Why Nori Creates Its Own Methodologies

Authors: Matt Trudeau, Nori CEO & Rick Berg, Director of Methodology at Nori

At Nori, we craft our methodologies to ensure that our issued carbon removal credits are rigorously quantified, independently verified, and of high integrity — considering durability, transparency, and provenance. This blog post describes why we create our own open methodologies, publish them under a liberal Creative Commons license type, and how this aligns with our mission to build a transparent, trustworthy, and efficient marketplace that enables real climate solutions.

Control of Quality and Building Trust

The foundation of the Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM), and any carbon removal marketplace, must be trust – trust that each carbon credit represents a genuine removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. Nori secures this trust by maintaining control and accountability over the quality and clarity of our methodologies. This control allows us to prioritize three critical pillars:

  • Rigor: Our methodologies are scientifically rigorous, ensuring that carbon removals are conservatively quantified and verified. This rigor is ensured through our internal science and policy team, our expert consultation process, and open feedback process.
  • Transparency: Transparency is crucial for accountability and trust, including in methodology, verification, and credit issuance. By building our methodologies through an open development process, we ensure that every step is documented and transparent to project developers, credit purchasers, and the general public. Publicly available methodologies and associated documentation with no firewall further enable stakeholders to understand exactly how carbon removals are quantified and verified. Additionally, retaining control over methodologies allows us to maintain a clear and comprehensive registry, providing details of projects and credit issuances.
  • Accessibility: With methodology development, we believe the adage that “everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler," (a quote often attributed to Einstein). It's crucial that our methodologies are accessible not just to scientists but to all stakeholders, including project developers and carbon credit buyers. By designing our methodologies to be technically descriptive enough for experts, but comprehensible to laypersons, anyone can understand and participate in our marketplace with confidence. Extending accessibility to the industry as a whole, Nori now publishes its methodologies under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 4.0) to facilitate standardization within the industry and to promote the simplification of requirements for project developers who may want to operate through multiple registries.

The specific Creative Commons license we chose allows for others to copy exactly or amend any portion of Nori’s methodologies, even for commercial purposes, so long as the user attributes credit for the original methodology to Nori and does not change the license for any derivative they create from it. This is an expansive licensing framework that we hope will speed development of the carbon removal industry by helping avoid duplication of efforts by other registries developing de novo methodologies of their own, and easing the burden on buyers who would otherwise have to consume those competing methodologies. Nori believes that prioritizing common standards in the definition of credits (through methodologies) will allow for the most efficient and scalable removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. We believe the market should compete on services and products, not methodologies.

At the heart of Nori's philosophy is a commitment to product quality and market trust. By developing our own methodologies, we ensure that they live up to these standards. Trust, in the context of the CDR market, is not just a buzzword but the foundation upon which the efficacy of carbon removal efforts is judged, and the key to its continued existence. Nori's decision to develop, and share, our own methodologies is driven by the desire to embody rigor, transparency, and accessibility. These three pillars are essential for fostering a high-integrity market that stakeholders can rely on.

Innovation and Efficiency: Keeping Pace with Advancing Science

The field of carbon dioxide removal is rapidly advancing, with new technologies and scientific insights emerging regularly. Nori's proactive approach in creating our methodologies allows us to efficiently incorporate these advancements as they get proven out, ensuring our marketplace remains at the cutting edge of the CDR industry. 

Our methodology development process allows us to develop and launch methodologies – such as those for direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) – in about 6-8 months. This swift time-to-market is made possible by our streamlined internal processes, avoiding unnecessary delays, costs, and coordination challenges that would otherwise lengthen the process to 18-24 months at high cost to project developers. Our focus on efficiency aims to increase throughput and drive growth by reducing industry bottlenecks. By retaining control over the development and implementation of our methodologies, and then publishing them for others to use, Nori can reduce barriers to entry for project developers and credit buyers and adapt more swiftly to market needs and technological advances.

Stakeholder Engagement: Understanding Needs and Challenges

One of the most significant advantages of implementing our own methodologies is the opportunity for deep stakeholder engagement. Implementing the methodologies at the Nori Registry removes over-reliance on third parties. This approach allows us to work closely with project developers, potential buyers, and other interested parties to align the interests across the entire value chain. We believe this commercially-driven approach is critical to an efficient market that allows us to better facilitate meaningful climate action. 

Working closely with project developers during enrollment and monitoring provides us with a direct line of feedback to hear their needs, challenges, and the potential of emerging technologies in their operations. From farmers implementing regenerative agricultural practices to startups pioneering new direct air capture technologies, project developers are typically in the best position to propose improvements to methodology guidelines that can create efficiencies while retaining rigor. Through direct dialogue and collaboration, Nori can better create methodologies that are scientifically sound, practically applicable, and aligned with the needs of those on the ground.


At Nori, we're striving to build a marketplace committed to high-quality, verified carbon removal. Our focus on developing our own methodologies is a fundamental part of this commitment. By allowing us to prioritize rigor, transparency, and accessibility, to adapt swiftly to innovations, and to engage directly with stakeholders, control over our methodologies allows for an efficient carbon removal marketplace whose quality can be openly recognized and trusted. These methodologies are not just procedures but a blueprint for a future where the CDR market operates with the highest integrity and efficiency. This approach can pave the way for the CDR market to evolve and expand to a point where they make a real contribution to slowing, stopping, and reversing climate change.