Tropical Leaves

The ICROA Code of Best Practice aims to define international best practice for offset-inclusive carbon management and represents the minimum requirements that all ICROA accredited organisations must meet. The ICROA Code of Best Practice is applicable to voluntary carbon management services provided by ICROA accredited organisations.



Scientific knowledge on climate change and its likely impacts demands an urgent and substantial cut in greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving this reduction requires a comprehensive strategy of carbon management for individuals and organisations. Carbon management is the implementation of a thorough and transparent organisation-wide process to measure greenhouse gas emissions, identify and implement actions to reduce internal emissions, and use carbon credits to compensate for unavoidable emissions. The ICROA Code of Best Practice ensures that ICROA accredited organisations and their clients undertake carbon management strategies that are credible and sustainable. This executive summary is supported with a detailed Technical Specification to enable ICROA organisations to implement and comply with rigorous and auditable requirements. The Technical Specification is further supported with reporting templates as part of the assessment and compliance processes managed by the ICROA Secretariat.



The ICROA Code of Best Practice covers the following four areas of carbon management, as further defined in Section 1 of the Code of Best Practice – Technical Specification:






In summary, ICROA accredited organisations commit to:

Perform carbon measurement in accordance with international standards (e.g. WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocols and ISO 14064).


Encourage clients to set challenging targets to go beyond business-as-usual.  


Encourage clients to assess emission reduction opportunities and prioritize costeffective actions.


Use credible carbon credits in accordance with international standards and programs. 


Use third-party registries and to retire or remove carbon credits used for offsetting.


Encourage clients to communicate their carbon status and footprints, including emissions associated with the organization, product, service or event, as well as details about actions to reduce and offset emissions

Sourcing and Use of Carbon Credits for Offsetting

When offsetting greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of a client, ICROA accredited organisations commit to use carbon credits based on the following principles :

  • Real

  • Measureable

  • Permanent

  • Additional

  • Independently verified

  • Unique


ICROA accredited organisations are also encouraged to promote sustainable development in the projects that they develop and provide. When offsetting greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of a client, ICROA accredited organisations commit to use only the carbon credits that are or will be validated, verified and registered under the following standards*:






*Assessed by ICROA on the basis of Standard Review Criteria. Both Endorsed Standards and Conditionally Endorsed Standards are required to proactively inform ICROA of any updates or changes on an annual basis before Q3 of each year, along with the supporting documentation for an official technical review. Failure to do so may result in exclusion from the Code. For more information, please contact the ICROA Secretariat.

** Conditional Endorsement is attributed to Standards that meet ICROA criteria for endorsement, and are pending the achievement of set threshold values in order to validate the full operationalisation of the Programme (e.g. registered projects, issued credits, etc). ICROA Accredited Organisations can use carbon credits from conditionally endorsed standards and will be Code compliant. For more details, please contact the ICROA Secretariat.

ICROA Accredited Organisations that are not in good standing with ICROA or are not compliant with the Code of Best Practice and fail to resolve such infractions shall be excluded from ICROA. 

Approved Emissions Factors:

New Zealand: Ministry for the Environment – National Emissions Factors

Australia: Department of the Environment  and Energy - National Greenhouse Accounts Factors

Germany: BMU (Federal Ministry for the Environment)

Netherlands: Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment - National Emission Factors

UK: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) - Current GHG conversion factors

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)Emission Factors Database

New Standards, Interested Standards

New Standards for carbon offsetting projects may be proposed at any time to be included in our official review sessions for potential inclusion as an ICROA endorsed standard. We ask Standards to refrain from communicating any association with ICROA, including publishing statements such as 'pending ICROA endorsement', 'adheres to the ICROA Code of Best Practice' or 'In Line with the ICROA Code of Best Practice' until official feedback regarding endorsement is communicated by the ICROA Secretariat.

See ICROA Accredited Organisations