Trust and safety

Carbon markets need public confidence to accelerate. Here’s how Patch helps build it.

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“When used with integrity, voluntary carbon markets unlock much-needed financing that can accelerate climate action. Transparency and robust standards are fundamental to these markets delivering this goal, and it is great to see how Patch’s approach to trust and safety can contribute to instilling confidence in the market.”
Lydia headshot
Lydia Sheldrake
Director of Policy & Partnerships, VCMI

An iterative approach to managing risk

We’re constantly improving our trust and safety framework so you can be confident your climate action is based on the latest science and leading standards.

Our philosophy

Risk: one problem, two parts


Risk that your carbon credit doesn’t deliver on its promise.

Mitigating risk to the buyer

Carbon credits have some built-in risk. It’s the job of regulators, governments, and market infrastructure to reduce that risk as much as possible, so buyers can trust that one carbon credit equals one tonne of carbon removed or avoided.

Mitigating risk to the planet

But unlike other transactions, there’s another type of risk carbon markets must hedge against: the risk of inaction. If our civilization doesn’t invest in scaling climate solutions fast enough, we endanger our chances of a livable future.


Risk that we don’t scale climate solutions quickly enough to meet global targets

Trust and safety standards must minimize risk to the buyer and maximize funding toward as many climate solutions as possible.

A balanced approach to risk management

To mitigate planetary risk, you could accept most or all projects — regardless of red flags.


To mitigate buyer risk, you could raise the bar so high that only a precious few projects meet that standard.

Measured: the Patch approach

To balance the risks, Patch’s framework optimizes for both risk reduction and access to projects.

Patch has six layers of protection:

How do we balance risk reduction with access? By layering multiple types of protection, Patch can filter out more risk while also enabling more buyers and sellers to engage with the VCM.

01  Project acceptance criteria

Our project acceptance criteria represent the synthesis and curation of leading standards based on thorough scrutiny alongside internal and external leaders in the space. There are three categories of requirements:

  • Verification and validation:
    These requirements ensure every project on the Patch marketplace has had its methodology, project, and outcomes verified by a third party.

  • Additional eligibility requirements:
    Our framework excludes certain project types and measurement approaches based on the latest scientific consensus.

  • Supplier accountability:
    We require suppliers to disclose their role in project development, share the name of the project developer, and confirm that the project aligns to the ICVCM CCPs.

02  Transparent project data

Patch’s platform surfaces project-level ratings and analysis, and provides neutral, scientific reviews to help buyers understand the attributes and expected outcomes of each project. With rich, transparent project data, buyers can make better decisions.

03  Expert guidance

Even sophisticated buyers rely on expert guidance to navigate the complexity of the VCM. Patch’s Climate Solutions team has decades of expertise, and offers personalized advice — from market insights to portfolio construction and insights from suppliers.

04  Ease of diversification

A portfolio approach to carbon credit purchasing has the benefit of hedging against risk as well as spreading investment to more projects. Patch makes it much simpler to build a portfolio by using software to streamline the evaluation and purchasing process.

05  Protection against delivery risk

Climate projects have some inherent risk which can’t be completely eliminated. One of those risks is delivery failure. If a project is unable to deliver the credits promised, Patch provides the same volume of a comparable credit type at no cost.

06  Iteration and communication

Patch will continuously modify and update our approach based on the best-available science. As solutions scale, we’ll learn more about their risks and adapt our framework to keep pace. Our experts have deep connections to policy and standards bodies, and as such are able to incorporate new guidance as soon as — and often before — new rules are released.

A framework to reduce risk and increase transparency

Read Patch’s full framework for trust and safety, including our complete project acceptance criteria:

  • The first principles that guide our approach
  • Detailed requirements for project acceptance
  • Acceptance criteria checklist for easy reference
  • And much more
Download the whitepaper

Trusted climate projects that create real change

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