Photo by Filip Agoo for Wildlife Works

Program Overview

The Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) facilitates large-scale investment in sustainable development.

The Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) is the premier standard for certifying the real-world benefits of social and environmental projects, from gender equity and economic development to affordable clean energy and restoration of wildlife.

SD VISta aims to facilitate large-scale investment in sustainable development by providing developers and investors with reliable data on the social and environmental benefits of their projects.

Using world-class systems, a project’s benefits are not only logged but also independently verified for their impact, meaning all stakeholders can have full trust in their credibility and value. SD VISta is the only certification standard that uses expert, third-party auditors to verify that a project advances the global Sustainable Development Goals set forth by the United Nations.

Find out more about SD VISta by subscribing to our newsletter, the Sustainable Development Download.

How It Works

Projects developed under the SD VISta Program must follow a rigorous assessment process in order to be certified.


The Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (PDF) (and associated program documents) lays out the rules and requirements that all projects must follow in order to be certified.

Independent Assessment

All SD VISta projects will be subject to assessment by qualified independent third parties to ensure that they meet the rules and requirements of the SD VISta Program.

Methodological Guidance

Projects may use any method to meet the core SD VISta requirements. Verra will provide guidance on appropriate methodologies and, in cases where projects generate SD VISta assets, Verra will approve methodologies.

Registry System

Verra tracks and makes publicly available data on all SD VISta projects. The Verra registry tracks the generation, retirement, and cancellation of any SD VISta asset as well as all Verified Carbon Units that bear a SD VISta label, which indicates that an emission reduction unit was generated during a SD VISta-verified period.

See Recent SD VISta News

Starting an SD VISta Project: What to Expect

Looking to develop a project using the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta)? This section outlines important information you should know before you begin.

1. Before You Begin

Before designing an SD VISta project, familiarize yourself with the process and requirements:

  • Any project that aims to deliver sustainable development benefits can be registered in the SD VISta program.
  • Project proponents must have a thorough understanding of the project area and the causes of the conditions they seek to address.
  • For a project to be eligible in the SD VISta Program it must have clearly defined sustainable development objectives, a means to monitor progress towards those objectives, and periodically demonstrate that progress.
  • A project must involve communities and stakeholders through full and effective participation.

For more details on the above, please review the SD VISta Rules and Requirements.

Please note that Verra staff cannot assist you with the development of an SD VISta project. We can only respond to questions related to our rules and requirements.

2. How to Use SD VISta

Projects must demonstrate compliance with the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard and the SD VISta Program Guide.

The Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard lists the requirements for the design, implementation, and monitoring of projects seeking to generate sustainable development benefits.

The SD VISta Program Guide sets out the requirements for validation and verification and for the project’s administration.

In the SD VISta Program, projects may be assessed via two methods: validation/verification and independent expert evaluation.

  • Validation/verification is the independent assessment of the project by an accredited and approved validation/verification body (VVB) who validates a project’s design and verifies its benefits and adherence to the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard and SD VISta Program Guide.
  • Independent expert evaluation offers projects with limited resources or specific objectives the opportunity to demonstrate compliance with the SD VISta rules through ex-ante and ex-post evaluation.

3. SD VISta Claims, Labels, and Assets

Projects using SD VISta may produce three distinct outputs:

  • Claim: A claim is a verified statement of a project’s measured benefit that all SD VISta projects may generate regardless of the assessment pathway they choose.
  • Label: A label is a marker affixed to a social or environmental credit. It demonstrates that the project that generated the credit is also verified to SD VISta.
  • Asset: An asset is a tradeable credit that represents a unique sustainable development benefit that has been quantified through an SD VISta methodology.

4. Fees and Finances

SD VISta project development costs vary depending on the circumstances and fall into three categories:

  • Verra fees as outlined in Section 2 of the SD VISta Program Fee Schedule.
  • Project development fees include project development and operations, monitoring, and consultants fees.
  • Auditing fees payable directly to the VVB.

As a standard-setting body, Verra does not track external costs (project development and auditing fees).

SD VISta at a glance

  • 8

    Projects Registered

    SD Vista
  • 29M+

    SD VISta-labeled VCUs Issued

    SD Vista
  • 25

    Countries with projects

    SD Vista

Frequently Asked Questions