Projects & Programs

Develop a Project

The VCS project cycle sets out the four major steps in developing an individual project to generate quality-assured GHG emission reductions and credits.


1: Choose a Methodology

The first step in the project development process is selecting a methodology applicable to the proposed project. This can either be an existing VCS methodology or one developed under an approved GHG program such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). If an applicable methodology does not exist, project developers are welcome to propose their own.


2: Validate Project Description

Once a project is listed on the Project Pipeline, projects proponents develop a complete project description using the VCS template and have it validated by an approved validation/verification body (VVB). This process determines whether a project meets all VCS rules and requirements. The PD can be developed before, during or after project design and implementation.


3: Verify Emission Reductions

When a project starts, projects proponents monitor and measure GHG emission reductions or removals. All information for a given monitoring period, including calculations of GHG benefits, is documented in a monitoring report, using the VCS template. The monitoring report must be verified by an approved VVB.


4: Register Project & Isssue VCUs

Projects must open an account and submit all required documents to a VCS registry operator in order to be registered on the VCS Project Database and request issuance of VCUs. Projects can register upon validation or wait until they are ready to issue credits. All project information is listed publicly when projects are registered and VCUs issued.

Other Programs

California Offset Project Registry

The Offset Project Registry (OPR) facilitates the participation of offset projects within the California cap-and-trade program

Learn More >
Women at Community Meeting in Indonesia

Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard

A flexible framework for assessing and reporting on the sustainable development benefits of project-based activities,…

Learn More >

Initiative for Climate Action Transparency

Supporting countries around the world in the evaluation of the climate, sustainable development and transformational impacts of their policies and actions 

Learn More >