Framework for Designing Quality Assets

Blake Atkerson
Carbon A List
Published in
3 min readAug 3, 2022


A summary of the project for feedback purposes

Carbon A List in collaboration with OpenTEAM and Regen Network sought to answer the question, “What is a quality environmental asset?” Based on this inquiry we forged a framework that provides structure and standardization to the design and assessment of environmental assets and their derivatives through the lens of the Land Steward. The Model Framework for Designing Quality Assets is for the farmers, ranchers, project developers, software engineers, NGOs, private landowners, public agencies, and all those connected to the creation and maintenance of assets.

Topics this research provides framing for

  • Data structures and interoperability to drive positive ecological change.
  • Assets that include environmental assets and their derivatives like premiums and cost savings.
  • Active and emerging frameworks to support environmental market based instruments.
  • Areas for further research and funding for environmental asset landscape in agriculture.
  • Areas for increased knowledge sharing.
  • Concepts such as data cooperatives.
  • Progress in data standards.
  • Risk analysis.
  • Smart contracts.
  • An Environmental Claims Clearinghouse.

We need your feedback

We are looking for your review on our Model Framework for Designing Quality Assets. There are two assets that make up the framework, the report and the AirTable. Feedback on both will strengthen our ability to communicate the Framework. We are accepting feedback via this form. Below is a brief summary of the report and AirTable that provides context for review.

Watch our summary presentation for more context and ways to get involved!

An Overview of the Project

What is Quality?

Quality has many different connotations. It is a ranking, a grade, a hue, and a mark of excellence. When determining the quality of something we have to define what that thing is, asset definition, and how it impacts the value of what it represents.

  • One component of the value of an asset is quality.
  • Quality of an environmental asset is an essential component to ensuring positive outcomes for the environment, asset actors, and the land stewards that play a large role in creating those assets.
  • Quality is linked to the specific actor’s perception of an asset. What is high quality to a land steward may differ from how an investor or Consumer Packaged Goods company views quality. The variability that we see today necessitates frameworks that can provide steps toward uniformity in quality assessment.

Model Asset Quality Framework

We created a two-part framework that has a quantitative and a qualitative component. We identified 9 quantitative and 13 qualitative heuristics. We then captured detail on the types, inputs, outputs, and intended outcomes. View the full model framework table.

The model emphasizes two important meta concepts, cost and confidence, which when the asset achieves both of these, costs are reasonable and confidence is high, then trust is built in the asset.

Carbon and Beyond

Our research looked at both carbon assets, the most widespread asset type, and a host of additional assets that includes use cases presenting how current organizations are creating assets. We note from our research of many asset actors working on carbon assets that there are multiple ways to create an asset, multiple ways to maintain an asset, and multiple ways to sell and profit from that asset. These lessons are invaluable to the creation of future assets both in carbon but also beyond.

To learn more about the details of our findings review the report and Airtable linked at the top of this document. To be part of the development of the Framework, provide feedback through our form.

What’s next

We wrapped up our August 11th event and will continue to iterate on our model framework v1. We look forward to engaging with the community to improve the framework and the quality of assets.

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Blake Atkerson
Carbon A List

Exploring the power of confidence, fiction, business, climate, tech and everything in between.