US, UK and European Companies Rally Behind Carbon Credit Markets

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Results just released from a survey commissioned by Conservation International and We Mean Business Coalition, after consulting 502 business leaders and executives engaging on sustainability in 500 global organizations from across the United States (40%), United Kingdom (40%) and Europe (20%: France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Poland and Ireland). Manufacturing / construction (18%), Financial services (17%), Technology / media (10%) and Retail (10%) were the main the sectors participating.

The survey was designed to provide general insight into the strategies undertaken and to reflect on corporate climate action, goals, and responsibility.

The specific results related to carbon credits are very interesting:

  1. 89% said carbon credits are important to compensate for annual unabated emissions that organizations are not yet able to eliminate or neutralize. Among sectors, Financial Services stands out, with nearly all (96%) respondents indicating carbon credits are at important or very important. Manufacturing / construction follows with 91%. In terms of regions: Europe 90%, UK 89% and US 87%.

  2. 44% expressed worry about companies using carbon credits without other substantive climate action to cover for their unsustainable behavior. Specific concerns: greenwashing, lack of regulation and transparency requirements, too complicated / difficult to link with existing sustainability priorities, may deter direct action to mitigate emissions, lack of clarity and consistent quality in the market, pricing and unproven / reputational risk.

According to the survey, companies are actively looking to rating agencies – such as Sylvera, BeZero, and Calyx -, the Voluntary Carbon Market Initiative (VCMI), and the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) to address these challenges and help facilitate additional investment in the voluntary market. Use of Artificial Intelligence and remote sensing to measure carbon sequestration in forests was also mentioned.

Business leaders are not only committed to stepping-up climate action, but also to act, as they perceive benefits to reducing emissions for their organizations:

  1. Building brand recognition for serious climate action

  2. Driving critical innovation

  3. Attracting and retaining customers

Interesting, though, to see how the “weighting” of these benefits varied for United States, United Kingdom and Europe. So, click on the image below to see these details. And the full report, incluiding the topic “What is needed for carbon credits to be utilized more?

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