Our reforestation project Nicaforest has long been one of the high-impact projects certified by the Gold Standard Foundation. As of now, we are thrilled to say that we have also received their Gold Standard for the Global Goals certification as we are contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)!
The Gold Standard
Gold Standard is considered the most rigorous climate standard by many NGOs, including WWF and the David Suzuki Foundation. The organization was established in 2003 to set standards for carbon offsetting and renewable energy projects and is widely recognized as a mark of quality for climate and development projects. Being Gold Standard certified means fulfilling demanding environmental and social criteria, and it is a title we proudly bear. In 2017 they broadened their scope and launched the “Gold Standard for the Global Goals certification”. This new certification holds projects to an even higher standard and requires that they quantify, certify and maximize their contributions to achieving the SDGs.
From the beginning, we have always worked towards achieving an impact beyond carbon. Our continued efforts to ensure a sustainable future, our transparency, and our promise of achieving tangible improvements in Nicaragua were crucial factors in obtaining our Global Goals certificate.
The Global Goals
As a Global Goals Certified operation, we are now required to meticulously report our impact, specifically our work on SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and SDG 13:Climate.
SDG 4. Quality Education
The Nicaforest Reforestation program arranges internships for college and university-level students (between ages 20-24) and working adults (NF employees aged 21-40) on an annual basis. These internships are aimed at enhancing their practical skills in forest management through a learn-by-doing approach, complemented with some theoretical instruction.
In order to report our progress we will be collecting data from each of the attendees regarding information such as age, gender, level of education, and degree of knowledge among other things. We will conduct surveys after year 1 and 2 following the internships or workshops or courses. These surveys will allow us to follow up on our established data set and thereby letting us quantify and measure our direct impact.
SDG 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
The pursuit of fair employment opportunities and robust economic progress for everyone is a crucial aspect of a sustainable value chain. With the Nicaforest project, we are committed to fostering long-lasting, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth across all aspects of our operations.
We are going to be measuring our success on SDG 8 by the number of jobs generated, permanent or temporary. We will be using 2011, the start of the Nicaforest reforestation project as a baseline, with zero jobs in the forestry sector. In order to ensure accurate reporting we will be disclosing information about:
1. The total number of employees by employment contract (Full-time or Part-time), by gender
2. The total number of employees by employment type in the forestry sector (full-time and part-time), by gender, in the municipality where NFP operates.
For this data, we will consult with the Institute of National Forestry (INAFOR) to monitor other registered forestry projects or investments in the corresponding municipalities
SDG 13. Climate Action
Ensuring the health and preservation of our forests is an essential component of promoting the well-being of the entire ecosystem. As part of the initial phase of the Nicaforest project, we have already planted 360,000 trees, leading to a rise in local biomass and a significant positive impact on the environment. To maximize our impact, we employ the Gold Standard methodologies which means we exclusively plant on land that has been deforested for at least 10 years.
Reporting on progress will be done in accordance with Gold Standard methodology and is supervised by SustainCERT. SustainCERT is a certification body that provides certification services for carbon credits and other types of environmental credits. They assess and verify the emissions reductions claimed by carbon credit projects, using internationally recognized standards and procedures.
A higher standard
The introduction of our Global Gold Certificate has set a higher standard for us to uphold, and as a result, we now have an even greater obligation to our partners, investors, and clients. We are committed to meeting and exceeding these expectations, and we welcome this added responsibility with open arms. We are prepared to rise to the occasion and do our part to ensure that our operations continue to promote sustainability and environmental preservation.
We hope that you will join us in this endeavor and help us make a positive impact. Help us make a tangible impact that is felt. Help us make an impact that goes far, far beyond carbon mitigation.