Carbon Standards

Basically, all carbon projects used in compliance markets and more than 99% of voluntary carbon projects are designed and independently audited against third-party carbon standards. These third-party carbon standards help to ensure, amongst many things, that carbon projects are:

  • Real;
  • Measurable / Quantifiable;
  • Permanent (or have appropriate mechanisms to compensate reversals);
  • Additional (i.e., beyond business-as-usual);
  • Independently verified; and
  • Unique (i.e., no double-counting).

Furthermore, these standards help to ensure other technical elements, such as leakage, are addressed.

This said, some of the leading carbon standards used for compliance carbon markets are:

  • The Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and American Carbon Registry’s (ACR) approved protocols or methodologies by the California Air Resources Board; and
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, which in the past, were frequently sold into the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which is the world’s largest carbon market.

The leading carbon standard used in the voluntary carbon market is the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The VCS is often coupled with the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard (CCBS) for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) projects in order to demonstrate net positive community and biodiversity benefits. Such AFOLU projects in project types such as reforestation, improved forestry management, and forest conservation projects. Additional standards used in the voluntary carbon markets are:

  • American Carbon Registry (ACR);
  • Climate Action Reserve (CAR);
  • The Gold Standard (GS); and
  • Plan Vivo. Foundation, as one of the leading carbon offset retailers, provides carbon offset projects across all of these aforementioned carbon standards and across different project types, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, and forestry projects. In addition to supporting voluntary carbon projects that are independently audited against third-party carbon standards, also has a Quality Assurance Protocol.

To learn more carbon certification standards, carbon offset projects, and our Quality Assurance Protocol, please visit Foundation.