Letter to VCS stakeholders

From Chairman Gudmundur Sigurthorsson and CEO David Antonioli

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

As promised, we are eager to share more details about our exciting name change announced earlier this week.

The VCS name change is part of a major, ongoing initiative to strengthen trust in the VCS brand and increase its value to you, the people who use the VCS Program, Standard and credits every day.

This initiative is well underway and proceeding along two parallel tracks. On the first track, we are strengthening the VCS Program, both to extend its breadth and to make it more supportive and easier to use.

On the second track, we are expanding our outreach and strengthening marketing support to build trust in the VCS brand and open the door to new sources of supply and demand for your VCS projects and credits.

You may already be feeling the benefits of our recent work to strengthen the program. Key initiatives include:

  • Pioneering work in forest carbon, notably reduced deforestation, driving demand for VCS in this fast-growing area. Several new land-use methodologies are now approved, and we expect to see the first verified REDD credits in 2011.
  • Vastly increased support for the methodology approval process, opening the way for the approval of new approaches and projects and building capacity in the marketplace.
    Streamlined and updated VCS Program documents and increased support for all VCS processes. This includes a major initiative to release a new, more user-friendly version of all VCS Program documents in the first quarter 2011.
  • Pioneering work to develop robust criteria for standardized approaches to setting baselines and assessing additionality.
    Pioneering work to develop robust criteria for integrating REDD projects and programs into state and national policy frameworks, broadening potential demand for your VCS projects and credits.

On the marketing front, our efforts to strengthen support are just starting. We are:

  • Increasing outreach to new markets to bolster trust in the VCS brand and open the way for broader acceptance of the VCS Program and credits. Boosting marketing support for our core VCS users. This includes re-positioning the brand and rolling out a fresh, new trademark.
  • Developing a formal trademark-use agreement to guard against brand dilution as the VCS Program, Standard and logo are used more widely. Revamping the VCS web site to make program information more accessible and to better communicate the VCS value proposition to visitors.

The timeline for rolling out the new VCS name and brand elements is as follows:

  • Week of 8 February: First glimpse of new trademark released for stakeholders to view. New trademark-use agreements made available.
  • Week of 1 March: Name change takes effect. New trademark and style guide made available to stakeholders who have signed trademark-use agreements.
  • Week of 8 March: Streamlined, updated version of VCS Program documents released, making the program and all documents easier to navigate and use.
  • Week of 10 May: VCS marketing brochures with new trademark made available online.
  • Week of 31 May: Upgraded web site launched with new design and information architecture, making program information easier to access and use.
  • 2 June: Rebranding ‘launch’ celebration at Carbon Expo in Barcelona.

We look forward to bringing you more details next week, including a first glimpse of our new trademark.

Gudmundur Sigurthorsson, Chairman

David Antonioli, Chief Executive Officer