Home » Voluntary Recycling Credits (VRC) Initiative launched at COP28 first standard to incentivise recycling globally

Voluntary Recycling Credits (VRC) Initiative launched at COP28 first standard to incentivise recycling globally

by Madaline Dunn

An international consortium led by Roland Berger and BEEAH Group, in collaboration with DFINITY Foundation, and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), has introduced the world’s first global incentive system to counteract the solid waste footprint.

Supported by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment (MoCCaE) and the COP28 Presidency, the public-private coalition introduced the Voluntary Recycling Credits (VRC) Initiative at the UAE Pavilion at COP28.

Commenting on the initiative, Hani Tohme, Managing Partner, Roland Berger Middle East, said: “The VRC Initiative is built to solve a concrete market gap: with the private sector setting more commitments towards net-zero and circularity, we also acknowledge major barriers to deliver on it. Double-counting, transparency, cost-effectiveness. We decided to tackle it over solid collaboration and exchange between public and private sector, with a cross national approach and a cooperative mindset. Involvement from different stakeholder across countries and multiple layers of the value chain is a crucial part of the VRC value proposition, which aims at a joint effort to shape the future industry standards.”

Announced in Paris in May 2023 by Roland Berger, BEEAH Group, and ISWA on the sidelines of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution (INC-2) in Paris, the VRC Initiative aims to make a “significant impact” and transform global recycling practices.

The Proof of Concept for the VRC Initiative has been successfully developed, with the first live transaction showcased at the UAE Pavilion, COP28, on December 4th, 2023.

The full-scale platform is set to be developed and officially launched in 2024. The initiative is actively seeking project investors, ecosystem partners for recycling credit trading, and technology collaborators to grow the system on a global scale.

Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH Group, commented on the VRC Initiative, stating: “BEEAH Group has been working relentlessly towards a zero-waste to landfill future, which we see as closely linked to fulfilling the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative and broader sustainability agenda. While we drive increasing landfill waste diversion rates, accelerate the circular economy and support lower emissions in the UAE and the region, we want to enable similar positive impact globally. The VRC Initiative is a standardized incentive that is inclusive of all stakeholders across sectors, from waste collectors and recycling companies to large organisations who are committing to addressing the environmental impact of waste produced in their operations.”

The VRC Initiative establishes a set of standardised rules and processes to enable institutions to compensate their solid waste footprint through a transparent ecosystem.

This mechanism, it said, involves trading ‘recycling credits’ on a blockchain-based marketplace, ensuring auditable and secure transactions between waste offsetters and recycling companies.

The initiative, which emphasises the additionality principle to incentivise more recycling worldwide, aims to boost the collection and recycling of solid materials, furthering the management of all types of waste.

The DFINITY Foundation, the technology partner for this initiative, will provide a solution built on the Internet Computer blockchain that will instil confidence, credibility, and scalability into the project, ensuring its viability as a global standard for recycling incentives.

“The VRC platform is a great showcase on how we use Web3 technology for tackling environmental issues. The Internet Computer Protocol technology from Dfinity is a perfect match for it,” says Pierre Samaties, Partner and Global Head of Digital Assets and Web3.

Dominic Williams, Founder and Chief Scientist of the DFINITY Foundation, commented: “The Internet computer is a fully decentralized and tamper-proof network. It guarantees a transparent, auditable, and secure record of recycling credits and transactions. This transparency ensures that all parties – whether waste producers or recyclers – can trust in the veracity of the credits they purchase, sell, or trade.”

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