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Members of ICROA are able to demonstrate the quality, integrity and credibility that is essential for successful carbon offset programmes. 

The ICROA Code of Best Practice is established as the benchmark of quality for carbon management and offset service providers.  Members are audited annually to ensure their activities adhere to the Code.

  View the ICROA Audit Status page for our members.

The voluntary carbon market has become an established and important component of climate change mitigation.  With clear rules and standards to ensure quality, companies that are committed to leading action on climate change use carbon offset programmes as part of a broader carbon management strategy to guarantee immediate, effective emissions reductions while delivering value to their business.

As part of its Code of Best Practice, ICROA only endorses carbon standards for carbon offsetting that meet its stringent specifications.  ICROA endorsed standards are:

UN and Government Standards:

Independent Standards:

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Joint Implementation (JI)

American Carbon Registry

Climate Action Reserve

Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) of the Australian Government

UK Woodland Carbon Code

Gold Standard

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

These standards are widely recognised by experts and policy makers as the most rigorous.  They include criteria to ensure carbon credits (also known as Verified Emission Reductions – VERs) sold meet criteria to ensure they are Real, Measurable, Unique, Independently verified, Permanent and Additional.  These standards all have external registries which allow the carbon credits to be tracked using their serial numbers for origination to retirement.

ICROA also endorses use of the Social Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) Standard to ensure best practice in environmental and social assessment when combined with one of the carbon credit standards listed above.

New standards for carbon offsetting projects may be proposed at any time for potential inclusion as an ICROA endorsed standard.  For further information please contact the ICROA secretariat.

Download ICROA’s Offset Standard Review Criteria for further information.

ICROA and its industry peers – the Climate Markets and Investment Association (CMIA) and the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) – have issued a joint statement on the sale of carbon credits/voluntary emission reductions (VERs) to the public. Read the statement here.

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