Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

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:

Enterprise-wide Claims

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.