Methodologies for quantifying project benefits are a key component of all Verra standard programs. All methodologies undergo a rigorous review and transparent stakeholder consultation process to ensure they meet the rules and requirements of each program.
VCS Program Methodologies
VCS Program – Eligible Methodologies
Methodologies are essential to quantifying real and accurate greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits of a project and to generate Verified Carbon Units (VCUs). Methodologies provide requirements and procedures to determine project boundaries, identify the baseline, assess additionality, monitor the relevant parameters, and ultimately quantify the GHG emission reductions or removals.
Methodologies often refer to modules or tools, which include specific methodological tasks and analyses (e.g., additionality) that are used in conjunction with the methodology.
The VCS Program has its own methodologies that have been approved for use.
A number of VCS methodologies are currently under development.
Please note: All methodology idea notes follow the VCS Methodology Development and Review Process, v4.3 (PDF). Verra does not guarantee they proceed to the next stage, their full development, or final approval.
In addition, projects seeking registration in the VCS Program that comply with all VCS Program rules may use methodologies from other approved GHG programs, including Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) methodologies and Climate Action Reserve (CAR) protocols. Project activities listed in Table 1 of the VCS Standard are not eligible.
The following CDM and CAR methodologies may be used under the VCS Program, if projects comply with all VCS Program rules and requirements. Projects can only be listed on the VCS registry if they are not excluded from the VCS Program in accordance with Table 1 of the latest version of the VCS Standard. Project proponents may send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org to introduce and use currently ineligible CDM and CAR methodologies. Methodologies that are listed as permanently excluded from the VCS Program further below cannot be reintroduced to the VCS Program.
- ACM0001: Flaring or use of landfill gas — Version 19.0
- ACM0002: Grid-connected electricity generation from renewable sources — Version 21.0
- ACM0003: Partial substitution of fossil fuels in cement or quicklime manufacture — Version 9.0
- ACM0006: Electricity and heat generation from biomass — Version 16.0
- ACM0007: Conversion from single cycle to combined cycle power generation — Version 6.1.0
- ACM0008: Abatement of methane from coal mines — Version 8.0
- ACM0009: Fuel switching from coal or petroleum fuel to natural gas — Version 5.0
- ACM0010: GHG emission reductions from manure management systems — Version 8.0
- ACM0011: Fuel switching from coal and/or petroleum fuels to natural gas in existing power plants for electricity generation — Version 3.0
- ACM0012: Waste energy recovery — Version 6.0
- ACM0014: Treatment of wastewater — Version 8.0
- ACM0016: Mass Rapid Transit Projects — Version 5.0
- ACM0018: Electricity generation from biomass in power-only plants — Version 6.0
- ACM0022: Alternative waste treatment processes — Version 3.0
- AM0001: Decomposition of fluoroform (HFC-23) waste streams — Version 6.0.0
- AM0009: Recovery and utilization of gas from oil fields that would otherwise be flared or vented — Version 7.0
- AM0023: Leak detection and repair in gas production, processing, transmission, storage and distribution systems and in refinery facilities — Version 4.0.0
- AM0026: Methodology for zero-emissions grid-connected electricity generation from renewable sources in Chile or in countries with merit order based dispatch grid — Version 3.0
- AM0028: N2O destruction in the tail gas of Caprolactam production plants — Version 6.0
- AM0036: Use of biomass in heat generation equipment — Version 7.0
- AM0059: Reduction in GHGs emission from primary aluminium smelters — Version 2.0
- AM0064: Capture and utilisation or destruction of mine methane (excluding coal mines) or non mine methane — Version 3.0.0
- AM0065: Replacement of SF6 with alternate cover gas in the magnesium industry — Version 2.1
- AM0070: Manufacturing of energy efficient domestic refrigerators — Version 3.1.0
- AM0072: Fossil Fuel Displacement by Geothermal Resources for Space Heating — Version 3.0
