What is the difference between validation and
Validation is the process of evaluating the design of a project's plan for
sequestering carbon dioxide or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. Verification
is the process of evaluating calculations of the actual amount of greenhouse
gas emissions that have been avoided or sequestered through implementation of
How long will the carbon offset validation or verification process
The length of the verification or validation audit process depends on the size
and complexity of the project, the standards used, and project type. The
duration is also affected by how well the project developer is prepared and on
To which standards does SCS verify?
SCS can verify projects to the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), Verified Carbon
Standard (VCS), and the American Carbon Registry (ACR) both internationally and
in the US. SCS can also verify projects being developed in the US to the
California Air Resource Board (ARB) Compliance Program for all compliance
How much does it cost?
Costs depend on factors such as project size, location, complexity, type, the
standards used, and level of preparedness. Contact us for a customized
What information do I need to provide to get a quote?
Filling out an SCS application will provide us with the information needed to
create a price quote. A complete application allows SCS to produce an accurate
quote quickly. You will need to provide information on the standards used,
project status, project size, and project location.
How do I know when my project is ready for validation and
Projects can be validated once a project is listed with a recognized GHG
program, such as VCS or CAR, and the project description is finalized. Projects
can be verified once emissions reductions or removals can be measured.
Validation and verification can happen simultaneously or separately. We
often recommend conducting an internal audit to make sure your document is
complete in order to save time.
Do you help project developers sell offsets or credits?
As an independent verifier, SCS does not participate in the buying, selling, or
marketing of credits. However, third-party verification of credits is often a
prerequisite for entry into carbon markets.
Does SCS help with project development?
As an independent third-party verifier, we cannot participate in consulting
activities such as helping with project development.
What is the difference between a renewable energy carbon offset
credit and a renewable energy certificate (REC)?
A renewable energy offset credit is one ton of carbon emissions that is avoided
or offset because a renewable energy project was pursued instead of a more
carbon-intensive energy production project. All carbon offsets are subject to
the rule of “additionality,” meaning that the documented carbon offset would
not have occurred in a “business-as-usual” scenario, and therefore constitutes
an additional avoidance of carbon emissions. An REC simply confirms that a
renewable energy project has been developed. While RECs are used to track
government and utility goals in renewable energy, they are not subject to
additionality rules and cannot be sold in carbon markets. Carbon offset credits
and RECs are distinct and often complementary commodities in financial