Thanks to the increase of alternative energies, more and more organisations are committing to reducing – even completely eliminating – their carbon footprint by opting for cleaner, more efficient technologies.  Nevertheless, this goal is neither easy nor cheap to achieve. For this reason, mechanisms like the Verified Carbon Standard have been put in place to support businesses in achieving their objectives: carbon markets.

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What is the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)?

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) is a robust and prestigious greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting program, developed by Verra, an international non-profit organisation.

The VCS program's main goal is to ensure quality and credibility in voluntary carbon markets by credibly measuring, reporting, and verifying emission reductions and removals. To do so, this framework gathers a series of rules and requirements for projects hoping to obtain certification and Verified Carbon Unit (VCU) credits, a unit of measurement that corroborates that a ton of GHG has not been released into the atmosphere.

Why get Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) certification? 

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) standard paves the way for businesses, organisations, and governments to take meaningful action on climate change. It promotes the support of high-quality carbon offset projects and fosters sustainable development worldwide.

Additionally, it instils transparency, credibility, and environmental integrity in the voluntary carbon market, making it an essential tool for addressing global climate change challenges.

Verified Carbon Standard compliance and market acceptance 

VCS is accepted worldwide as a high-quality GHG carbon credit provider. This means that companies can opt for this program to fulfil their respective emission reduction and/or removal requirements. These are some of the markets that the VCS program complies with:

  • Colombia´s Carbon Market
  • South Africa’s Carbon Market
  • Corsia

Benefits of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

Registering such a Verified Carbon Standard project offers a range of benefits to the project developer, including:

  • Increased credibility. The Credible Carbon Offsetting verifies and provides certification of carbon offset project.This ensures that the claimed emissions reductions are real, measurable, additional, and permanent.
  • A means to diversify sustainable development initiatives. The VCS provides a comprehensive framework to cover a wide range of project types, including forestry, agriculture, renewable energy, and waste management, among others. This promotes a diverse portfolio of sustainable development initiatives.
  • Reporting that’s transparent and reliable. VCS offers a rigorous verification means to validate and verify projects. Independent third-party audits ensure both the integrity and reliability of reported emission reductions.
  • Global Recognition. Projects certified under the VCS standard are recognized globally, providing market confidence and credibility to buyers and participants in the voluntary carbon market.
  • Alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). VCS emphasises the importance of contributing to sustainable development goals, ensuring that projects not only reduce emissions but also bring positive social and economic benefits to local communities.

How Verified Carbon Units are generated under the VCS program 

The procedure for generating carbon units within the VCS Program comprises five key steps: 

  1. Methodology identification.
  2. Project description and registration.
  3. Project description validation. 
  4. Emission reduction verification. 
  5. The Verified Carbon Unit (VCU) can be issued.

For a project to be validated and verified, its developers must turn to an external, impartial and duly accredited (VCS-approved) body to carry out an audit with a view to determining if it complies with all the VCS rules and requirements.
The external body assigns specific auditors to carry out the validation and verification exercise according to their training and experience in the type of project and the sector in question.

Why obtain the Verified Carbon Standard with Applus+ Certification

We are a globally renowned, independent and impartial body accredited by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Our team of highly qualified auditors are strategically placed in more than 20 countries to provide expertise in a wide range of accreditation fields. We have more than 10 years of experience and have conducted more than 3,000 projects in the field of System Management Certification.

Accredited by the United Nations for CDM projects and approved by VCS for conducting validation and verification work, we boast with experience in the following accredited fields:  

  1. Biomass for the generation of heat and power
  2. Fuel switching
  3. Solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal power (renewables)
  4. Energy efficiency (improvements in biomass cooking equipment, efficient lighting and climate control solutions for homes and industry, efficient methods of pumping water, etc.)
  5. Management of solid waste (capture of biogas in landfills for power generation, waste treatment and recycling systems, incineration, gasification)
  6. Sewage treatment systems
  7. Management of waste arising from cattle farming and animal husbandry
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