- AM0073 – GHG Emission Reductions Through Multi-site Manure Collection and Treatment in a Central Plan, v1.0 -must be used with E&C issued 11 April 2023
- AMS-I.C.: Thermal energy production with or without electricity — Version 22.0
- AMS-I.D.: Grid connected renewable electricity generation — Version 18.0
- AMS-I.E.: Switch from non-renewable biomass for thermal applications by the user — Version 13.0
- AMS-I.F.: Renewable electricity generation for captive use and mini-grid — Version 5.0
- AMS-I.L.: Electrification of rural communities using renewable energy — Version 4.0
- AMS-II.C.: Demand-side energy efficiency activities for specific technologies — Version 15.0
- AMS-II.D.: Energy efficiency and fuel switching measures for industrial facilities — Version 13.0
- AMS-II.J.: Demand-side activities for efficient lighting technologies — Version 7.0
- AMS-III.AV.: Low greenhouse gas emitting safe drinking water production systems — Version 8.0
- AMS-III.B.: Switching fossil fuels — Version 18.0
- AMS-III.C.: Emission reductions by electric and hybrid vehicles — Version 16.0
- AMS-III.D.: Methane recovery in animal manure management systems — Version 21.0
- AMS-III.E.: Avoidance of methane production from decay of biomass through controlled combustion, gasification or mechanical/thermal treatment — Version 17.0
- AMS-III.F.: Avoidance of methane emissions through composting — Version 12.0
- AMS-III.G.: Landfill methane recovery — Version 10.0
- AMS-III.H.: Methane recovery in wastewater treatment — Version 19.0
- AMS-III.Q.: Waste energy recovery — Version 6.1
- AMS-III.Y.: Methane avoidance through separation of solids from wastewater or manure treatment systems — Version 4.0
- AMS-III.Z.: Fuel Switch, process improvement and energy efficiency in brick manufacture — Version 6.0
VCS Program – Ineligible Methodologies
Verra periodically reviews VCS methodologies to ensure they continue to reflect best practices, scientific consensus, and evolving market conditions and technical developments in a sector. Verra will conduct these reviews at least once every five years or when otherwise needed.
As a result of a review, Verra may revise the methodology. Verra may also set methodology versions previously approved under the VCS Program as inactive until a new revised version is issued.
VM0002 New Cogeneration Facilities Supplying Less Carbon Intensive Electricity to Grid and/or Hot Water to One or More Grid Customers, v1.0
VM0009 Methodology for Avoided Ecosystem Conversion, v3.0
VM0013 Calculating Emission Reductions from Jet Engine Washing, v1.0
VM0017 Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Land Management, v1.0
VM0020 Transport Energy Efficiency from Lightweight Pallets, v1.0
VM0021 Soil Carbon Quantification Methodology, v1.0
VM0023 Reduction of GHG Emissions in Propylene Oxide Production, v1.0
VM0024 Methodology for Coastal Wetland Creation, v1.0
VM0027 Methodology for Rewetting Drained Tropical Peatlands, v1.0
VM0028 Methodology for Carpooling, v1.0
VM0029 Methodology for Avoided Forest Degradation through Fire Management, v1.0
VM0030 Methodology for Pavement Application using Sulphur Substitute, v1.0
VM0031 Methodology for Precast Concrete Production using Sulphur Substitute, v1.0
VM0037 Methodology for Implementation of REDD+ Activities in Landscapes Affected by Mosaic Deforestation and Degradation, v1.0
VM0040 Methodology for Greenhouse Gas Capture and Utilization in Plastic Materials, v1.0
VMD0008 Estimation of baseline emissions from forest degradation caused by extraction of wood for fuel (BL-DFW), v1.0
VMR0005 Methodology for Installation of Low-Flow Water Devices, v1.0
Projects may not use methodologies from other approved GHG programs that overlap with VCS methodologies. The following methodologies are permanently excluded from the VCS Program (see Sections 5.3.6 of VCS Methodology Development and Review Process, v4.3 (PDF):
- U.S. Forest Protocol (excluded 19 Sep 2019)
- Mexico Forest Protocol (excluded 19 Sep 2019)
- Urban Forest Protocol (excluded 19 Sep 2019)
- AMS-II.G.: Energy efficiency measures in thermal applications of non-renewable biomass (excluded 06 Jul 2023)
- Effective 6 July 2023, AMS-II.G. is excluded as a standalone methodology.
- Projects that have requested listing on the Verra Registry before 6 July 2023 must complete validation using AMS-II.G. until 5 January 2024.
