While there may be a perception that companies buying carbon credits are failing to take concrete action to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions, the results of a new survey appear to quash that idea.

A new study by Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace – an initiative of non-profit organisation Forest Trends – suggests that companies that participate in voluntary carbon markets are also leaders in several measures of robust climate action, accountability, and ambition and do better according to those criteria that firms that do not buy carbon credits.

The survey found that companies buying carbon credits are reducing their own emissions more quickly than their peers, being 1.8 times more likely to be decarbonising year-over-year, and 1.3 times more likely to have supplier engagement strategies.

The research showed that the median voluntary credit buyer was investing three times more in emission reduction efforts within their value chain, according to Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace.

María Mendiluce, chief executive officer of the non-profit organisation, commented on the study’s findings, saying: “This research clearly shows that companies which are investing in carbon markets – far from being laggards or greenwashers – are using carbon credits as part of ambitious, holistic decarbonisation strategies.”

She said that participating in high integrity carbon markets was a credible action against climate change and nature depletion.

The CEO of Conservation International, M. Sanjayan, said carbon credits offered an immediate way for businesses to reduce global emissions right now.

“Today’s report reaffirms what we’ve long known: carbon credit buyers tend to be leaders in taking climate action,” he said, adding: “Those criticising them or lagging on the sidelines should take note.”

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