As the world grapples with the urgency of climate action, two significant developments in the voluntary carbon market (VCM) signal a positive shift towards sustainability. With Climate Impact X securing substantial funding and Bain & Company earning a prestigious carbon integrity claim, the momentum for carbon market integrity and climate leadership is substantial.
Leading the Charge in Carbon Credit Market Confidence
Temasek-backed carbon exchange Climate Impact X (CIX), a global marketplace for carbon credits, received a fresh capital injection of S$30 million or over US$22 million.
The funding round was led by Mizuho Financial Group with S$20 million. It is also joined by Chartered Bank, DBS Bank, and the Singapore Exchange (SGX).
At the core of CIX’s operations lies its commitment to fostering confidence in the carbon credit market. Founded in 2021 by a coalition including DBS Bank, SGX, Standard Chartered, and Temasek’s GenZero, CIX has swiftly emerged as a leading figure in this arena.
With a suite of services encompassing the CIX Marketplace, CIX Auctions, CIX Exchange, CIX Intelligence, and CIX Clear, the organization is dedicated to catalyzing transactions, facilitating price discovery, and enhancing liquidity for carbon credits.
Since its inception, Singapore-based CIX has made remarkable progress. It has notably surpassed the trading and clearance of over 1 million tonnes of carbon credits through its exchange.
The carbon trading company also specializes in standardized spot contracts and specific carbon projects. It has facilitated transactions totaling more than 2 million tonnes of carbon credits across its platforms to date.
In July 2022, CIX partnered with Nasdaq to help scale up the global carbon market. Their partnership enables CIX to leverage Nasdaq’s technology to power its spot exchange for quality carbon credits.
Bain & Company Driving Climate Leadership
In the U.S., Bain & Company has made history by becoming the first organization to achieve a ‘carbon integrity platinum claim’ under the VCMI standard’s CCP.
A global consultancy firm Bain & Company is the first organization to make a Carbon Integrity Platinum Claim. The Claim is the highest Claim of the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative (VCMI) standard’s Claims Code of Practice (CCP).
The Claims Code enables companies to make Carbon Integrity Claims, showcasing their commitment to climate action. These claims come in three tiers – Silver, Gold, and Platinum – allowing companies and non-state actors to demonstrate their efforts in surpassing science-aligned emissions reductions.
Leveraging high-quality carbon credits, making a claim signifies a proactive contribution to climate action critical for net zero emissions.
The prestigious claim signifies Bain’s commitment to offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing and retiring high-quality carbon credits. The credits are equivalent to or exceeding 100% of the company’s remaining emissions.
In achieving this platinum claim, Bain & Company demonstrates significant internal decarbonization efforts and substantial investment in high-integrity carbon credits.
The VCMI, one of the two primary ‘meta-standards’ in the VCM, aims to become the leading benchmark for market demand. The CCP sets out four key criteria for companies with emission reduction targets and carbon credit procurement strategies.
Redefining Carbon Credit Quality
Mark Kenber, executive director of VCMI, hails Bain’s achievement as a crucial step in promoting integrity within the VCMI. He specifically said:
“Their role as a first mover paves the way for other companies to step up, and demonstrates true climate leadership. This… shows how corporate decarbonization and the use of VCMs can complement each other to accelerate the transition to net zero.”
In response, Sam Israelit, Chief Sustainability Officer at Bain & Company, underscores the company’s commitment to reducing its climate impact. The consultancy expert aims to slash scope 1 and 2 emissions by 30% and reduce business travel emissions by 35% per employee by 2026.
High-quality credits, as defined by VCMI, adhere to the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets (IC-VCM)’s Core Carbon Principles (CCP). These principles were introduced to establish a comprehensive quality threshold for carbon credits and restore investor confidence amid price volatility and negative media coverage.
The ICVCM is currently reviewing carbon credit categories and programs, with results expected soon. Earlier this month, the carbon standard setter announced plans to assess more than 100 carbon credit methodologies for adherence to its CCPs.
In the interim, companies making VCMI claims can either retire credits eligible under the International Civil Aviation Organization’s CORSIA offset scheme or disclose their due diligence processes aligned with all 10 core carbon principles.
The infusion of funds into Climate Impact X and Bain & Company’s pioneering carbon integrity claim underscores the growing momentum in the voluntary carbon market towards transparency, credibility, and climate action. These developments herald a promising future where businesses are pivotal in driving meaningful emissions reductions and environmental stewardship.
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