Last updated:
May 24, 2024


What is a Project's Vintage?

In the context of climate projects and carbon offsetting, a vintage refers to the year in which the carbon avoidance or removal occurred and the carbon credits were issued. It essentially dates the emission reductions, much like a vintage dates a bottle of wine. The vintage of a project is important to look at, as it indicates when the environmental benefits from a climate project were realised.

How to Choose the Right Vintage

  • The selection of a vintage should align with an entity’s climate goals and offsetting strategies. For instance, a company might prefer recent vintages to align their offsets with their current-year emissions.
  • Some regulations or standards might dictate the use of specific vintages, especially in compliance markets.
  • The vintage can also reflect the stage of development or impact of a project. Newer projects might issue more recent vintages, while established projects could have a range of vintages available.
  • Projects with more recent vintages are more likely to be based on the most recent methodologies and technological advancements, increasing the likelihood of the project being of high integrity.
  • Projects with older vintages might rely on outdated methodologies, so it is important to conduct thorough due diligence to make sure this is not the case.

Why Old Vintages Are Not Necessarily Bad

  • It is easier to assess an older project’s performance since it has a proven track record.
  • Older vintages can be more cost-effective compared to newer vintages.
  • The benefits of a climate project, especially in terms of ecosystem services like biodiversity, often extend well beyond the year the credits were issued.
  • Older vintages have often undergone more thorough verification processes, and the projects are likely to have matured and stabilised.
Senken's due diligence process

How to Use Vintages to Build a Diverse Portfolio

  • A diverse portfolio should balance different types of projects, vintages, and locations to optimise impact and manage risk. Including a mix of old and new vintages can balance immediate and long-term climate goals.
  • Older vintages can be used to offset past emissions or for cost-effective bulk purchasing, while newer vintages can be aligned with current or future emissions reduction strategies.
  • By including a variety of vintages, an entity can support a broader range of projects, from early-stage initiatives needing support to well-established ones with ongoing benefits.
  • Diverse vintages can help meet different objectives, from compliance with regulatory requirements to voluntary sustainability goals.

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