Introducing Earthly's holistic project assessment

to help you navigate nature-based solutions

Olivia Crowe

Olivia Crowe

11 Oct, 2022

Introducing Earthly's holistic project assessment

I’m excited by the growing attention from businesses on nature as it has the potential to drive positive impacts for countless people around the world. Working with nature can influence global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss and create benefits at the local level, improving health and reducing inequity. But the value is lost when high-quality nature-based solutions are grouped with far less impactful projects. To reach their full potential, nature-based solutions must be grounded in best practices, local priorities and evidence. 

I’m so pleased to share our (beta)

industry-first, holistic project assessment

, that brings together insights from experts across biodiversity, social and climate science, and leading standards for working with nature. Over 12 months, my colleagues and I developed a unique scoring system that analyses

106 data points

, aggregating evidence from several data partners alongside projects on the ground. This allows us to build a holistic picture of practice and impact - and get into the fine detail on questions like additionality, nature protection and human rights.

Why are we so passionate about assessing nature-based solutions?

We really want to bring clarity to the rapidly growing voluntary carbon market, helping to increase support for projects that go beyond carbon offsetting, and deliver impact across the three vital pillars of carbon, biodiversity and people. 

As more companies embark on a climate journey, global demand for carbon offsets has been growing exponentially. Whilst this stimulates the development of nature-based solutions, it also poses a high risk of selling low-quality offsets. 

Although several initiatives have been taken to govern this growing market and assess quality criteria, too many offsets are currently being sold over-estimating their carbon benefits and/or failing to deliver real and lasting benefits for people and nature.

Looking beyond carbon, the additional benefits of a nature-based project, such as improved livelihoods or biodiversity, are often

hard to measure

, quantify or compare. The sector is hard to navigate, and verifying projects’ claims and carbon credits becomes harder and harder for customers.

Team retreat Sheepdrove July 2022 Olivia Bana Olly Jade (1) Large

We thought something was needed to identify and distinguish high-quality projects. And something was missing, too. We’re conscious that current standards have a strong carbon focus; still, there is a lot of variation in additionality and carbon accounting, while there are very limited ways to differentiate verified and unverified projects across ecosystems on their biodiversity and social impact.

That’s why we developed the

Earthly Project Assessment

, a holistic picture of a project, providing a detailed indication of its potential to remove carbon, restore biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of the communities most impacted by climate change.

What does holistic assessment mean? 

At Earthly, we’ve always looked at nature as a comprehensive whole. We are not just centred on the climate crisis, as it's interlinked with other global challenges like biodiversity loss, poverty and inequality. This is especially true when working with nature-based solutions. 

Trying to decipher national and international standards, various ever-evolving carbon accounting methodologies and diverse projects following different rules can be a headache! We want to make your life easier by looking at all aspects of a project and providing clarity so you can easily navigate the sector. 

Earthly Project Assessment Overview

For each project, we look at the impact on our three pillars: carbon, biodiversity and people. Only 10% of projects meet our minimum score across carbon, biodiversity, and social. Each pillar is scored through an in-depth evaluation of maturity and evidence, based on a wide range of criteria, such as permanence, biodiversity net gain or even stakeholder engagement. Projects are then given an

overall score

. Comparing projects becomes easier, and you can immediately picture their impact, like livelihood programmes focused on employment, education, energy, health and equality in local villages of Indonesian Borneo, for example.

We hope that, with our Project Assessment, you can connect to projects in a meaningful way, showcasing the unique impacts each of them has and connecting with what matters to you. This requires a holistic assessment that can identify strengths to support communication.

So how can climate-conscious businesses identify high-quality projects?

We are proud to be transparent, and we believe that companies should be able to understand their investments in nature-based solutions and know how it brings real impact. This requires quantifiable,

evidence-based insights


From protecting endangered species to funding children’s education, we cover the impact on everything! To do so, we work with several

data partners

, including Google Earth Engine and BeZero Carbon. Tommy Ricketts, CEO of BeZero Carbon, said,

“It’s fantastic to see more and more businesses launching solutions to help accelerate the transition to Net Zero. Broadening access to high-quality information is critical to buyers having the ability to make informed decisions in the market. We’re pleased that Earthly is using the BeZero Carbon Rating to inform its assessment of carbon credit projects.”

Aggregating information from these partners helps build a trustful assessment. It de-risks your investments and ensures that your money is going to the most impactful projects that speak to your company values. 

Our robust approach, backed by our

scientific advisory board

, means we can confidently present nature-based solutions fit for the next phase of sustainable action, to meet our ambitious goal of helping businesses remove at least one gigatonne of carbon (one billion tonnes) by 2030 with additional, measurable benefits for people and nature.

With Earthly Project Assessment, you can trust that you are:

o   Offsetting your emissions with high-quality projects fit the future.

o   Making the right investments to support your plans towards Net Zero. 

o   Aligning investments with values. 

o   Aligning wider impact on people and nature.

If you would like to find out even more about our project assessment, and to discover all the details of our methodology,

fill in the form at the bottom of this page

to receive the full whitepaper.