The value of primary data for corporate climate action

A conversation with corporate climate action advisor and expert, Mark Griffiths

May 31, 2023
I sat down with CarbonSpace advisor Mark Griffiths to learn about his experience working on corporate climate action and why that experience led him to advise CarbonSpace.

Mark is well-versed in the challenges and opportunities associated with corporate climate action. He previously worked at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as the Global Leader in Climate Business, where he focused on framing the work needed to achieve Net Zero at the corporate scale.

Now, Mark is Managing Director EMEA at Climate Impact Partners, a high quality carbon credit provider with the aim of avoiding or removing a gigaton of carbon emissions by 2030.

One of my biggest takeaways from the conversation was Mark’s repeated point that primary data is critical for credible climate action. Primary data in this case means data collected directly from a company’s supply chain or offset projects rather than calculated based on industry averages or proxies.

Here's more of our conversation expanding on this idea.

Lydia: Mark, what work have you done with corporate climate action? How have corporations been approaching climate action over the last few years and where do we stand today?
Mark: I was Global Leader Climate Business at WWF where I worked on business engagement to frame the work behind Net Zero. It became clear to me that companies needed a degree of certainty and clarity on the meaning of Net Zero yet there wasn’t a clear, actionable definition at the time. The SBTi, with WWF as a founding member, was nominated to take the lead to define the Net Zero standard.

It was actually about this time that I met [CarbonSpace founder] Oleg in Berlin and this reinforced my thinking about the importance of having verifiable data to back up claims.

I’m now Managing Director EMEA at Climate Impact Partners, a high quality carbon credit provider with the aim of avoiding or removing a gigaton of carbon emissions by 2030. We've been Microsoft’s offset partner since they announced their carbon neutral goal in 2012.

As we know, corporate climate action needs to happen rapidly in this decade for us to avoid a 1.5 degree overshoot. Corporations, generally speaking, have started to embrace this challenge and are approaching climate action through the cycle of measurement, reporting, and action.

As they embark, it’s clear they need more transparency and assurance. For their own benefit but also for their stakeholders: governments, media, investors, and importantly consumers. CarbonSpace can really answer this need for more assurance, by transforming data into intelligence.

L: What current challenges are corporations facing with measurement and reporting?
M: Everything in the corporate disclosures voluntary carbon market industry is pointing to more scrutiny and in some cases more legislation. Corporate reporting on social and environmental factors is trending strongly upwards.

For example, there’s the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive where the EU is requiring large and listed companies to disclose information on risks and opportunities related to ESG issues, with a particular focus on the impact of their activities on people and the environment. Why is this important? Well, regarding regulations to limit deforestation or monitor land-use, CarbonSpace can provide primary, cost-effective, actionable intelligence on global supply chains, where other providers are using data based on averages or requiring expensive onsite visits. This makes CarbonSpace a compelling partner in the race to transition our land based economies.

L: Why do you choose to advise CarbonSpace?
M: What sets the company apart - it’s a pure play spacetech company specializing very purposefully on one sector, FLAG [food, land, agriculture], which has significant carbon emissions and significant reduction potential. Using a top-down and bottom-up technology stack makes a lot of sense. And then applying intelligence to that data to turn it into actionable intelligence is very valuable.

We need to use every tool in the shed to manage the massive transition needed to avoid a climate meltdown. CarbonSpace is absolutely one of those solution providers that can accelerate this change bringing transparency and near real time data that can be acted upon.

Primary data brings transparency and credibility to climate action.

Get primary data for your food supply chains or nature-based carbon removal projects by reaching out to