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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 demands urgent and substantial cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Achieving this requires a comprehensive strategy of carbon management for organisations. Carbon management is the implementation of a thorough and transparent organisation-wide process to measure and report GHG emissions, identify and implement actions to reduce internal emissions in line with science, and thereafter use high quality carbon credits to offset unavoidable emissions.

The ICROA Accreditation for organisations has been recognised since 2008 as the industry standard for promoting GHG emissions reductions and offsetting to the highest standards of environmental integrity, in support of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement goals. Accreditation is obtained annually through a third-party audit process based on the requirements of the ICROA Code of Best Practice (“The Code of Best Practice”). The Code of Best Practice sets out the guidelines for high integrity and evolves as the voluntary carbon market (VCM) develops to always encompass best practice.

The Code of Best Practice ensures ICROA Accredited organisations, and their clients, undertake carbon management strategies that lead to ambitious and impactful climate action. The Code is structured as follows:

  • Section 1: Carbon management services

  • Section 2: Sourcing and use of carbon credits for offsetting



All organisations seeking Accreditation have already completed the ICROA Application process and have thereby confirmed in good faith that they meet eligibility criteria and are eligible to be audited against the requirements of this Code of Best Practice.

The Code of Best Practice is applicable to the following voluntary carbon management services provided by the Accredited organisation:

  • Developing GHG emissions and removals inventories (footprint)

  • GHG emissions reduction advisory services, including target setting and strategies to align with science

  • Providing and advising on certification programmes that include the use of carbon credits, e.g.  BSI PAS 2060 and NCOS (Australia’s National Carbon Offset Standard)

  • Offsetting services through the provision and retirement of ICROA-approved carbon credits 

  • Providing transparent and robust reporting, claims and communication services

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 ICROA endorsed VCM Standards. 

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ICROA Endorsement of VCM Standards 
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