Generate tradable carbon credits for your forest carbon and land-use carbon offset projects that are credible, transparent, and tradable in global carbon markets. SCS Global Services is a globally recognized verifier of forest and land-use carbon offset projects, with notable expertise in REDD and Improved Forest Management projects.
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Benefits of Forest and Land-Use Carbon Offset Verification
SCS is a globally recognized verifier and validator of forest and land-use carbon offset claims. We offer professional and timely service, integrity, and technical expertise.
The SCS audit team has broad expertise in Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land-Use (AFOLU), including forest inventory and sampling, remote sensing, GIS, forest biometrics, forest modeling, soil carbon, combined VCS-CCB audits, and combined FSC and forest carbon audits.
The following project types can be verified:
Pre-assessment or gap analysis - We can conduct a gap analysis prior to initiating the project. A gap analysis can identify technical issues prior to full verification.
Project design validation - Validate the design of your forest carbon offset project with SCS to determine your eligibility for verification. Please contact our GHG team at any point in the development stages of your project.
Verification of project-based emissions reductions - We verify GHG emission reductions based on the program standard and project type.
VCS Methodology Assessment - For carbon offset projects where no prior methodology exists.
Contact SCS for a Carbon Offset Manual specific to your project type and standard.
Combine your carbon offset verification with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Forest Management Certification for increased operational and cost efficiency.
SCS will guide your project staff through the verification process and provide personalized attention with a fast turnaround and a high-level of service tailored to your needs. Contact SCS for a Carbon Offset Manual specific to your project type and standard to get started.
Apply for Verification
Complete an application form, including a description of your project and its location. SCS staff will return a proposal to you for signature. To initiate the verification process, return a signed proposal and contract agreement.
Submit Project Documentation
SCS will conduct a desk review of all project documentation and issues findings to the applicant. You have an opportunity to address each finding before the site visit.
On Site Visit
We will conduct site visit(s) to assess the project's compliance with the relevant program standards. This includes an office visit and a field visit.
Draft Verification Report
SCS will issue a draft verification report that details findings from the site visit. You have an opportunity to address findings before the final verification decision is made.
A lead verifier who was not involved in the audit will do an independent review of the draft verification report.
The final verification opinion is submitted to the applicable greenhouse gas registry for issuance of carbon offsets (as warranted).
SCS Global Services first began verifying carbon offset projects in 2007, building on its long history as an expert in forest management certification. In 2008, we were among the first companies in the world to achieve ISO 14065 accreditation for the validation and verification of forest carbon offset projects. SCS has since become the world's leading verifier of forest carbon offsets.
In 2007, SCS conducted the first verifications of Forest Conservation Management Projects under the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) Forestry Sector Protocols, now called Climate Action Reserve (CAR). SCS has verified projects totaling more than five million acres globally.
SCS has verified the Big River and Salmon Creek Forest Project from 2007 through 2011 under the Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Project Protocol, and is scheduled to conduct the assessment of the upcoming 2012 verification. This conservation-based forest management project in Northern California is composed of two forest tracts that are high priority refugia watersheds for California Coho Salmon. The 15,911 acres of important coastal forestland in the project area provide a significant contribution to the integrity and ecological viability of each of their respective watersheds, and the approximately 1,000,000 metric tons of biological carbon stored in the land now has permanent conservation restrictions.
SCS validated this Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) in the Madre de Dios region of Peru under the Verified Carbon Standard in Fall of 2012. As part of the Vilcabamba-Amboró Ecological Corridor, one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots, the area has become vulnerable due to the transoceanic highway connecting Brazil and Peru as well as the accompanying population pressure and agricultural development. Proceeds from protection of the swath of rainforest, which is nearly 300 times the size of Central Park, provide alternative livelihoods and social programs for communities in the project area, resulting in SCS’ previous “Gold Level” validation of the project under the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Standards.
