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.
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.
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.
A number of VCS methodologies are currently under development.
- Project activities listed in Table 1 of the VCS Standard are not eligible.
- Projects may not use the following methodologies from other approved GHG programs that overlap with VCS methodologies
- Climate Action Reserve – Forest Protocol: https://www.climateactionreserve.org/how/protocols/forest/
- Climate Action Reserve – Mexico Forest Protocol:
- Climate Action Reserve – Urban Forest Protocol:
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 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.
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.