The product is intended for companies in the Americas, Asia and Europe that do not currently face a regulatory requirement to reduce carbon emissions but that wish to proactively develop a carbon strategy that identifies financial opportunities and enhances their brand in light of growing concerns about climate change, Merrill said.
Its aim is to help companies identify potential win-win opportunities that simultaneously reduce emissions and costs. Companies seeking to attain a carbon-neutral position by offsetting any residual emissions can protect their reputation through procuring carbon credits with the highest sustainability attributes in the voluntary carbon market, Merrill Lynch added.
ICF International will support the implementation of Green & Gold and assume responsibility for identifying and assessing each client’s carbon footprint and total emissions, and will work with these clients to identify potential opportunities to reduce emissions through measures such as improving energy efficiency.
Abyd Karmali, managing director and global head of carbon emissions at Merrill Lynch, said: “Our view is that the carbon market, now worth $70 billion (Dh257bn), has demonstrated that it provides the most cost-effective approach for companies to reduce and offset their emissions of greenhouse gases. The market must, however, continue to grow on a foundation of environmental integrity.
“Demand in the rapidly growing voluntary carbon offsets market is shifting towards emission reductions that provide stakeholders with an independent guarantee of environmental sustainability and credibility.
“Our decision to finance and distribute carbon credits with a strong hallmark of sustainability is aligned with our objective of promoting environmental stewardship.”
Merrill said it will provide clients with the highest sustainability carbon emission offsets [carbon credits] and access to its full suite of proprietary carbon finance products. Carbon credits offered include those that meet the Gold Standard VER, Gold Standard CDM, and Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) standards, which carry the endorsement of leading environmental and conservation non-governmental organisations.
Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s leading liquidity providers to the global carbon markets and provides clients with a range of risk management and carbon finance solutions.