17 Jul 2023

New VCMI Code of Practice: a quick snapshot

The Voluntary Carbon Market Initiative (VCMI) recently launched their Claims Code of Practice: new guidance to support companies in making credible voluntary use of carbon offsets as an important pillar in their decarbonisation strategy.

Don’t have time to read the whole Code? TEM’s carbon market experts unpack what it means for you here.

What is the Claims Code?

The Claims Code acts as a guide for corporates seeking to make credible use of carbon credits in their decarbonisation strategies and receive recognition in the form of a VCMI claim. It is designed to equip companies with a comprehensive roadmap for effectively leveraging carbon offsets while upholding integrity, credibility and sustainability.

Key aspects of the Code

The Claims Code outlines four steps that companies will need to follow in order to make a VCMI claim:

  1. Comply with the ‘foundational criteria’. This requires organisations to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, set science-based emissions reduction targets, publicly commit to net zero no later than 2050 and demonstrate how the company’s actions and policies support these targets.
  2. Select a VCMI claim to make. There are three different claims that can be made, representing varying levels of offsetting to address residual emissions: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Platinum is awarded to companies that have shown leadership in offsetting 100 per cent or more of their residual emissions.
  3. Ensure that carbon offsets used to address residual emissions represent mitigation outside of the organisation’s value and are of high integrity. They say this is demonstrated through alignment with the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) Core Carbon Principles (e.g. additionality, permanence, measurability). TEM’s rigorous due diligence process that we follow for every project, is aligned with these Core Carbon Principles.
  4. Obtain independent third-party verification of the VCMI Claim and disclose key information relating to the carbon credits purchased.

VCMI says that by following each of these steps, companies can ensure that their use of carbon offsets is supported by best practice integrity standards.

How does TEM’s work align to the Code?

TEM welcomes VCMI’s work on this important topic and sees the Claims Code as a key contribution to enhancing carbon market transparency, integrity and trust.

TEM’s purpose is very aligned to the ICVCM Core Carbon Principles and focus on ensuring carbon credits used by companies to offset residual emissions are both impactful and of high integrity. Integrity is at the heart of what we do at TEM and our purpose is empowering businesses to achieve net-zero and make extraordinary impact by connecting them with high-integrity carbon offset projects.

We provide access only to premium carbon offset projects that deliver measurable benefits to people and the planet. This includes projects that provide impact beyond carbon abatement, for example, wildlife protection, local employment and improved community health.

Our robust due diligence framework also aligns with the ICVCM Core Carbon Principles, giving our partners confidence when procuring offsets to align with the new Claims Code. In addition to adhering to international standards, TEM carries out our own rigorous due diligence process for every project we undertake and invest in to ensure its quality, integrity and measurable carbon abatement impact. We also follow an ethical screening process for new clients.

It will obviously take some time to see if the VCMI claims are widely adopted by carbon credit users, but we look forward to watching this space

You can read more about TEM’s high-integrity carbon projects here.

For more information on how TEM can help your organisation meet its decarbonisation goals, contact our team here.

Important information

This information has been prepared by Tasman Environmental Markets Australia Pty Ltd (TEM), a corporate authorised representative (ABN 97 659 245 011, CAR 001297708) of TEM Financial Services Pty Limited (ABN 58 142 268 479, AFSL 430036). This material is for general information only and is not intended to provide you with financial advice or take into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs. While we believe that the material is correct, no warranty of accuracy, reliability, or completeness is given, except for liability under statute which can’t be excluded. Before making an investment decision, you should first consider if the information is appropriate for your circumstances and seek professional financial advice. Please note past performance is not a guarantee of future performance.