The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) (Version 3, 2011) is a Greenhouse Gas Programme, describing itself as a ‘comprehensive quality assurance system used to account for greenhouse gas emission reductions and credits’. It applies to offset projects in the voluntary carbon trading sector and was established by the Verified Carbon Standard Association (VCSA).
Manufacturing including machinery, chemical and textiles
The EU Emissions Trading System is an international trading system used as a tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions, helping 28 of the EU member states (+ Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) meet their Kyoto emission reductions commitment.
The Climate Action Reserve is a programme that seeks to ensure the environmental integrity of GHG emissions reduction projects as well as create and support financial and environmental value in the U.S. carbon market. It does this by establishing standards for quantifying and verifying GHG emissions reduction projects, overseeing independent third party verification bodies, issuing carbon credits generated from such projects and tracking the credits over time on a transparent, publicly-accessible system.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the three market based instruments included in the Kyoto Protocol (1997). It is designed to help countries meet emissions reductions, encourage private sector involvement and contribute to sustainable development.
The Ceres Coalition of investors, environmental organisations and other public interest groups states it’s mission as: ‘Integrating sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and people’. The coalition includes many Fortune 500 companies and is involved in improving the dialogue between multiple stakeholders through engagement and disclosure.
Responsible Care is a voluntary initiative in the chemical industry which ‘commits companies to work together to continuously improve the health, safety and environmental performance of their products and processes’.
It is managed by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) which is a membership organisation made up of national associations. Each of the national associations are responsible for implementing the principles of Responsible Care in their countries.
Members of Ethical Trading Intiative (EITI) have to adopt the Base Code for ethical trading and sign up to the Principles of Implementation – these require a company to demonstrate its commitment to ethical trade, to integrate ethical trade into core business activities and drive year-on-year improvements. In addition they should support suppliers through training and capacity building and should report on their activities openly and accurately.
The ETI Base Code Principles are that:
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) declaration is a policy commitment by member governments to: improve the investment climate; encourage Multi National Enterprises (MNEs) contributions to social and economic development; and minimise and resolve difficulties from their operations. The guidelines are supported by a network of National Contact Points (NCP's), agencies established to help governments adhere to the guidelines.
The UN Global Compact (GC) was launched in July 2000 and is a commitment by companies to incorporating environment and development principles within their business structures. Open to any company, The UN Global Compact is a ‘practical framework for the development, implementation, and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices’.
The Soil Association Organic Certification scheme certifies a range of products as organic, according to the EU standards. Accordingly, every step of the production chain must be certified as organic in order to achieve accreditation. The range of organic products now being offered extends from farming, catering, food & drink, textiles & health and beauty. The Soil Association also runs a separate wood certification scheme in conjunction with the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).