- New projects must use VMR0006 Energy Efficiency and Fuel Switch Measures in Thermal Applications, v1.2 in conjunction with AMS-II.G.
- AMS-III.AJ.: Recovery and Recycling of Materials from Solid Wastes (excluded 04 September 2023)
- Effective 4 September 2023, AMS-III.AJ. is excluded as a standalone methodology.
- Projects that have requested listing on the Verra Registry before 4 September 2023 may complete validation using AMS-III.AJ. until 4 March 2024.
- New projects must use VMR0007 Revision to AMS-III.AJ: Recovery and Recycling of Materials from Solid Waste, v1.0 in conjunction with AMS-III.AJ.
- AMS-III.BA.: Recovery and recycling of materials from E-waste (excluded 04 September 2023)
- Effective 4 September 2023, AMS-III.BA. is excluded as a standalone methodology.
- Projects that have requested listing on the Verra Registry before 4 September 2023 may complete validation using AMS-III.BA. until 4 March 2024.
- New projects must use VMR0008 Revision to AMS-III.BA.: Recovery and Recycling of Materials from E-waste, v1.0 in conjunction with AMS-III.BA.
- AR-ACM0003: Afforestation and reforestation of lands except wetlands (excluded 28 September 2023)
- AR-AM0014 Afforestation and reforestation of degraded mangrove habitats (excluded 31 Aug 2022)
- Projects that have completed pipeline listing by 31 August 2022 may request registration until 28 February 2023
- AR-AMS0003 Afforestation and reforestation project activities implemented on wetlands (excluded 31 Aug 2022)
- Projects that have completed pipeline listing by 31 August 2022 may request registration until 28 February 2023
- AR-AMS0007: Afforestation and reforestation project activities implemented on lands other than wetlands (excluded 28 September 2023)
- AMS-III.AU. Methane emission reduction by adjusted water management practice in rice cultivation (excluded 03 Feb 2023)
- Projects that have completed pipeline listing prior to 3 February 2023 may request registration until 20 September 2023
- Projects on the Verra Registry that list one of the VVBs referenced in our announcement Verra Inactivates UNFCCC CDM Rice Cultivation Methodology as the “VCS Project Validator” will remain on hold while the quality review process of registered projects is ongoing
Propose a new or revised VCS methodology, tool or module
Stakeholders can submit a methodology idea note to propose a new or revised VCS methodology, tool or module (refer to the Methodology Development and Review Process).
Preference and priority to proceed with the development process of such ideas are given to ideas that are broadly applicable, have high climate change mitigation potential, support sustainable development, and are not associated with unmitigable social, environmental, legal, or regulatory risks.
Depending on available funding, experience and overlapping ideas, either a third-party or group of third-parties leads the development of the proposed new or revised methodology, tool or module. Verra may also fund the development and hire a consultant to prepare the methodology documentation and manage the assessment process.
SD VISta Program Methodologies
Projects have the option to generate SD VISta assets that represent specific sustainable development benefits. Projects that generate SD VISta assets must use an approved SD VISta asset methodology to quantify the specific social or environmental benefits that will be issued as assets.
SD VISta asset methodologies set out the assumptions, parameters, and procedures for measuring, monitoring, and reporting the specific sustainable development benefits. They also provide detailed procedures for quantifying the real environmental and/or social benefits of the project and provide guidance to help project developers determine project boundaries, set baseline scenarios, monitor the benefits, and ultimately quantify and issue the sustainable development benefits as SD VISta assets.
A number of SD VISta methodologies are currently under development.
Plastic Program Methodologies
Methodologies set out detailed procedures for quantifying the plastic waste collected and/or recycled as the result of a project activity and provide guidance to help project developers determine project boundaries, set baselines and assess additionality.
Project proponents must always use the current and valid version of a methodology. Select from the methodologies below based on the nature of your project activity.
To ensure that the Plastic Program remains robust and credible, the Plastic Program periodically reviews approved methodologies to ensure that they conform to current requirements, international best practices, and scientific consensus. Therefore, from time to time, a methodology may be revised, withdrawn or put on hold. In such cases, A grace period will apply for projects currently using the methodology. The status of each methodology is always displayed on the Verra website.