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Quality Standards

for Anthesis carbon offsetting projects

Climate Neutral Group, part of Anthesis since 2022, has been a market leader in the offsetting and carbon projects market for twenty years.

Quality criteria

Part of Quality is of the utmost importance to Anthesis. Both the quality of the services we deliver and the quality of the products and services we procure from third parties must meet certain criteria. To ensure this is the case, we have drawn up a range of procedures.

When you opt for offsetting, you offset your (residual) emissions via CO2 credits. We generate these credits through our climate projects, to prevent CO2 emissions elsewhere in the world. The credits comply with the highest international standards. With a range of projects available in our portfolio, Anthesis offers you plenty of choice in terms of project type, standard type and price category.

Strict quality criteria

At Anthesis, we guarantee that the credits you purchase genuinely contribute to a reduction in carbon. Every credit represents a reduction of one ton of CO2 in the atmosphere. This claim is verified by independent, internationally recognised agencies, who check whether our projects meet precisely defined standards.

Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)

VCS is the most widely used standard in CO2 reduction projects involving voluntary offsetting. This standard is supported by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). VCS projects can also have supplementary standards such as CBB, SD Vista and Social Carbon Standard, which certify the extra benefits for local communities, biodiversity, and ecosystems.

Gold Standard (GS)

Gold Standard is the original standard for carbon projects, in which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play an explicit role. GS has been developed by a group of NGOs under the auspices of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), with the aim of supporting projects that not only comply with the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) but also offer a quantifiable contribution to sustainable development via various SDGs.

ICROA membership

Climate Neutral Group, part of Anthesis, is a member of ICROA, the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance. This worldwide coalition is committed to creating a transparent and high-quality carbon offsetting market. We comply with the ICROA’s ‘Code of Best Practice’, which means that, in summary:

  • We actively offer and perform carbon footprint reduction calculations in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
  • We encourage clients to set and realise quantifiable reduction goals.
  • We are experts in the area of carbon-reducing policy instruments, and we support businesses in their implementation.
  • We use carbon credits in line with standards recognised by the ICROA. An annual audit is also carried out to check whether we comply with the ICROA’s ‘Code of Best Practice’.

New standards

In addition to VCS and GS, there are other reliable standards such as PlanVivo, Pure Carbon Blue and SNK. The latter applies to compensation projects located in the Netherlands and fall under the National Carbon Market. It is expected that these standards will also be accepted by ICROA in the near future.

Extra criteria for the additionality of projects

In the wake of recent research, Anthesis has decided to use its own extra criteria for additionality. This term means that a project cannot or will not be realised without carbon credits. This may be because extra finance is required, no proper policies are in place (yet), or because grants are lacking.

Over the past few years, it has become easier to fund large-scale hydropower and biomass projects with or even without extra finance, such as government grants. As such, the additionality of these types of projects cannot always be guaranteed. As this insight is not yet accounted for by the GS and VCS standards and the ICROA’s ‘Code of Best Practice’, we have decided to add this ourselves as an extra requirement in the selection of projects for our portfolio. As a consequence, we only offer small-scale hydropower and biomass projects that do not come at a cost to woodland, agriculture, or protected nature reserves.

For CDM projects, this is assessed on a project-by-project basis. The main criteria are whether the project is still going, and whether the concept of additionality still applies. We expect that most hydropower and biomass projects will fail to meet these criteria anyway.