In the summer of 2012, SCS validated the deforestation reduction activities of the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative under the Verified Carbon Standard. The 700 square miles of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon covered by this project is of extremely high value for biodiversity conservation and watershed protection. As part of the deforestation avoidance programs the project puts in place, conservation agreements will increase the productivity and sustainability of local family coffee plantations, all while reducing emissions from deforestation by an average of 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The Lower Mississippi Valley offset project was the first VCS forest carbon offset project in the US. The project, estimated to remove more than 6 million tons of carbon dioxide over its 60-year term, was funded by Dynegy, Inc. and involved planting trees on state and federally protected lands in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama and Oklahoma. The project involved converting 30,000 acres of land in the Lower Mississippi Valley back to bottomland hardwood forests. SCS collaborated with TerraCarbon in registration and monitoring of the project.
SCS assessed the World Bank's new methodology for estimating the emission reductions resulting from adoption of sustainable agricultural practices. The methodology was approved under the Verified Carbon Standard and is based on the Western Kenya Smallholder Agriculture Carbon Finance project. The Western Kenya project, which is supported by the World Bank's Carbon Finance Unit's BioCarbon Fund, focuses on helping farmers adopt practices that increase carbon in soil and biomass on agricultural lands.
SCS validated Anthrotect's Choco-Darien Corridor carbon offset project to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Project Design Standards. The project, located in northwestern Colombia near the Panama border, was awarded CCB Gold Level status for its exceptional social and environmental benefits. Over its 30-year lifespan, the project will prevent the emission of over 2.3 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by protecting over 13,500 hectares of forest.
SCS conducted an assessment of one of Africa's first Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects evaluating the project for its climate, community and biodiversity benefits. The project consists of a 74,000 acre nature sanctuary that serves as an important wildlife corridor between Kenya's Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks.
Project activities include preservation of the dryland forest along with various community development initiatives. The sanctuary includes an organic clothing factory called Ecofactory, which employs young women from the community who sew organic cotton clothing. An organic greenhouse is located in the sanctuary, as well, and is used to grow citrus trees sold at a discount to local farmers, who plant the trees and earn an income from them. The sanctuary also includes an ecotourism camp, where safari guides and other service jobs provide employment for locals. SCS was able to validate the project at the Gold Level under the CCB standards. Wildlife Works has also hired SCS to conduct validation and verification of the project under the VCS standards.
In 2007, the van Eck Improved Forest Management project was the first carbon offset project to be verified under the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) protocols, which has been adopted by the Climate Action Reserve (CAR). The van Eck forest project consists of a 2100 acre redwood forest in Humboldt County managed by the Pacific Forest Trust. The van Eck Forest Project will reduce more than 500,000 tons of CO2 emissions over a 100-year period by implementing sustainable forestry practices that increase carbon sequestration. SCS has conducted annual verifications of the forest since 2007.
SCS conducted an assessment of The Conservation Fund's (TCF) carbon offset project to restore bottomland hardwood forests in the Mississippi Valley. The restored forests were then donated by TCF to the Marias des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Kansas. The offsets generated by the project are funded by TCF's Go Zero Program in which corporations and individuals make donations to implement offset projects. The SCS assessment found that the Marias des Cygnes project was in conformance with the CCB standards at the Gold Level.
Validation is the process of evaluating a project's plan for absorbing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. Verification is the process of evaluating calculations of the actual amount of greenhouse gases that have been absorbed or avoided by a project.
A typical verification takes 3-6 months. The length of verification 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 response time.
SCS can verify projects to the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) or the American Carbon Registry (ACR), especially if they are reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) projects. SCS can also verify projects being developed in the US to the California Air Resource Board (ARB) Compliance Forest Protocol. Projects with exemplary social and environmental components may be verified to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards.
Cost depends on factors such as project size, location, complexity, type, the standards used, and level of preparedness. Contact SCS for a customized quote.
Filling out an application will provide SCS 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.
Projects can be validated and verified once they have a completed Project Design Document (PDD) that complies with the relevant standard. SCS often recommends conducting an internal audit to make sure the document is complete and to save time down the road.
As an independent auditor, SCS does not participate in the buying, selling, or marketing of credits. If a project is verified, it may facilitate issuance of credits.
How to develop a carbon offset project