The Correct Approach
The question of how to properly communicate a company's commitment to climate action, both internally and externally, is immensely important. Making the right sustainabilty claim makes it possible to communicate the measures you have taken and your contribution to climate action in a compelling way.
Support Climate Action with Carbon Credits
With changed conditions on the carbon market, primarily due to the Paris Climate Agreement's entry into force, claims such as "climate neutral", "offset" or "carbon compensated" no longer meet current transparency requirements.
By purchasing carbon credits, your company mobilizes funds for the implementation of additional climate action measures. And this is exactly how it should be referred to for transparent communication.
With this in mind, First Climate has developed the label "Supporting Climate Action". This label is compatible with the guidelines of the Paris Agreement and represents a future-proof alternative to previous climate claims. Use the claim and the label provided by First Climate to communicate your support for climate action outside your own value chain and make it transparent how you take responsibility.
The First Climate Label: Supporting Climate Action
By purchasing carbon credits, your company can directly support high-quality climate action measures outside your value chain. As a supplement to minimizing your operational carbon footprint, the voluntary purchase of certified emission reduction or carbon removal credits is an important tool for making a measurable and effective short-term contribution to global climate action.
Criteria for the granting of the First Climate Label "Supporting Climate Action"
The First Climate Label "Klimaschutz-Beitrag"/ "Supporting Climate Action" is granted upon request if the following requirements are met:
a.) Purchase of carbon credits through First Climate: Certificates must be sourced from at least one emission reduction or carbon removal project. The granting of the label is not tied to a minimum purchase.
b.) Certification of the supported project(s): The projects issuing the purchased carbon credits must be verified by a recognized quality standard.
c.) Irrevocable retirement of the credits in an official registry: The year on the label indicates the retirement year of the purchased carbon credits. The retirment can be done by First Climate. Alternatively, it can also be carried out by the buyer or a service provider commissioned by him or her. In the latter case, a corresponding certificate of retirement must be submitted. If several partial quantities of carbon credits are retired during the course of the year, the first retirement in each case is decisive. The label may not be used before the acquired credits have been properly retired.
Ensuring Climate Benefits
Our recommendations for supporting climate
projects with carbon credits
To ensure your commitment to climate action is effective, we recommend that the following three principles be observed when volunatrily supporting projects with carbon credits:
Integrate buying carbon credits into a comprehesive climate strategy
Supporting climate action with carbon credits should only be used with other measures, in particular the reduction of a company’s avoidable emissions from its operations and value chain. It is an additional contribution to climate action.
Comply with relevant quality guidelines
To ensure the quality of credits from carbon emission reduction or carbon removal projects, purchased carbon credits must be certified according to a recognized quality standard (Gold Standard, VERRA, etc.).
Account for all relevant emissions
The amount of carbon credits must also be based on the carbon footprint calculation following international standards (ISO 14064, Greenhous Gas Protocol) according to the ton-for-ton principle. If, however, individual emission sources are omitted from the calculation, this must be communicated transparently and made publicly accessible. This ensures there is a equivalent benefit to the climate and also creates incentives for additional reduction measures.
Transparent Communciation –
Provide Key Information
Every climate strategy is individual, and a label can only be one building block to transparent communication. We recommend that any additional information you can provide be easily accessible and prominently placed. For example,a link could be placed next to the label, which leads to a webpage with further details.
First Climate recommends that label users make the following information on their corporate commitment to climate action publicly available:
Your company‘s climate targets and climate path
Measures taken to reduce emissions inside and outside of the value chain
Calculated carbon footprint (incl. scope/ standard)
Which emissions were or were not taken into account, and why
The standard used for the calculated carbon footprints
Independent certifications, etc. if applicable
Information on "Supporting Climate Action"
General overview on the principle of project funding with carbon credits
Information on the supported project:
Standards, technology, amount of credits acquired.
What year did the carbon emission reduction or removal take place?
Intended use of the carbon credits
Our Expert Team
Head of Audit & Compliance
The information and recommendations presented herein have been compiled by First Climate to the best of its knowledge and belief and reflect the views of First Climate in light of the information available at the time this website was created. The presentation does not claim to be complete. In this respect, the information provided here is a non-binding representation for which First Climate assumes no liability. In this respect, the representation made here does not exonerate you from conducting your own examination of the facts. Therefore, please check all recommendations and content for factual appropriateness and correctness of content and also whether you wish to adopt the statements and recommendations made here as your own, prior to any possible publication of content on the subject.