Quality assurance

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CarbonNeutral Global Standard

Since 1997, The CarbonNeutral Company has pioneered the development of standards and processes that ensure our clients purchase high quality carbon offsets and their carbon reduction programmes have credibility and authority.

Today we operate within a leading edge quality assurance programme, which enables us to guarantee the integrity of our services and a credible, global standard for carbon neutral certification. As the market develops we also increasingly use third party organisations to ensure the authority and transparency of our activities.

To discover how we can help you develop a quality assured carbon management programme that will benefit your organisation, please contact us by email, telephone +44 (0)20 7833 6000 or register for our free email updates.

  • The CarbonNeutral Protocol - the global standard for ensuring the integrity and quality of carbon neutral certification programmes and enabling businesses to be certified CarbonNeutral®
  • transparency and external checking of all our carbon procurement and retirement processes through the use of third party registries and auditors to ensure high quality carbon offsets
  • validation and verification that emissions reductions take place through the procurement of carbon validated to reputable third party standards
  • founding membership of the carbon reduction industry body set up to ensure rigorous standards for the industry – The International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA)
  • a guarantee that for every tonne of carbon credit we sell a tonne of carbon reduction will be delivered
  • an Advisory Forum of scientists, industry experts, NGOs and business leaders set up to advise The CarbonNeutral Company on important developments in our industry and to ensure the integrity of our business and processes.

The CarbonNeutral Protocol

The CarbonNeutral Protocol is the market leading global standard, developed by The CarbonNeutral Company, to guarantee the integrity and credibility of clients’ carbon neutral certification and enable them to be certified CarbonNeutral®.

The CarbonNeutral Protocol is developed in consultation with The CarbonNeutral Company's Advisory Forum (AF), a team of independent experts who ensure quality and integrity in The CarbonNeutral Company programmes.  The CarbonNeutral Protocol describes the requirements for achieving CarbonNeutral® certification and controls employed by The CarbonNeutral Company to ensure the correct use of CarbonNeutral® logos.

The Advisory Forum (AF) is appointed by The CarbonNeutral Company, and consists of independent expert members, representatives of organisations interested in promoting effective action on climate change, and The CarbonNeutral Company’s clients.

Previous versions of The CarbonNeutral Protocol are available. Please click here to view the previous version.

Registries and retirement

The integrity of the CarbonNeutral Company’s carbon transactions are executed to the highest industry standards.  Since 2009, all carbon we procure is managed through third party registries including the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), American Carbon Registry and Gold Standard registries hosted by APX and the Climate Action Reserve.  We use an independent auditor to check and report on our systems and processes for carbon procurement and retirement, this ensures that all our carbon offsets are tracked, traded and retired in a transparent manner.  As members of industry body, ICROA, we are committed to regular audits of our transactions.

Before independent third-party registries were developed for voluntary carbon transactions, we led the market by providing our clients with a publicly accessible carbon database.


The CarbonNeutral Company contracts with a wide range of high quality carbon offset project types in various geographical locations, all of which are validated and verified to recognised, market-leading standards, including the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), The Gold Standard, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and the American Carbon Registry (ACR). These projects are regularly audited by accredited third parties to ensure that they meet all of the quality requirements of the standard; including additionality, accurate quantification, unique ownership, permanence, leakage, sustainability standards and retirement via a publicly accessible registry.

In addition, The CarbonNeutral Company has developed a proprietary screening and grading process for all projects prior to procuring carbon from them to ensure we have a full understanding of the environmental, social and economic impacts of their activities.


The CarbonNeutral Company is a founding member of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), the self-regulatory body established to ensure rigorous standards for the carbon management industry and to help businesses achieve significant emission reductions. For more information, please visit www.icroa.org


The CarbonNeutral Company guarantees that for every tonne of carbon we sell, a tonne of high quality carbon offset will be delivered. In the unlikely event that a project does not deliver, we replace it with credits from another project.

Advisory Forum (AF)

The AF is chaired by The CarbonNeutral Company’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor John Murlis.  Its membership consists of international carbon management experts from a broad scope of backgrounds including science, economics, business, international policy and sustainable development. Two places within the AF are reserved for clients of The CarbonNeutral Company to ensure the company’s client base is actively involved in the development of its business activities.

The objective of the AF is to review, challenge and advise The CarbonNeutral Company on its work in climate change, and to provide guidance on the strategic, scientific and technical aspects of the Company's activities.  In addition to regularly reviewing The CarbonNeutral Protocol to ensure it is aligned with best practice in carbon emissions reductions, members of the AF conduct site visits to some of our projects to personally verify the quality, and advises the company on ways in which we can continue to pioneer and innovate in our industry.

Our services and projects

Read more about the services we offer guaranteed by our quality assurance programme and see a selection of the carbon offset projects we have available.