What is the Gold Standard (GS)?
The Gold Standard (GS) is an independent certification standard for carbon credits generated from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects or Voluntary Emissions Reduction (VER) projects.
It was designed to ensure that carbon credits are not only real and verifiable but that they make measurable contributions to sustainable development. The GS certification process uniquely requires the involvement of local stakeholders and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) throughout the life cycle of the project. The objective of the GS certification is to add a label in terms of commitment towards sustainable development, to the existing and new carbon credits generated by greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction projects developed for the compliance and voluntary carbon markets.
In practice, project developers use a CDM methodology or a GS methodology and in addition prepare a ‘Gold Standard Passport.’ The passport contains supplementary information to demonstrate that the project will contribute to sustainable development by making a net-positive contribution to the economic, environmental and social welfare of the local population that hosts the project.
Established in 2003 by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the GS is the certification standard endorsed by more than 80 NGOs worldwide. The GS is governed by the Gold Standard Foundation, which consists of a Secretariat of 30 people based in 10 different countries and supported by a Foundation Board, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), NGO supporters, a roster of industry experts and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) accredited auditors.
Who can use the GS certification?
GS certification is applicable to any organisation – irrespective of their size or geographical location - who wishes to demonstrate their commitment to compliance in relation to the voluntary carbon offset market. Any initiatives taken in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management and land use and forest can be certified under GS to ensure that they all demonstrate real and permanent GHG emission reductions and sustainable development benefits in local communities that are measured, reported and verified. To be eligible for GS certification, projects must:
- Employ one or more measure(s) in the field of renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management and land use & forest
- Adhere to the strictest standards on additionality
- Positively impact the economy, health, welfare and environment of the local community hosting the project
Project developers are required to contract a UNFCCC accredited third-party to validate and verify the project and its documentation using GS tools and criteria.
- High level of recognition due to presence of stringent and transparent set of certification criteria.
- Internationally viewed and recognised as the benchmark carbon credits for quality and rigour in carbon markets.
- Supports your commitment towards emission reductions as well as sustainable development.
- GS labelling increases the financial value of the carbon credits due to demand from high end buyers.
Validation- evaluating and assuring project’s design documentation against the GS requirements, enabling you to register your project with the GS registry.
Verification - assuring that your organisation's reported data and information on your GHG emissions and sustainable development parameters are accurate and that the data management system provides the infrastructure to collect and analyse the data and information.
For further details please log on to http://www.cdmgoldstandard.org