Companies enroll in VCMI initiative to clarify usage of high-quality carbon credits

Bain & Company and Natura are amongst a group of corporates that will work with the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) to accelerate the use of its claims code in a bid to clarify the credibility and usage of high-quality carbon credits that assist with decarbonisation.

Companies enroll in VCMI initiative to clarify usage of high-quality carbon credits

The EAP will give the companies hands-on support to help understand how the Claims Code works and provides tools and materials to aid communications about climate action claims and credit usage

The VCMI has this week launched the Early Adopters Program (EAP) to accelerate the uptake of its Claims Code of Practice.

Bain & Company, BCG, Better Drinks, Natura and Sendle are among the first members of the EAP. The programme, which runs through to December, will help corporates make claims for the use of carbon credits.

The EAP will give the companies hands-on support to help them understand how the Claims Code works and provide tools and materials to aid communications about climate action claims and credit usage.

The VCMI’s executive director Mark Kenber said: “The Early Adopters Program highlights the climate leadership of these corporates and the ambition and action they are taking towards their engagement with the VCM. These companies are also showing that they want to do this with integrity, and transparently, which many critics of the VCM say is lacking in today’s VCM.

“VCMs are a necessary tool in the climate fight to drive finance to emissions removal and reduction projects which would be stranded without carbon finance. For these businesses to achieve net zero we need companies to feel they can engage with these markets confidently and that is what we are delivering at VCMI with the help of the EAP.”

In June, this year, the VCMI launched its Claims Code of Practice, acting as a rulebook for companies to follow when making climate-based claims and how carbon credits can be utilised to support decarbonisation.

The VCMI argues that the Claims Code can bring integrity to the demand side of these markets. The Code has three tiers for companies to access – Platinum, Gold and Silver. Each tier recognises investments that contribute to emissions reductions and removals that are beyond corporate actions to meet science-based targets.

The VCMI has worked with the likes of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP); Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi); the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Markets (ICVCM); and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) to create a robust rulebook.

Kyte previously spoke to edie on the imbalance between “well-intentioned companies” that want to work with “integrity” who are still reluctant to participate in the market due to concerns over greenwashing or the quality of the credits on offer.

These issues have given a lot of media attention to “junk” credits. Indeed, edie has its own feature on the issue here.

Last month, new research found that companies engaged in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) are surpassing their counterparts in key areas of climate action, accountability and ambition, rather than simply using credits as a method to ‘buy their way out’.

According to the findings, 59% of buyers in the VCM reported a decrease in gross emissions on an annual basis due to reduced emissions and/or increased utilisation of renewable energy, while this reduction was reported by only 33% of businesses that were not engaged in carbon markets.

edie Explains: Carbon offsetting

Climate action is urgently needed and current global actions are far from sufficient for achieving 1.5C. It’s clear we must use every tool available to us to ensure we limit global temperature rises. The Voluntary Carbon Market offers a credible, proven way to drastically scale up the needed climate action – but only if corporations are empowered to make claims that earn them credit for their actions.

This free-to-download edie Explains guide, produced in association with the South Pole Group helps sustainability professionals understand and navigate the growing market of carbon offsets.

From exploring the different types of offsetting and how they work to outlining the benefits and controversies surrounding them, this guide outlines how offsets can be utilised as part of a carbon business strategy that focuses on reductions first and foremost.

Click here to download the guide.

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