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VCMI releases Carbon Integrity Claims Branding and Monitoring, Reporting and Assurance Framework

The Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI) launched its Operational Claims Code of Practice on June 28th. The code outlines criteria for companies to make credible environmental claims, emphasising transparency in emissions reporting, net-zero commitments, and alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement. It also clarifies the purchase and retirement of carbon credits, focusing on high-quality credits meeting specific standards. Our analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the VCMI Operational Claims Code of Practice and its key components.

In October, VCMI initiated the Early Adopters Program, encouraging the adoption of its Claims Code of Practice. Early adopters included Bain & Company, BCG, Better Drinks, Natura, and Sendle. The program runs from October to December 2023.

On Tuesday (28 Nov), VCMI released updates to the Initial Claims of Practice, including a Monitoring, Reporting, and Assurance (MRA) Framework, a branding and “mark” for "Carbon Integrity" claims, and a beta version of an additional "Scope 3 Flexibility" claim.

The four-step process, previously defined, remained unchanged:

01. Comply with the Foundational Criteria, which include:

  • Disclose on GHG inventory;
  • Set near-term targets;
  • Demonstrate progress towards targets;
  • Demonstrate public policy advocacy aligned with the Paris Agreement;

02. Select a VCMI Claim to make based on the purchase and retirement of high-quality carbon credits proportionate to the company's residual emissions:

  • Carbon Integrity Silver (≥ 10% and < 50%)
  • Carbon Integrity Gold (≥ 50% and < 100%)
  • Carbon Integrity Platinum (≥ 100%)

03. Meet the required carbon credit use and quality threshold:

The ICVCM CCP-labelled credits, considered as the credits that meet the quality threshold, initially expected to receive certification in Q4 of this year, have been postponed to Q1 2024. In the meantime, companies can use CORSIA credits or credits from the due diligence processes that align with all 10 ICVCM’s CCP (read our latest analysis here for details on the work of the ICVCM).

04. Obtain third-party assurance following the VCMI MRA Framework 

The MRA Framework The MRA Framework enables companies to substantiate a Carbon Integrity Claim. The Framework provides the information that must be disclosed and appropriately evaluated, evidenced, and verified. The MRA Framework contains: 1. Assurance ...

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