Who We Are

Verra is a global leader helping to tackle the world’s most intractable environmental and social challenges by developing and managing standards that help the private sector, countries, and civil society achieve ambitious sustainable development and climate action goals.

Verra’s global standards and frameworks serve as linchpins for channeling finance towards high-impact activities that tackle some of the most pressing environmental issues of our day.

 

The Organization

Verra was founded in 2005 by environmental and business leaders who saw the need for greater quality assurance in voluntary carbon markets. We now serve as a secretariat for the various standards we develop and programs we manage, as well as an incubator of new ideas that can generate meaningful environmental and social value at scale. The strategic direction of Verra is set by both staff and the Verra Board of Directors. Our headquarters are in Washington, DC, and we have staff working remotely in various parts of the world. Verra is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and is registered as a nonprofit corporation under the laws of the District of Columbia (Washington, DC, USA).

Annual Report

Our Programs and Initiatives

Currently, Verra manages the following:

    • VCS Program. The VCS Program allows certified projects to turn their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions and removals into tradable carbon credits. Since its launch in 2006, the VCS Program has grown into the world’s largest voluntary GHG program. VCS projects include dozens of technologies and measures which result in GHG emission reductions and removals, including forest and wetland conservation and restoration, agricultural land management, transport efficiency improvements, and many others. There are currently almost 1,600 registered projects in over 82 countries that have generated more than 450 million carbon credits, the equivalent of 98 million passenger vehicles being taken off the road for one year. (For updated VCS statistics, please click here).
    • VCS Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR) Framework. The JNR Framework is an accounting and crediting system for jurisdictional REDD+ programs and nested projects, designed for market mechanisms. It is a practical framework that provides guidance to national and subnational governments to support development of their REDD+ programs and help nest REDD+ projects within these programs, ensuring environmental integrity and jurisdictional sovereignty. This ensures that these projects support and align with governments’ efforts to achieve countries’ climate action goals, while driving finance to high impact mitigation. In 2020, Verra plans to release an updated version of the framework which will include more detailed guidance on nesting.
    • Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Program. With over one hundred registered projects, the CCB Program is the leading framework for assessing land management projects that create net-positive benefi ts for climate change mitigation, local communities and biodiversity. The CCB Program can be used in conjunction with a GHG-crediting program, such as the VCS Program, and carbon credits can be labeled with the co-benefits certified under the CCB Program. In total, projects certified to the CCB Program cover almost 11 million hectares.
    • Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta). The SD VISta Program is a flexible framework that sets out rules and criteria for the design, implementation and assessment of projects that aim to deliver high-impact sustainable development benefits. SD VISta enables projects to link their social and environmental impacts to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through certified claims or tradable assets such as health or water credits. The standard enables donors and investors to identify, support and help drive finance to activities that generate measurable sustainable development outcomes.
    • Verra California Offset Project Registry (OPR). The California OPR helps the California Air Resources Board (CARB) administer the Compliance Offset Program component of its cap-and-trade system. The OPR facilitates the listing and verification of GHG offset projects that were developed using CARB Offset Protocols and that issue Registry Offset Credits (ROCs). Entities covered by California’s cap-and-trade program can use compliance offset credits to satisfy a portion of their regulatory obligations.

Verra is also actively engaged in initiatives that will help to drive more investment in actions designed to protect the environment and promote sustainable development:

    • Initiative for Climate Action Transparency. ICAT aims to help countries assess the impacts of their climate actions and to support greater transparency, effectiveness, ambition and trust in climate policies. ICAT integrates methodological guidance, capacity building and knowledge sharing to strengthen the transparency and effectiveness of climate policies and actions worldwide. To this end, the initiative has developed a series of impact assessment guides and is also working with developing countries to strengthen their capacity to assess climate actions in the context of their Nationally Determined Contributions. To date, ICAT is working with 40 countries in four regions.
      • ICAT is a multi-donor fund that is managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). UNEP-DTU Partnership, Verra and World Resources Institute were the founding implementing partners. ICAT continues to be implemented by the Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, UNEP-DTU Partnership, and the World Resources Institute.Verra was a founding member of the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) and led the core team that drafted the series of assessment guides and oversaw their application in the first case studies. Today Verra remains engaged with the initiative in an advisory role.
    • LandScale (LS). LandScale provides a standardized, yet adaptable, framework to track the outcomes of landscape or jurisdictional sustainability approaches and communicate those outcomes to commodity-buying companies, donors, and other external stakeholders, facilitating multistakeholder, cross-sector collaboration. LandScale enables users to obtain reliable information about the status of ecosystems, human well-being, governance, and productivity in a landscape and to determine the state and trajectory of its sustainability. LandScale assessments will help drive improvements in sustainability performance by informing locally relevant policies and management interventions, guiding sustainable sourcing and investment decisions, and spurring new market incentives for landscape sustainability.
      • LandScale is co-led by Verra, the Rainforest Alliance and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance, in collaboration with a growing number of global partners. It is generously supported by the BHP Foundation and the International Climate Initiative of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation & Nuclear Safety. 
    • The Plastic Waste Reduction Program (Plastic Program). The Plastic Program will support and scale up activities that increase plastic waste recycling and/or recovery from the environment. Using independent and transparent assessments against robust criteria, the program will drive finance to activities that make verifiable contributions to the circular economy. The program covers a broad range of impactful activities, such as waste recovery from the environment, including by waste pickers, creation of waste collection infrastructure and development of new recycling processes.
      • The Plastic Program is supported by the 3R Initiative, which Verra and BVRio established in 2019 with Conservation International, Danone, Lloyd’s Register, McKinsey.org, Natural Capital Partners, Nestlé, South Pole, SYSTEMIQ, Tetra Pak and Veolia.

Our Work

LandScale

Scaling up the sustainability of productive landscapes

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Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR)

Driving private investment in REDD+ at multiple scales

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Photo: Paul Vincent

Verified Carbon Standard

The VCS Program is the world’s leading voluntary program for the certification of GHG emission reduction projects

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