Toby Janson-Smith

Title: Chief Program Development and Innovation Officer
Joined Verra: 2013

As Chief Program Development and Innovation Officer, Toby leads a team that identifies and develops new standards frameworks and related partnerships for Verra and has been responsible for establishing a number of ground-breaking standards initiatives, including: the Landscape Standard (LandScale) for incentivizing the sustainable production of agricultural commodities; the Sustainable Development Verified Impact Standard (SD VISta) for assessing and rewarding projects that generate verifiable SD benefits; and the 3R (Reduce, Recover, Recycle) Initiative for crediting plastic waste recovery and recycling efforts around the world.

Toby also led the creation of the original VCS framework covering Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), which has become the foremost global carbon accounting standard for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), being used by hundreds of projects worldwide.

Previously, Toby ran Conservation International’s (CI) Climate and Land Use, Markets and Policy program, after directing the Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), a partnership comprising The Nature Conservancy, CI, Rainforest Alliance, Wildlife Conservation Society and CARE International; CCBA created the leading social and environmental standards for forest carbon projects and government programs.

On the forest carbon policy front, Toby has developed legislative proposals adopted within various U.S. climate bills and has helped establish bilateral agreements between leading U.S., Brazilian, Indonesian and Mexican states.  He also served on the REDD Offsets Working Group, providing recommendations to the California Air Resources Board on how tropical forests could be brought into the state’s cap-and-trade scheme, and has been an adviser to the Carbon Fund of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

Toby authored the “Corporate Primer on REDD+” (Conservation International, 2013) and co-edited the book “Climate Change and Forests – Emerging Policy and Market Opportunities” published in 2010 by the Brookings Institution and the Royal Institute of International Affairs.  Toby holds a BS degree from the University of London and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.  He lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and two sons.


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