Climate Refarm uses publicly available, peer-reviewed life cycle assessments (LCAs) of food products to determine their environmental impact. Our methodology requires that emission factors be specific to the geographic region and farming practices where a food was produced. We also account for leakage by modeling the market effects of reduced demand for animal products.
We perform a comprehensive life cycle assessment of the farm's operations before and after the transition. This includes feed, fertilizer, energy use, methane enteric fermentation, manure, machinery, and many other factors. In addition, we apply an econometric model to account for changes in market price and subsequent increased production across other livestock farms.
Institutions can only receive carbon credits for food procurement if they demonstrate a key financial or technical barrier to shifting their practices, such as the need for staff training, outside culinary expertise, administrative costs, or higher prices for plant-based substitutes.
For farm transitions, we check whether the capital costs of switching to a new crop have prevented a farmer from doing so. In many cases, debt and sunk capital costs make it impossible to re-purpose their farm without investment.
All of our methodologies and credits will be verified through independent, third-party carbon registries. We're working through the methodology approval process with them now.
We give 75% of each credit sale to the institution or farmer, and use the remaining 25% to cover our R&D and operational costs.
For plant-based food procurement, we're working through the methodology approval process with carbon registries right now, and expect to launch pilot projects in Q4 2022. We published our initial research on farm transitions here, and will begin the approval process for that methodology soon.