Innovation and impact
For over a decade, Gold Standard projects have been delivering innovative solutions that not only help protect the climate but also enable local communities to develop sustainably.
We wanted to celebrate this ‘innovation and impact’ at our Grow to Zero Conference and hosted a competition, where an independent panel of judges evaluated project submissions based on their impact, innovation and visualization. All the projects submitted were remarkable, however, this page highlights the top three as judged by:
- Christian Som, Senior Manager, Retail Sector, WWF Switzerland
- Liza Murphy, Oversight and Insurance Panel in our Technical Advisory Committee
- Kelley Hamrick, Senior Associate, Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace
The Sichuan Rural Poor-Household Biogas Development Programme
Project Developer: UPM
This household biogas project in China’s Sichuan Province provides up to 1 million biogas digesters and smoke-free efficient cookstoves. Positively impacting 400,000 households or 1.2 million people, including:
SDG 1: 40% increase of disposable household income
SDG 2: Improved food security and nutrition with 182,000 ha under sustainable agricultural practices
SDG 3: Improved health, especially for women and children
SDG 4: 2,000 additional people qualified as biogas experts
SDG 5: 1,055 females employed thanks to this project and 1.5 hours per day less cooking time for women
SDG 7: Access to clean, reliable and affordable biogas
SDG 8: 10,550 jobs created by the project
SDG 13: Nearly 3.857 million tCO2e reduced
SDG 15: Annual decrease of firewood by approx. 686,000 tons
Mixed Reforestation Project in northern Costa Rica
Project Developer: BaumInvest
Location: Costa Rica
To help combat high net deforestation rates in Costa Rica, a group of investors decided to concentrate investments in reforestation. 10 years later, BaumInvest has grown into 2.000 investors and reforesting around 1.500 ha. (1.2 million trees of 20 different species & more than 30 different combinations).
One of the most innovative features of this project is the financing model which enables private small scale investors to participate in long term ecologically sound forestry + active climate change mitigation. The other is its pioneering reforestation model, improving sustainable forest management with different rotation periods and selective harvesting.
SDG 8: 94 jobs have been created, including training, building capacity and in some cases, providing houses on the farm sites.
SDG 13: The trees form sustainable CO2 sinks. Currently the project has stored 130.000 VERs (or tonnes of CO2). And at the same time, they’re facilitating nutrient recycling, improving soil quality and thus the store of greenhouse gases.
SDG 15: Approximately 284 ha or 25% of the total project area are managed as nature reserves, preserving biological corridors for many endangered wildlife species. Also, the high proportion of native tree species has created new habitats for threatened species such as the Baird’s Tapir, Jaguar and the Great Green Macaw. Biodiversity monitoring of amphibians and reptiles is an integral part of the project, since it acts as an indicator for habitat quality and land use compatibility. Since 2009, the amount of species grew from 20 to 89 species.
Electricity generation from mustard crop residues
Project Developer: Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited
This project creates electricity from mustard crop residues, providing additional income for local farmers and diversify the energy mix for India.
SDG 1: 7000 farmers and 35,000 logistics workers benefit from additional income, created by this project. Since the beginning of the project, a €45 million business has been generated for the farmers selling biomass to Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited.
SDG 3: Workers of the company and their direct family members benefit from a company health insurance policy.
SDG 4: Workers of the project receive a reimbursement of the school fees for their children's education. Books and uniforms are donated to schools.
SDG 5: Educational programs for woman are financed. Female workers of the company are protected by a dedicated company policy.
SDG 6: Water purifiers are distributed to schools and hospitals.
SDG 7: The project supplies renewable energy to the grid and is a key component of reliable and sustainable energy supply for the future.
SDG 8: The project helps 7000 farmers and has created about 35,000 jobs in relation to logistics of the biomass.
SDG 13: To date, the project reduced more than 600.000t of CO2.
To see more of our innovative and impactful projects, visit our Project Marketplace>>