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Carbon Offset Verification

GHG Project Verification for Energy, Industrial & Agricultural Sectors
Christie Pollet-Young, Director, Greenhouse Gas Verificationphone icon510.452.9093 Email
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Carbon offset projects are developed to provide real reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by reducing, absorbing or avoiding the release of carbon dioxide. SCS Global Services works closely with project developers and landowners to provide third-party verification of their projects, a crucial step to secure the sale or trade of carbon credits in global carbon markets such as the California Cap-and-Trade Program.

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Service Offerings

Accredited Verification Body

SCS is accredited to ISO 14065 by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to offer carbon offset project validation and verification under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), and the American Carbon Registry (ACR). SCS is also accredited to perform carbon offset project verifications under the California Air Resources Board (ARB) for all project types.

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Carbon Offset Services

  • 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 final verification.
  • Project design validation - Validate the design of your offset project with SCS to determine your eligibility for verification. Please contact our GHG verification staff at any point in the development stages of your project.
  • Verification of project-based emissions reductions - We verify GHG emission reductions associated with the collection and destruction of greenhouse gases.

Complementary SCS Services

In addition, SCS provides carbon footprint measurement and verification for any entity or corporation. SCS offers measurement and verification of GHG inventories under the World Resources Institute and the Carbon Disclosure Project. SCS is also ANSI-accredited to offer GHG inventory verification under The Climate Registry.

Project Types

SCS Global Services works with project developers, landowners, manufacturers, and private and municipal operators. Our verifiers have worked with a wide variety of industries and project types in carbon offset and emissions reductions evaluations, including:

  • Rice cultivation
  • Grasslands
  • Compost Addition
  • College energy efficiency
  • Landfill Methane Destruction
  • Livestock Methane Destruction
  • Ozone Depleting Substances Destruction
  • Mine Methane Capture
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Transportation
  • Biofuel production
  • Various industrial and manufacturing processes

If you do not see your project type listed above or for an exhaustive list of the project types SCS verifies, please contact us.

Generate Carbon Credits

Steps to Project Completion and Credit Generation

  1. Choose a methodology developed under a recognized GHG program and develop offset project
  2. Work with SCS for third-party validation and verification
    1. Desk review: SCS conducts a desk review of all project documentation and validates the project design
    2. Site visit: SCS conducts a site visit to assess your project’s compliance with the relevant standard
    3. Draft Report: SCS issues a draft report based on submitted materials and findings from the site visit
    4. Technical Review: An SCS lead verifier who is not involved in the verification process will conduct an independent review of the audit
    5. SCS produces a finalized verification opinion and submits the report to the applicable GHG program for registration and request for the issuance of carbon offsets
  3. Carbon credits are issued

What is the difference between validation and verification?
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 the project.

How long will the carbon offset validation or verification process take?
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 response time.

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 project protocols.

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 quote.

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 verification?
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 markets.


“We chose SCS because of their expertise and professionalism necessary for first-in-kind carbon projects as well as more established projects.”
- Todd English, VP Operations, EOS Climate

“It is essential that the chosen verification body be as time efficient as possible. SCS’ team provides this efficiency, consistently meeting deadlines while maintaining the highest standards of project evaluation.”
- Josh Strauss, Vice President, Bluesource

For immediate service:

Christie Pollet-Young, Director, Greenhouse Gas Verification phone icon 510.452.9093 Email Christie