VERRA, formerly known as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), is a nonprofit organization that develops and manages standards for the measurement, reporting, and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and removals. The organization was founded in 2005 with the aim of providing a robust and credible framework for voluntary carbon markets.
The VERRA standard sets criteria and methodologies for projects that generate carbon credits through activities that reduce or remove GHG emissions. These projects can include renewable energy installations, energy efficiency improvements, reforestation and afforestation initiatives, and other activities that contribute to emissions reductions. The VERRA standard ensures that projects follow rigorous accounting and verification procedures to ensure the integrity and credibility of the carbon credits they generate.
By certifying projects and issuing Verified Carbon Units (VCUs), VERRA helps facilitate the trade of carbon credits in voluntary markets. These credits represent the verified emissions reductions achieved by the projects and can be purchased by individuals, companies, or organizations to offset their own carbon footprints or support sustainable development initiatives.
In addition to the VCS standard, VERRA has developed other standards and programs to address specific environmental and social issues. These include the Verified Carbon Offset (VCO) program, which focuses on projects that deliver multiple benefits beyond carbon reduction, such as biodiversity conservation and community development. VERRA also manages the Climate, Community & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards, which recognize projects that deliver positive outcomes for climate change mitigation, local communities, and biodiversity conservation.
As a nonprofit organization, VERRA operates with the goal of advancing sustainable development and environmental stewardship. They work with project developers, investors, and other stakeholders to promote the use of high-quality carbon credits and ensure transparency and accountability in the voluntary carbon market.
Overall, VERRA plays a crucial role in providing standards and oversight for carbon offset projects, enabling the voluntary market to support emission reductions and sustainable development initiatives worldwide.