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 half a million acres globally.
Carbon Offset Project Locations
The Conservation Fund: Big River & Salmon Creek
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.
Greenoxx: Madre de Dios REDD Project
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.
Conservation International: Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative
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.
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. Since that time, CCAR protocol has been adopted by the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and SCS has been the verifier for all subsequent CCAR and CAR forest carbon offset projects. 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.