Established in 2008, ICROA started out as an alliance of VCM service providers to define and promote best practice in carbon management services and the sourcing and use of high-quality carbon credits. Now housed within IETA, the Accreditation Programme has gone from strength-to-strength. ICROA drives industry engagement on key topics including jurisdictional activity, demand for carbon credits and best practice for global collaborations, and ICROA works closely with Programmes across the ecosystem, as well as market initiatives including ICVCM, VCMI, the Project Developers Forum (PDF) and SBTi.
ICROA’s IAC will work in an advisory capacity to support the Secretariat – staffed from IETA – and the Accreditation Committee – a group of stakeholders from the breadth of the global VCM who oversee daily activities. Their role will be to ensure the fundamentals of integrity, quality, continuous improvement, and innovation, as well as access to global markets, remain paramount.
Members of the newly appointed IAC are:
- Shelley Estcourt – CEO Africa at TASC, based in South Africa;
- Bryan Adkins – CEO at Eden Reforestation and Compassionate Carbon, based in Kenya;
- Edit Kiss – Co-Founder and CCO at Integrity Global Partners, based in the UK;
- Dr Maria Carvalho – Head of Climate Economics and Data at NatWest Group, based in the UK;
- Nathalie Flores – Vice-Chair of the UN Climate Change Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), based in the Dominican Republic.
The IAC will share their expansive knowledge as they help pave the way for a next generation carbon market for voluntary buyers.
Upon joining the IAC, Bryan Adkins, said: “ICROA needs to be future ready – we need to evolve and adopt a culture that really values continuous improvement. ICROA needs to incorporate the newest science and best practices from the field and market itself.”
ICROA’s ambition is to create a robust, trusted and transparent market for the use of voluntary carbon credits. Commenting on this, Shelley Estcourt, said: “To me, the VCM should actually just be the Carbon Market. The same core principles of integrity, transparency and accountability should exist no matter what the market.”
It is with these principles in mind that ICROA is keen to drive a renewed view of the market, bringing integrity to the fore and holding carbon market companies accountable for their actions.
Underpinning this, ICROA’s latest programme updates were released in early November. ICROA’s Carbon Crediting Programme Endorsement Procedure – which endorses crediting programmes (or Standards) – now includes enhanced Criteria including guidance around conflict of interest, verification and the qualification of verifiers, and peer review of methodologies. The updated Criteria also include robust criteria around baselines, additionality and carbon pricing to ensure there is consistency and credibility within the market. All Programmes applying for ICROA Endorsement will have to meet these stringent criteria and undergo an Endorsement Renewal every three years.
Two of the latest Programmes to be Endorsed by ICROA are BioCarbon Registry and Cercarbono. Both from Colombia, these programmes join a group of 15 Endorsed Programmes which are included within the ICROA Code of Best Practise.
The ICROA Code of Best Practise the Code (the Code) – which is applicable to companies that sell carbon credits or offer emission reductions and offsetting services – is also in the final rounds of being updated. The Code is central to the Accreditation Programme and companies seeking Accreditation are audited annually against their compliance with the Code. The updated Code will provide greater clarity and guidance on the activities required to meet the Accreditation Programme. This includes a better delineation of project development activities, carbon credit transactions, and use of credits by end-buyers. The update is expected in spring 2024.