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Are circular economy businesses DISQUALIFIED from voluntary carbon markets by default?

Carbon markets are a powerful tool to accelerate climate action ...and enable businesses offering solutions to avoid, reduce and remove GHG emission to stay afloat while they grow (think Tesla who had earned more from carbon markets than from its EV sales ).

It is therefore no surprise that there is interest among circular economy players to tap into this revenue stream. After all, by implementing circularity, they would be avoiding, reducing or removing emissions.... So, it should qualify as being able to earn from carbon markets, right?

Sorry, but NO.

Gatekeepers to Voluntary Carbon Markets

The way that carbon market are set up and the principles they follow means that monetising from the carbon markets is a bit more sophisticated than just knowing that your solution could avoid, reduce or remove emission. There is the verification of your measurements, additionality, permanence, leakages etc etc etc ... And above all, an ultimate gatekeeper that decide if your solution can monetise from carbon markets or not is.... Accepted Methodology.

So is circular economy practices and business models recognised in the existing Accepted Methodology? Or are they already disqualified from the carbon market from the get go?

CBASS inspires study on CE representation in VCM methodologies

Circular Business Association inspired a Masters Thesis student in 2022/2023 from Cranfield University (United Kingdom) to study the circular economy representation in Voluntary Carbon Market methodologies. The student studied the Verra and Gold standard methodologies to shed light on the two questions above.

The study team will be co-authoring a paper with the association based on this thesis for journal submission in coming months.

Read the abstract with main findings at:

Tejas Rajput_ Cranfield MSc Thesis_Abstract_Assessing the current representartion of circu
Download • 27KB

Article by: Lijin Chin

Updated: 2 November 2023



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