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Join our Herd of Approved Buyers

Helen Gillespie-Brown, Wilder Carbon

Helen Gillespie-Brown Wilder Carbon Business Development Manager

7 min read

Are you an organisation who wishes to actively help mitigate climate change and reverse biodiversity loss, and do it the right way?

High integrity in the voluntary carbon market ensures that the environmental, economic, and reputational benefits associated with carbon offsetting are real and meaningful, thereby supporting more significant global efforts to combat climate change effectively.

Nature-based carbon offsets provide a multifaceted approach to climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. By sequestering carbon, enhancing biodiversity, and offering socio-economic benefits, they represent a holistic and effective strategy. Their ability to create resilient ecosystems capable of adapting to changing climate conditions further underscores their importance in global climate strategy.

What is the Approved Buyer Assessment Framework for Wilder Carbon Standard for Nature and Climate?

Wilder Carbon (a non-profit organisation) and its delivery partners, as well as the buyers we work with, want to see real climate benefits delivered as a result of nature restoration. This means that buyers need to play their part too, protecting everyone’s reputation and the future of genuine high integrity carbon offsets as a justifiable, beneficial mechanism. This is where the Buyer Approval Assessment process comes in.

V2 of the Standard sets out a series of high-level eligibility requirements that potential buyers must meet to be approved ahead of using Wilder Carbon Credits for offsetting/ insetting, or any other purpose. It therefore requires:

a. a robust, credible plan to achieve net zero emissions that follows recognised criteria derived from science-based targets

b. and, timely delivery against this carbon reduction strategy

More details can be found here.

Why do we have an Approved Buyer Assessment process and why would you want to be an Approved Buyer?

Wilder Carbon is a premium product only open to project partners who can demonstrate alignment with the Wilder Carbon Principles and have their own demonstrable carbon emission reduction plans in place. Wilder Carbon projects are designed and implemented through “Trusted Deliverers” (UK conservation organisations) to restore our natural environment. Projects are independently verified by the Soil Association working to the Standard. This ensures high integrity on the supply side. The Standard also aims for the highest possible integrity on the buyer side.

Wilder Carbon therefore only supports businesses who do not represent a reputational risk to the scheme by adopting a set of climate and ethical exclusions (see Annex 2 of the Framework document here) that will eliminate any organisations who are involved directly or indirectly in these activities from seeking or gaining Approved Buyer status.

Becoming a Wilder Carbon Approved Buyer will create the following benefits to your organisation as a whole:

•       You will be investing in high quality nature-based projects that reinstate natural processes which will animate the natural carbon cycles and build landscape resilience for more durable carbon lock up as well as creating a biodiversity uplift in carbon rich native habitats

•       You will reinforce your own moral and ethical standpoint and protect your brand equity

•       You can take advantage of becoming an ‘early adopter’ of high integrity voluntary carbon reduction action which will generate positive PR; create a great Marketing story; and potentially gain market share over competitors in your industry sector etc.

•       As a UK based business you can offset your impact locally and be proud to support local UK initiatives and support a project that is tangible and easily accessible/visible

•       You can support projects that can help to engage and educate your customers and/or employees through site visits, skills & learning activities, volunteering etc.

•       You will be working with a high integrity Trusted brand supplier and reducing risk wherever possible

•       You will be able to attract more and higher skilled staff talent. According to this article by Future Business read here : 71% of job seekers want to work for environmentally friendly employers, with 67% being more willing to apply for positions in sustainable companies and 1 in 3 even going so far as to say they would accept a lower salary to work for sustainable or socially responsible organisations.” Lynne Pratt, 29th November 2022.

 More specifically to Wilder Carbon:

As an Approved Buyer you will be part of our broader Community of Practice which seeks to function as a forum for continuous improvement in carbon reduction best practice.

·       You will have access to the Wilder Carbon Buyer Community of Practice platform

·       You will have use of the Wilder Carbon logo to promote your Approved Buyer status

·       You will have exclusive access to purchase EIUs ahead of them being verified as Wilder Carbon Units  

How do you become a Wilder Carbon Approved Buyer?

Do you fulfil the following criteria?

·       a UK registered company.

·       have a public commitment to achieving net zero emissions.

·       have a credible plan to achieve net zero emissions that follows recognised criteria derived from the Science-Based Targets

·       are committed to avoiding any specifically excluded activities (see Annex 2 of the Framework document here).

Get in touch with the Wilder Carbon team by emailing Helen Gillespie-Brown at helen.gillespie-brown@wildercarbon.com who can then set up a meeting to discuss your needs and if appropriate, start the Approved Buyer Assessment process.

Approved Buyers will be subject to a one-off first year certification fee once Approved Buyer status has been granted.

1st Year Certification Fee - £795. Reduced SME/ Charity price £495 (we define an SME as an independent, non-subsidiary company with fewer than 250 employees.)

VAT - All prices shown above exclude VAT, which will be charged as appropriate at the prevailing rate (currently 20%). Pricing to be reviewed after 6 months during the pilot stage. Subsequent review will take place annually in line with inflation.

The Standard requires that Approved Buyers publish annual emissions reductions reports, which Wilder Carbon will use to check that emissions plans are being implemented to the best of a given buyer’s ability as well as the visibility of their effort to continually improve their reduction action where significant residual hard to-abate elements remain, or where emissions increase due to factors like business acquisition. This will enable the company in question to retain their Wilder Carbon Approved Buyer status.

Any Approved Buyer found to not be delivering their emissions reduction strategy due to factors within their control will, after opportunity for recourse, have their approved status revoked. The same will apply to those who are found to have acted against the principles of Wilder Carbon and threaten to bring the scheme into disrepute. Full details are set out in our standard Approved Buyer Agreement.

When is a good time to become an Approved Buyer?

The best time to become a buyer is influenced by a combination of factors including your immediate and long-term goals, market conditions, policy environment, and organisational readiness. Given the urgency of climate action, investing sooner rather than later generally has a more significant positive impact. Monitoring market trends and aligning purchases with high-quality projects and supportive policies can optimise the benefits of your investment in nature-based carbon offsets.

Due to the limited supply here in the UK currently for high quality, high integrity, nature based carbon offset units, and with urgency building particularly for those organisations who have 2030 as an interim or total net zero target, now is the time to secure your supply in order to be able to achieve your company net zero goals. Market conditions are changing rapidly and with that, market prices are currently on the upward trend so the nearer we draw to 2030, 2040, 2050 the prices will exponentially rise accordingly. In order to secure your units in advance at the lowest cost, purchasing sooner rather than later is strongly recommended.

Contact Helen Gillespie-Brown at helen.gillespie-brown@wildercarbon.com to learn more.