Experts on our leadership team recently attended the GreenBiz23 conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, alongside over 1,800 industry leaders and climate experts. The conference was a sold-out event where industry trailblazers shared cutting-edge insights and inspiring examples to help accelerate change for a more sustainable future. Aspiration's CEO, Olivia Albrecht, and Rob Lee, the VP of Sustainable Carbon Programs, both took the stage to share valuable insights about carbon projects and their part in achieving a decarbonized world.
Olivia spoke on the current state of the voluntary carbon market alongside Zack Parisa of NCX and Marisa Dukovich of Morgan Stanley in the panel, "Buying Carbon Offsets Now and Planning for Later." She highlighted the growing demand for carbon credits driven by net-zero ambitions and scientific targets for emissions reductions. Olivia emphasized that not all carbon credits are created equal and spoke to the need for independent rating agencies to create rating systems for carbon credits.
Speaking about Aspiration’s focus on investing heavily in nature removal projects and rewriting the standards for what is considered high-quality, she said: “It takes a long time to build carbon credit projects that generate carbon assets that are high quality, high impact, and high integrity. It doesn’t happen overnight…In order to get the triple highs, you have to do a ton of homework to get there.”
Throughout the conference, we were reminded of the need to prioritize progress over perfection and to start taking action towards sustainability now. Sustainability and environmental responsibility have to move from being viewed as a cost center or marketing expense to being ingrained in the way we do business.
While there are no perfect solutions, doing nothing is not an option. And carbon assets, especially nature-based ones, are a critical piece of addressing greenhouse gas emissions at the necessary scale and speed to achieve net-zero by 2050. There are no specific regulations yet in this space, but the marketplace gets better and higher integrity with greater expectations and more standards every year. As a result, this industry will continue to evolve and grow in the coming years.
We’re optimistic about the future and inspired to take action towards a more sustainable and equitable world. Together, we have the power to shape the future through our commitment to sustainability and actions towards a more sustainable future. As Olivia said during her panel discussion, "We see the voluntary carbon credit markets as a new asset class for investors to be driving capital back to nature…We are bringing finance as a force of nature to reinvest in these communities, to reinvest in nature."