ISO 14064-2

Standard currently in use (as of 1/2011).

Market Size and Scope
Offset Project Eligibility
Additionality Requirements and Project Methodologies
Project Approval Process


Type of Standard and Context

ISO 14064 parts 1, 2, and 3 are policy-neutral, voluntary GHG accounting standards. They were developed on behalf of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) by an international working group of technical experts over the course of 2 years and launched in 2006.
The ISO 14064 standard consists of three parts:

  • The first part (14064-1) specifies requirements for organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals
  • The second part (14064-2) details requirements for quantifying, monitoring and reporting emission reductions and removal enhancements from GHG mitigation projects.
  • The third part (14064-3) provides requirements and guidance for the validation and verification of GHG assertions (e.g., declarations / claims).

ISO 14065 specifies principles and requirements for auditor that undertake validation or verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) assertions.

ISO 14066 give guidance on "competence requirements for conducting greenhouse gas validation and verification engagements with guidance for evaluation"

We focus here on ISO 14064-2. ISO 14065-2 is a guidance document that has to be used in conjunction with an established offset program. For example, the VCS is based on ISO principles and compatible with ISO 14064. ISO 14064-2 is not prescriptive about elements that apply to the policies of a particular GHG program such as additionality criteria, project eligibility dates or co-benefits.

Standard Authority and Administrative Bodies

ISO is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards. It is a non-governmental network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries.

Standards are developed by ISO if a need is perceived by the industry or business community. The requirement is communicated to ISO through one of its national standards institutes and either the work is assigned to an existing technical committee or a new one is created. The technical committee comprises technical and business experts from the industry that has asked for the standard and other experts from national government agencies, testing laboratories, consumer associations, environmentalists and others. All experts are represented at the technical committee as national delegations, and chosen by the respective national standards institutes. Draft standards recommended by the technical committees are adopted if two-thirds of the members actively involved in their development and 75% of the voting members vote in favor. ISO 14064 was drafted by the Technical Committee on Environmental Management and its Subcommittee on Greenhouse Gas Management and Related Activities.

Regional Scope

All above mentioned ISO standards are international.

Recognition of Other Standards/ Linkage with Other Trading Systems

ISO 14064-1, 2 and 3 are designed to be GHG program-neutral and therefore intended to be used by GHG programs or standards. For example, the procedures of the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) are based on ISO 14064-2 and 3 and the Canadian GHG Offset Protocols willl be based on the ISO 14064-2 framework. In addition, the Climate Action Reserve is adapting their quantification protocols to the ISO 14064 standards.

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Market Size and Scope

Tradable Unit and Pricing Information

Because ISO 14064-2 is program neutral, the tradable unit is not defined by ISO 14064-2 but by the program which requires the use of the ISO 14064-2 protocol.


Both the voluntary and the compliance programs have incorporated the ISO guidelines into their program design (see above).

Current Project Portfolio

Not applicable.

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Offset Project Eligibility

Project Types

Because ISO 14064 is program neutral, no restrictions on project types are defined under ISO 14064-2.

Project Locations

Not specified under ISO 14064-2.

Project Size

Not specified under ISO 14064-2.

Start Date 

Not specified under ISO 14064-2.

Crediting Period

Not specified under ISO 14064-2.

Co-benefit Objectives and Requirements

The requirements for co-benefits are presented in general terms. ISO 14064-2 also specifies that relevant outcomes of stakeholder participation and consultation be presented.

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Additionality Requirements and Project Methodologies

Additionality Requirements

ISO 14064-2 requires that the GHG project result in GHG emission reductions or removal enhancements in addition to what would have happened in the absence of that project. The standard does not use the term “additionality”, prescribe baseline procedures or specify additionality criteria. These are all elements that are defined by the GHG program or regulation which requires the use of the standard.

ISO 14064 requires the project proponent to identify and select GHG sources, sinks and reservoirs relevant for the GHG project and for the baseline scenario. In order to be compatible with the broadest range of GHG programs, it does not use the term “project boundary” but rather uses a lifecycle approach for the identification of GHG sources, sinks and/or reservoirs that are considered for quantification, monitoring and reporting.

The guidelines for additionality tools generally assume a project-specific approach. However, the requirements of the GHG program take precedence over specific ISO 14064-2 requirements, which allows performance standards to be used where this is prescribed by the GHG program.

Project Methodologies

Since ISO 14064-2 is designed to be program-neutral, baseline procedures are specified in general terms, allowing flexibility for GHG programs or regulations to adopt more prescriptive procedures. The standard offers guidance on and sets out general requirements for how to determine a project baseline.

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Project Approval Process

Validation and Registration

ISO 14064-2 states that the project proponent should have the GHG project validated and/or verified. The use of the word “should” instead of “shall” makes this requirement non-mandatory. Such requirements are usually elements of a GHG program. ISO 14064-3 specifies the principles and requirements for validation and verification of GHG assertions.

Under ISO 14064-2, the use of third-party auditors is recommended, but only required if GHG emission reductions are to be made public. In these cases project proponents must provide a GHG report with a specified content or a third-party validation or verification statement prepared in accordance with the procedures in ISO 14064-3: Specification with guidance for the validation and verification of greenhouse gas assertions. ISO 14064-3 specifies the following for the validation and verification process including:

• selecting GHG validators/verifiers;
• establishing the level of assurance, objectives, criteria and scope;
• determining the validation/verification approach;
• assessing GHG data, information, information systems and controls;
• evaluating GHG assertions;
• and preparing validation/verification statements

While ISO 14064-3 specifies similar requirements for both validation and verification, the objectives associated with project validation and project verification are usually different.

Monitoring, Verification and Certification

ISO 14064-2 requires the project proponent to establish and maintain criteria and procedures for obtaining, recording, compiling and analysing data and information important for quantifying and reporting GHG emissions and/or removals relevant for the project and baseline scenario (i.e. GHG information system).

The certification and crediting process, is not specified in ISO 14064-2.

Registries and Fees

Becuase ISO is not a program but a standard, it does not have a registry associated with it.

ISO’s national members pay subscriptions to cover the operational cost of ISO’s Central Secretariat. The subscription paid by each member is in proportion to the country’s Gross National Income and trade figures. Another source of revenue is the sale of standards. The cost for ISO 14064 is CHF 98 - 118 - 130 for parts 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

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