Our “Seal of Approval” framework enables organizations to assess the carbon mitigation potential of community projects in the developing world. The Seal of Approval can be used for small-scale forestry projects, as well as technologies such as fuel-efficient cookstoves, fireless cookers, water filters, and small-scale solar power.
Gaining a Seal of Approval enables nonprofits and community-based organizations to access funds from voluntary carbon offsetting through projects that bring local benefits, including improvements to livelihoods, health, biodiversity, gender equality, financial savings, building the capacity of local community-based organizations, climate resilience, and adaptation alongside carbon mitigation.
The Seal of Approval can be used by A Rocha national organizations, international nonprofits, and mission agencies wishing to ensure that their own (or their partners’) carbon mitigation projects (which may be funded internally from their own offset budget) are of high quality.
By relying on existing project data and publicly available data, working through trusted partners, and using local third parties to verify reporting information, the Seal of Approval framework is simpler and more cost-efficient than other voluntary carbon standards. This ensures that as much as possible of the carbon offsetting income goes to local communities while delivering high standards of design, implementation, and accountability.
While every Seal of Approval project will generate a calculated quantity of carbon savings (known as “carbos”) these are not tradable “carbon credits” and are not eligible to be registered or traded on any of the carbon trading exchanges.
Organizations with existing or proposed carbon offsetting projects are invited to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an exploratory conversation.
If we think the project is likely to meet the Seal of Approval criteria, the applicant is invited to complete an application form and submit supporting information.
We require project partners to be involved with everything from baseline studies (the “before we started” part of the project) through to active and ongoing monitoring and evaluation. We provide survey forms and other tools for our partners to use.
This is an iterative process – we work closely with each partner to help them design a project that meets all of the Seal of Approval criteria.
If a project meets the Seal of Approval criteria, we will award a Seal of Approval detailing the data on which the Seal of Approval calculations are based, and the metric tons of CO₂ that are expected to be mitigated by the project over its lifetime. By using ex-ante calculations, projects with no other sources of funding can finance the up-front costs of development.
A Seal of Approval is valid for one year and will be renewed annually based on project monitoring reports from the previous year.
Projects pay an initial fee to cover the cost of analyzing the baseline and monitoring data, supporting the partner organization to amend the project where necessary, and issuance of the Seal of Approval. They also pay an annual fee to cover verification of reporting data and renewing of the annual license.
Holders of a Seal of Approval may display the Seal of Approval logo on their project web page and other publicity material, and link to the relevant Seal of Approval license for the period for which it is valid.
We may choose to support a Seal of Approval project by purchasing carbos to include in our portfolio of supported projects.
In 2020 Climate Stewards commissioned Aster Global Environmental Solutions, Inc.™ to assess the Seal of Approval (SoA) standard. Aster Global concluded that “The SoA standard is an effective, streamlined standard assessing net carbon mitigation for community-based projects in the developing world.”