either in an operational environment or lab.

12. Targets alignement

Definition: Project’s emission reductions must be aligned with the emission reduction targets for their sector.

Information needed: Comparative LCA proving that the project reduces emissions from the baseline scenario by at least 45%

13. Minimum impact

Definition: Projects must qualify for a minimum amount of carbon credits.

Information needed: 1000 tCO2e over 5 years, meaning approximately 1000 computers per year.

14. Independently validated

Definition: A Riverse-accredited third party must validate the project’s proposal.

Information needed: Riverse will submit the detailed project description for an audit by a third-party Verification and validation Body.