Quality Assurance Protocol

Highest Quality Standards

At Carbonfund.org (Carbonfund), we are committed to supporting and providing the highest quality carbon reduction projects. For this purpose, we developed the Carbonfund Quality Assurance Protocol which ensures that every project meets or exceeds international certification standards and our additional set of criteria before it qualifies to be a part of our project portfolio.

Third-Parties Make the Quality

Carbonfund supports the highest quality carbon reduction projects in the world. Whether it’s heat-trapping methane emissions on a Connecticut dairy farm or protecting Brazilian rainforests from slash and burn deforestation, we ensure our projects meet the highest global standards.

The hallmarks of our quality carbon reduction projects are:

  • Third-party certification standards (see below)
  • Third-party validation and on-going verification that projects meet those standards
  • Third-party annual audit.

Carbonfund supports and develops projects from around the world to leading certification standards. We can help your company identify projects adhering to any of the following standards:

Carbon Reduction Third-Party Certification Standards

  • American Carbon Registry
  • Climate Action Reserve
  • Climate, Community & Biodiversity Standard
  • Gold Standard
  • ISO-14064
  • Social Carbon
  • Verified Carbon Standard
  • UNFCCC Carbon Credits (CDM, JI, AAU, etc.)

Essential Criteria

All carbon offset projects are held to a uniform set of benchmarks to maintain a consistently high level of quality. Our standards, as well as those of leading certification bodies, address these essential criteria for carbon reduction projects:


The quantified greenhouse gas or carbon reductions must represent actual emission reductions. These reductions are based on approved methodologies or protocols which require rigorous monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of the project’s activities.


Additionality requires the carbon emission reductions to be above and beyond business as usual. This means reductions are additional if they would not have occurred in the absence of the project. Importantly, additionality should be determined by an independent third-party, a requirement for internationally accepted standards. Additionality should not be self-determined and should not be self-defined, as each internationally accepted standard defines it. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency, and most other standards, define additionality as greenhouse gas reductions that must be surplus to regulation and beyond what would have happened in the absence of the project or in a business-as-usual scenario based on a performance standard methodology.


Permanence is commonly referred to as the useful life of a project in reducing carbon emissions. Third-party standards such as the Climate Action Reserve, Verified Carbon Standard, Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard, American Carbon Registry and the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism all address and account for permanence. These and other third-party standards also address permanence for forest-based carbon offset projects such as reforestation and avoided deforestation. A project should be independently certified to a standard to ensure permanence and other criteria for real carbon reductions are met.


The greenhouse gas or carbon reductions must result from projects whose performance can be readily and accurately quantified, monitored and verified by independent, third-party auditors.


Leakage is the positive or negative impacts of a project on the surrounding area outside the project’s boundary. Carbonfund works with projects with the least likelihood of creating negative impacts.

Carbonfund’s Additional Qualifying Criteria

In addition to projects being certified to leading international standards, our due diligence process goes even further by looking at additional qualifying criteria to assess projects. Our Portfolio includes projects that benefit the local environments in which they take place and contribute to the global effort against climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our review process evaluates projects based on:

Project Location

Climate change is a global concern and we all need to be a part of the solution. By selecting projects across the US, as well as internationally, we are able to facilitate action from different corners of the world.

The geographic location is also an important factor in determining the type of project. For instance, Brazil and Nicaragua have rich tropical rainforests that sequester carbon dioxide, while the US’s Great Plains are ideal for wind projects.

Market Transformation

One of our goals is to make clean energy affordable and cost less than its dirty counterparts such as coal. Carbonfund seeks to work with projects that have the potential to lead to vast market transformation in and around the project’s location. This enables our funding to be leveraged and act as a catalyst for our clean energy future.


The additional co-benefits we look for in projects can be categorized as benefits for the environment and social benefits.

Environmental Benefits

In addition to greenhouse gas mitigation or sequestration, many projects provide a range of additional ecosystem solutions that enhance biodiversity, preserve natural habitats, control erosion, reduce localized air and water pollution, and more.

Social Benefits

The projects we select not only benefit the environment but also improve the socio-economic conditions by providing clean energy, creating jobs, technological advancement, and opportunities conducive to trade and development of the community as a whole.

An Inspiring Story

Climate change touches all of us and Carbonfund supports projects which help in a meaningful way. We emphasize projects which tell an inspiring story and to which people can relate – whether it is protecting rainforests, restoring croplands back to native forests, or creating jobs for local communities and indigenous people.

Carbonfund Project Development Advisory Solutions

For information regarding Carbonfund’s project development solutions and feasibility assessments, please contact us.