SocialCarbon Standard

Currently active program focusing on co-benefits (as of 1/2011).

www.socialcarbon.org


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


Overview

Type of Standard and Context

The SocialCarbon Standard was developed by the Ecológica Institute (Brazil) in 1998. It is a methodology that focuses on enhancing co-benefits such as biodiversity and active participation of local communities. It does not verify quantified carbon offsets and is therefore usually used in conjunction with another program, such as the VCS or CDM.

Standard Authority and Administrative Bodies

The SocialCarbon Standard was developed by the Ecológica Institute, a non-profit organization based in Brazil. The Ecológica Institute is in charge of accrediting other organizations who wish to use the SocialCarbon Standard.

Auditors of SocialCarbon Standard projects are called Certifying Entities. A list of SocialCarbon Standard approved auditors can be found here.

Regional Scope

The SocialCarbon Standard is not regionally specific and can be applied in any country. Currently, SocialCarbon Standard projects have been certified in Brazil, Turkey, China and Indonesia.

Recognition of Other Standards/ Linkage with Other Trading Systems

Because the SocialCarbon Standard is a methodology for monitoring the co-benefits of offset projects, and doe snot verify emissions reductions it is usually used in conjunction with another program, such as the VCS or the CDM.

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Market Size and Scope

Tradable Unit and Pricing Information

SocialCarbon Standard-certified VERs (in conjunction with another VER program) and CERs (in conjunction with the CDM).

Participants/Buyers

Primarily businesses.

Current Project Portfolio

There are 43 projects currently registered with Social Carbon.

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Offset Project Eligibility

Project Types

Because the SocialCarbon Standard is usually used in conjunction with outside programs, SocialCarbon does not set its own project type restrictions. Rather, projects must demonstrate that the project type complies with a SocialCarbon-approved offset-verifying program (e.g. VCS, CDM).

SocialCarbon Standard indicators have been developed for: Industries in the ceramic sector, afforestation/reforestation projects, landfill projects, hydropower plants, and micro and small-scale hydropower grouped projects.

Project Locations

The SocialCarbon Standard can be applied to projects in any country. Currently, SocialCarbon Standard projects have been certified in Brazil, Turkey, China and Indonesia.

Project Size

Because the SocialCarbon Standard is usually used in conjunction with an offset-verifying program, SocialCarbon does not set its own project size restrictions. Rather, projects must demonstrate that the project type complies with a SocialCarbon-approved offset-verifying program (e.g. VCS, CDM).

Start Date 

Because the SocialCarbon Standard is usually used in conjunction with an offset-verifying program, SocialCarbon does not set its start date rules. Rather, projects must demonstrate that the project type complies with a SocialCarbon-approved offset-verifying program (e.g. VCS, CDM).

Application of the SocialCarbon Standard begins with the “initial diagnosis,” an assessment of the baseline social, economic and environmental conditions of the project site to establish a “Zero Point” against which a project’s future contributions to sustainable development will be measured. Although the methodology can be applied at any stage in a project’s development, including after the issuance of credits, project credits are only eligible for accreditation once the initial diagnosis has been completed.

Crediting Period

Because the SocialCarbon Standard is usually used in conjunction with an offset-verifying programs, SocialCarbon does not set its own crediting period restrictions. Rather, projects must comply with a SocialCarbon-approved an offset-verifying program (e.g. VCS, CDM).

Co-benefit Objectives and Requirements

The SocialCarbon Standard is designed to ensure that offset projects make significant contributions to sustainable development throughout their lifetime. SocialCarbon Standard uses a set of analytical tools to assess the social, environmental and economic conditions of stakeholders affected by the project.

Co-benefit criteria are established and monitored through the following process:

1 - Selection of Social Carbon Indicators for the Project: Sustainability indicators are chosen to monitor the project’s contribution to sustainable development during its expected lifetime. These indicators are project specific and based on the description of the social and environmental impacts and/or benchmark analysis.

2 - Social Carbon Report: Project developers must report how the selected indicators are measured and monitored. The report must include the results from the site visit, and interviews with stakeholders. Annual reports are recommended, although other documents might be accepted, according to the periods of verification of emission reductions.

3 - Verification: Periodic verifications must be carried to assess a project's co-benefits. The project must show that at least some of the identified co-benefits are being developed and that the project has not lead to a decrease in sustainability benefits.

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Additionality Requirements and Project Methodologies

Additionality Requirements

Because the SocialCarbon Standard is usually used in conjunction with an an offset-verifying program, Social Carbon does not set its own additionality criteria but relies on the an offset-verifying program to do so.

Project Methodologies

Because the SocialCarbon Standard is usually used in conjunction with an an offset-verifying program, Social Carbon does not develop its own protocols criteria but relies on the an offset-verifying program to do so.

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Project Approval Process

Validation and Registration

The Project Design Document must be validated and verified by an independent third party, based on the an offset-verifying program accepted by the Social Carbon. The validation and verification procedures for Social Carbon Reports are preferably consolidated with the validation procedures for an an offset-verifying program (i.e. VCS, CDM or others) into a single process.

Leakage

Leakage is not addressed in the SocialCarbon Standard.

Permanence

Permanence is not addressed in the SocialCarbon Standard.

Monitoring, Verification and Certification

The SocialCarbon Standard recommends annual verification but longer intervals might also be accepted depending on the an offset-verifying program used.

Registries and Fees

The SocialCarbon Standard registry is managed by Markit, an Environmental Registry service used by many other voluntary offset programs as well. Their pricing schedule is as follows:

  Joining Fee (per account) Account Fee (per user) Issuance (per tCO2e) Transactions (per tCO2e)** Retirement Certificate Account Closing (per tCO2e)
VCS
USD 500.00
USD 100.00
USD 0.05*
USD 0.03
USD 200.00
USD 150.00
Social Carbon
USD 500.00
USD 100.00
USD 0.02
USD 0.05
USD 200.00
USD 150.00

* Additional VCSA Levy of EUR 0.04 also applies

** Buyer pays transaction fee

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