A visionary article about certifications from forty years ago

Some of us, scholars studying certifications, like to think that our field is very new. Yet, Taylor was writing about certifications a good forty years before we started thinking about them…

Shortest summary of my PhD—certificatory competition in voluntary carbon markets

The shortest summary of my PhD is: it’s hard to be a voluntary carbon offset certification! Check out the figure below. It shows the total value generated by the most prominent certifications in voluntary carbon markets (between the launch of the first fully-fledged certification and the beginning of the implementation of the Paris Agreement). ‘Blue’,…

A puzzling question about free markets and regulation

Carbon markets date back to the 1960s. Ronald Coase applied his idea of a pricing mechanism for the allocation of radio frequencies to questions of public harms such as environmental damages. The idea then saw improvement in the context of carbon markets in the 1960s/1970s. So, the mechanisms upon which modern carbon markets build are…

Carbon markets—simple yet not simple

In many ways, carbon trading and carbon markets are not as complicated as many believe. Explaining what carbon trading is, in fact, is surprisingly simple: Carbon offset certifications are also easy to explain: So, at the foundation, carbon trading/markets are not complicated. &&& What is complex/complicated is the governance of carbon markets. As a result…

Certificatory organisations you can’t avoid

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) The quality-oriented ISO 9000 is probably the most well-spread certificatory standards on the planet, but do you know how many more standards ISO has? A lot more! More than 21607! That’s right! Twenty-one THOUSAND standards, being used in ~163 countries. That’s a lot! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)…

Not all standards are certifications, enter Rockefeller

Some standard-making organisations are certifications. However, not all standards come from certifications. Standardisation is nothing else than homogenisation of processes against a ‘golden mean’, be it by one or many actors, be it formally or informally. Consider the case of John D. Rockefeller, whose oil empire changed the face of the world back in the…