Skip links

Explaining Beyond Value Chain Mitigation (BVCM) and the Role of Carbon Offsetting 

Net zero targets are the most popular and credible approach for forward-looking companies seeking to be at the forefront of sustainability. By early 2024, companies representing more than 90% of global GDP have made net zero commitments.


The fight against climate change however demands every tool in the shed. This includes innovative strategies that extend beyond traditional scopes.

In February 2024, the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi)—a central organization for climate action that enables businesses to set ambitious climate mitigation targets in line with the latest climate science—released its latest guidance for corporations.


This guidance emphasizes the need for corporations to adopt Beyond Value Chain Mitigation (BVCM) approaches, highlighting the importance of contributing to societal net-zero goals, alongside their decarbonization efforts.

So what is the BVCM? And what role does carbon offsetting play in BVCM? We did the research and summarized it here for you.


Understanding BVCM


Companies should go further and invest in mitigation outside their value chains now to contribute towards reaching societal net zero,

Net Zero Standard.

In summary, BVCM is a strategy for organizations to take responsibility for their greenhouse gas emissions beyond their immediate value chains. This refers to activities, influences, and impacts that occur outside of a company’s direct operations and its immediate suppliers and customers.


BVCM is therefore intrinsically linked to Scope 3 emissions, which are defined as all indirect emissions (not included in Scope 2) that occur in the value chain of a reporting company, both upstream and downstream.  According to the GHG Protocol, Scope 3 emissions usually account for up to 70% of a company’s GHG emissions.

BVCM not only encourages companies to meet their science-based targets but also to contribute to societal efforts for achieving net-zero emissions. This includes activities that avoid or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to those that remove GHG from the atmosphere. Hence, BVCM is not only carbon removals, which is often a misinterpretation.


Putting BVCM to practice


To help corporations prioritize climate change mitigation, the SBTi has introduced a “Mitigation Hierarchy”. This recommends initially focusing on setting and achieving short-term and long-term science-based targets (SBTs) for their value chain emissions, emphasizing the reduction and avoidance of emissions. Companies should then start BVCM activities early, alongside their SBTs. As companies progress toward their net zero targets, they should gradually increase their efforts in neutralization.



As noted in the recent report by Gold Standard and MilkyWire, there are four guiding Principles for BVCM:



    • Account and Report Unabated Emissions: Calculate ongoing and historical unabated emissions to understand the scope of responsibility.

    • Set and Maintain an Internal Carbon Fee: Implement a carbon fee to incentivize emission reductions internally and generate funds for climate action.

    • Fund High-Quality Climate Action Beyond the Value Chain: Invest in impactful and effective climate projects, including carbon credit projects, outside the organization’s value chain.

    • Make Credible Claims: Communicate contributions to climate action transparently and credibly without claiming offsetting

As such, the BVCM encourages a balanced portfolio of climate actions, including direct and indirect, near-term, and future impacts. It recommends funding a mix of reduction and removal activities, emphasizing the necessity of supporting Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) to foster sector growth. This is in line with Thallo’s own recommendations on building carbon offset portfolios.


How to use carbon credits in BVCM


Carbon credits—which are used to mitigate GHG residual emissions that a company cannot yet reduce—can play an important role within the BVCM framework.


The latest guidance by SBTi distinguishes between neutralizing emissions through direct reductions within a company’s value chain and contributing to broader climate action through high-quality carbon offset projects. 

This nuanced approach aims to ensure that offsetting contributes positively to global climate goals without detracting from the imperative of in-house emissions reduction.


Organizations are encouraged to engage in carbon offsetting as part of their BVCM strategies, provided they adhere to principles of high-quality offset projects that guarantee additionality, permanence, and avoidance of double counting. This is in line with Thallo’s own approach – as well as other alternative standards used by Thallo, such as the Oxford Principles approach to offsetting


By investing in verified and high quality removal and avoidance projects, companies can support essential climate solutions that extend far beyond their operational boundaries.


Best practices for effective BVCM


To integrate carbon offset into BVCM efforts, whilst ensuring that they are both impactful and credible, organizations should:



    • Prioritize internal emissions reductions in line with the mitigation hierarchy.

    • Invest in carbon offset projects that offer measurable, additional, and permanent emissions reductions.

  • Embrace transparency in reporting BVCM activities and outcomes, focusing on quality and integrity.



The climate crisis requires a whole-of-society approach. For that, forward-looking corporations require clear guidance on best practice when it comes to sustainability. In releasing its latest BVCM guidance, the SBTI has made another step in the right direction.


Addressing BVCM is critical to an organisation’s sustainability plans. Thallo can help your company design and procure SBTi aligned carbon credits to support this journey. 


Reach out now to find out more!