Carbon Project Quality Assurance
We want to guarantee that the carbon offset projects we support are legitimate and scientifically proven to help mitigate climate change. We can’t do this alone, so we work with third-party verifiers and validators to ensure ALL our projects meet rigorous standards. That means when you offset with us, you won’t risk funding a project that isn’t approved by experts.
During the design stage, the internationally-recognized standards validate the project to make sure it meets certain quality assurance protocols.
The project is verified throughout its lifecycle to ensure it provides all the community, environment, and ecosystem benefits that were promised.
We use this information to constantly check that the projects also align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Standards may differ in their methodologies and focus on varying project categories and locations, but they all have something in common. All our standards verify that their projects meet the below criteria:
Under the standards, the project cannot increase emissions in another location, even if it is unintended. If the project requires materials to be shipped in from elsewhere, the fossil fuel emissions can increase as a result. If logging is stopped in one area but moves to another, this is classed as leakage as well.
The standards help determine a baseline which shows what would have happened if the project had not been implemented. What levels of carbon emissions and sequestration would occur without the project? And will this improve with an offsetting project? Standards make sure that this baseline is realistic and they then use it to measure additionality.
Additionality confirms that carbon reduction and other benefits would not have happened without the support of a carbon offsetting project. If any of these benefits would have happened anyway without the support from carbon offsetting, it is not considered additional by the standards, so you won’t find any of these projects in our portfolio.
We want our projects to reduce carbon in the atmosphere for as long as physically possible. The standards help us to ensure this by scientifically measuring the stability of carbon sinks such as forests. If the project can easily be reversed, by chopping down trees for example, this can release a lot of CO2 and have the opposite effect of what we desire.
No Double Counting
We retire every credit that we sell to make sure that it isn’t resold and recounted towards global climate mitigation.
All of our carbon offset projects have been verified to at least one of the stringent standards below.
- Founded by WWF & other environment and development NGOs
- Focused on sustainable development, environmental integrity and gender-sensitive project design
- Projects are guided by local stakeholder consultation meetings
Verified Carbon Standard
- The world’s most widely used voluntary emissions reduction standard
- Covers a diverse range of project types
- Managed by Verra, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by global carbon market experts including The Climate Group, International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and The World Economic Forum
Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards
- Focused on land management projects that deliver positive benefits for local communities and biodiversity
- Promotes innovative project designs
- Increases funding opportunities for project developers to limit the risk for investors and offset buyers
- Aims to engage community groups in the projects
- Works with projects that enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services
- High levels of stakeholder engagement throughout
- Projects have positive socioeconomic benefits for local communities
Natural Forest Standard
- Certifies REDD+ forest carbon projects that have social, carbon and ecosystem benefits
- Founded in 2011 with the aim to provide a specific standard for the voluntary carbon market for medium to large scale forest protection projects
- Ensures the distribution of benefits to the local and indigenous communities and no net loss of biodiversity through project activities
Climate Action Reserve
- Ensures that projects don’t interfere with other environmental issues such as air and water quality, endangered species protection and environmental justice
- Only projects in USA are eligible (and some in Mexico)
- Covers a wide variety of project types
American Carbon Registry
- An enterprise of Winrock International, a nonprofit organization that works to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources
- Founded in 1996 as the first private voluntary offset program in the world
- Validates both compliance and voluntary offset projects
- Recognized for its high standards for environmental integrity and transparency