Standard

The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is a labelling scheme for Entities, Assets and Debt Instruments. Rigorous scientific criteria ensure that Certified investments in climate mitigation are consistent with the 1.5owarming limit in the Paris Agreement. The Scheme is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and the financial markets to prioritise investments which genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.

Alternative Proteins Criteria

Status: Alternative Proteins Criteria are currently under development, if you have technical or industry expertise in the sector and would like to collaborate in this work, reach out at agrifoodstandards@climatebonds.net.

 
Timeline of Development:

June 2024: Technical Working Group (TWG) Launch 

July 2024: Industry Working Group (IWG) Launch 

November 2024 to Feb 2024: Public Consultation  

February 2025: Criteria available ​

 
Overview: Livestock agriculture represents a key source of climate emissions and biodiversity loss driven by the current agri-food systems. Ensuring non-animal source proteins are readily available and accessible within food supply chains is an imperative to achieve a climate-secure future and to put a stop to the loss of biodiversity worldwide.   
 
Around 60% of the emissions from the food system and 12–20% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are caused by animal agriculture and the production of animal feed. Despite being significantly larger contributors to climate change and other environmental impacts, animal source foods provide just 17% of the world's calories, and 38% of its protein. Thus, reducing emissions from meat and dairy production is one of the biggest mitigation actions within the food system. And yet, current projections predict global meat consumption to increase by 50% or more by 2050, though with significant regional differences, meaning the impact of animal agriculture is predicted to grow further unless addressed. 
 
It is essential that any investment aiming to address climate change and environmental integrity consider alternative proteins – which can include any alternative to animal-sourced foods from beans or tofu to cultivated meat. These new criteria will provide procurement guidelines for assessing the alignment of alternative protein production and retailing strategies with a 1.5°C transition, to enable food retailers and other relevant stakeholders to issue credible green finance. 
 
What's Included: These Criteria will focus on two main areas. The first is substituting some of the production and consumption of animal source foods with lower impact alternative proteins. This would mitigate the vast impacts of animal agriculture - the largest of which would arise by substituting beef, and other ruminant meats, as these have the highest carbon and land footprints. The second is mitigating the impacts of alternative proteins themselves, with a focus on energy source and use, raw materials, and waste management. As most of the emissions for alternative proteins relate to energy use, single actions such as powering facilities with renewable instead of conventional energy mixes are significantly more effective in attaining reductions than these actions could be for conventional animal agriculture, where energy makes up a smaller proportion of the emissions profile.  
 
The criteria will focus clearly on climate and land-use impacts, while also incorporating safeguards for other environmental issues such as water pollution. The criteria will be informed by other standards in the market and recent policy developments, with an aim to facilitate much needed progress towards food supply chains protective of climate and biodiversity.   
 
Why It Matters: Livestock agriculture significantly impacts climate and biodiversity. Our new criteria will serve as a guide for aligning alternative protein production and retail strategies with 1.5°C climate goals, helping to green the financial sector. 
 
Focus Areas: The criteria emphasise climate and land use, but also address other environmental considerations like pollution. 
 
Applicability: The Alternative Proteins Criteria is targeted at companies operating within the food value chain which produce or retail alternative proteins.  
 
Climate Bonds Team: 
 
 
Reyes Tirado, 
Agri-Food Standard Lead 

 

 

 
India Langley, 
Agri-Food Sustainability Analyst  
 
 
Technical Working Group: 
Each TWG member contributes to the criteria development in their personal capacity and as a content experts in the field. This contribution does not imply endorsement either from Climate Bonds Initiative to the organisation the member is currently employed with, nor of the organisation to this work. 

 

 

 

           
                 
Jo Raven
Thematic Research and Corporate Innovation
FAIRR
 
Dana Wilson
Senior analyst for Protein Diversification Engagement
FAIRR
 

 

Tom Chapman
Food Systems Impact Advisor
GFI
 
 
Rosie Wardle
Partner / Co-founder
Synthesis Capital (VC)
 
Duncan Williamson
Senior Policy & Advocacy Manager
Rainforest Alliance
                 
     

 

 

 
                  
Dave Luo
Research Manager
Asia Research & Engagement (ARE)

 

 
Aditi Mukherji
Director, Climate Change Impact Platform
CGIAR​
 
Joyashree Roy
Bangabandhu Chair Professor
Asian Institute of Technology
 
 
Vanessa De La Ossa
Director of Sustainable Finance America
ING

 

 
Yulia Solomina
Director of Sustainable Finance EMEA
ING
                    
       

 

 

 

   
                   
Cleo Verkuijl
Research fellow
Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
 
Joanna Wolstenholme
Senior Programme Officer, Nature Economy
UNEP
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 

 

The Agriculture Criteria are already available for use in certifications. Bonds and loans linked to eligible assets and projects will be aligned with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit. Get in contact with certification@climatebonds.net to start the certification process for your agriculture green bond.