The Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct (the Code) is a world-leading domestic consumer protection code for Australia’s carbon industry.

This voluntary and industry-led Code aims to promote market integrity, consumer protection and appropriate interaction with carbon project stakeholders, including Native Title Holders, representative bodies, land managers and project owners.

Signatories to the Code are committed to developing and conducting their business in line with industry best practice and interacting with their clients and other stakeholders in a professional and ethical manner.

Administered by the Carbon Market Institute (CMI), the Code aims to address issues that impact on the reputation of the carbon industry and promote international leadership on carbon project development. It is the first voluntary consumer protection code of its kind globally, focused on improving the integrity of a national (domestic) carbon industry.

The Code

Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct v2.0

The Code of Conduct is a formal document that aims to define industry best practice for carbon project developers, agents, aggregators and advisers and represents the minimum standards that all Signatories agree to meet. This Code co-exists with relevant state or federal legislation, including Australian Consumer Law (Cth) (Schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010). Signatories’ obligations under other relevant laws are not replaced or restricted by this Code. The current Code text is the second version (v2.0), and came into effect on 1 July 2021.

The Administrator

The Administrator plays a key role in addressing issues that impact the integrity and reputation of the carbon industry and promote international leadership on carbon project development. Its operations are governed by a transparent compliance framework, oversight by the Code Review Panel and a regular cycle of independent review. The Carbon Market Institute commenced its ongoing role as inaugural Code Administrator on 1 July 2018.

Approach to Compliance

The Administrator takes a risk-based approach to compliance, prioritizing supportive engagement that assists signatories to understand and meet compliance obligations, rather than solely enforcing punitive sanctions that drive Signatories away. This includes education, monitoring and enforcement activities, and allows for industry accountability through complaints handling, investigation and reporting.

The Code Review Panel

The Code Review Panel is an expert panel responsible for providing independent oversight, monitoring and direction of the Code, including to arbitrate compliance cases that are both referred from the Code Administrator and referred through appeals against actions and sanctions imposed by the Code Administrator. The Panel is a key oversight mechanism that enables the Code to remain independent, accountable and transparent.

Independent Review

The Code integrates a three-yearly independent review mechanism that enables stakeholders to have input into the ongoing maturity, development and integrity of Australia’s carbon industry. The first independent review was conducted at the end of the Code’s two-year foundational stage, and implementation of its 46 recommendations have enabled the Code’s expansion into full operation as intended by 1 July 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to some of the Code Administrator’s most commonly asked questions.