Carbon Project Quality Assurance

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.

Project Validation

During the design stage, the internationally-recognized standards validate the project to make sure it meets certain quality assurance protocols.

Ongoing Verification

The project is verified throughout its lifecycle to ensure it provides all the community, environment, and ecosystem benefits that were promised.

SDG Alignment

We use this information to constantly check that the projects also align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Documentation

For complete transparency, you can find which standard(s) each project complies with, along with all validation documents in our project portfolio.

Verification Criteria

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:

Reduce Leakage

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.

Realistic Baseline

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.

Ensure 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.

Increased Permanence  

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.

Our Standards

All of our carbon offset projects have been verified to at least one of the stringent standards below.

Gold Standard Logo

Gold Standard

  • 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
VCS logo

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 
CCB Standards Logo

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
Plan Vivo Standard Logo

Plan Vivo

  • 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
Climate Action Reserve Logo

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 Logo

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

Carbon Offset Projects

View all of the carbon offset projects that we support and learn more about the benefits of each.

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