Solution #2: The Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative (VCMI)
“The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity (VCMI) Initiative is a multi-stakeholder platform to drive credible, net-zero aligned participation in voluntary carbon markets (VCMs).”
An important contribution from the VCMI Initiative is the [provisional] Claims Code of Practice.
This document proposes 4 steps for making credible claims:
- Meet the prerequisites.
- Identify Claim(s) to make.
- Purchase high-quality credits.
- Report transparently on the use of carbon credits.
Meet the Pre-Requisites
Before making use of carbon credits and making a claim, companies must:
- Make a public commitment to achieve science-aligned long-term net zero emissions no later than 2050, covering Scopes 1, 2, & 3.
- Set and make public interim emission reduction targets.
- Provide detailed information on the plans and strategies adopted to achieve their targets.
- Maintain a publicly available GHG emissions inventory.
- Make a public statement declaring that the company’s advocacy activities, either individually or through trade.
- bodies of which it is a member, are consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement and do not represent a barrier to ambitious climate regulation.
Identify Claim(s) to make
There are two types of claims that companies can make to towards their long-term net zero commitment:
These represent achievement at the enterprise level as companies progress toward their long-term net zero commitment.
(source: GHG Protocol)
Brand-. Product-, and Service-Level Claims
These represent achievement across the full value chain of a specific brand (line of products or services), product, or service.
Generic brands (source: reddit)
Purchase High-Quality Carbon Credits
All credits used as the basis for credible claims must be high quality and meet basic criteria.
- Associated with a recognized and credible governed standard-setting body.
- High environmental quality.
- From activities that, where relevant, are compatible with human rights.
- From activities that, where relevant, promote equity, apply social safeguards, and demonstrate positive socio-economic impacts.
- From activities that, where relevant, contribute to the protection and enhancement of environmental quality.
Report Transparently on the Use of Carbon Credits
(source: Gold Standard Impact Registry)
To substantiate a claim, transparent reporting of information is essential.
- Number of credits purchased and retired to make a claim.
- Certification standard name, project name, ID, and issuing registry.
- Host country.
- Credit vintage.
- Methodology/project type.
- Whether or not the carbon credit is associated with a corresponding adjustment.