Quality Assurance

The expansion and diversification of carbon neutral programmes throughout the world makes it even more crucial that claims made about environmental impact are reliable and standardised. What will underpin any successful scheme is a robust process that is tailored to that company and based on best practice and good science.

Natural Capital Partners, itself a certified CarbonNeutral® company, has developed a leading-edge quality assurance programme that goes beyond industry requirements and continually evolves to set best practice.

CarbonNeutral Global Standard

CarbonNeutral certification follows The CarbonNeutral Protocol to enable our clients to make clear, credible and transparent claims of achieving net zero carbon emissions. First published in 2002, development of The CarbonNeutral Protocol is assisted by an annual review by an advisory forum, appointed by Natural Capital Partners and representing international carbon management experts from a broad scope of backgrounds including science, economics, business, international policy and sustainable development. This provides the third-party guarantee you need to demonstrate the quality and integrity of your programme.

The requirements of The CarbonNeutral Protocol are underpinned by the following principles:

  1. Transparency: Disclose the data, methodologies and assumptions used in greenhouse gas (GHG) calculations and reduction efforts within the bounds of commercial confidentiality
  2. Accuracy: Ensure that the data, methodologies and assumptions used for GHG calculations and reduction efforts are accurate and time-relevant, and that the claims made in connection with such efforts are factual and credible
  3. Conservative estimation: Be conservative when making estimations to ensure that they do not understate GHG impacts nor overstate emissions reductions
  4. Continual improvement: Strive to make continual improvements in GHG accounting and reductions
  5. Wider context: Ensure that CarbonNeutral® programmes and claims are an appropriate response to the wider environmental, social and economic impacts of the subject and organisation, based upon a high-level understanding of all major impacts.

For a carbon credit to be genuine, the generating project must ensure it meets essential quality criteria, including proof that it is:

  • Additional: The reduction in emissions would not have occurred without the carbon finance from selling carbon credits
  • Retired: It will be retired from the carbon market so that it cannot be sold again or double-counted
  • Permanent: It delivers the reductions claimed and they will not be reversed
  • Addressing leakage: The emission reduction in one area has not caused an increase in emissions elsewhere.

As founding members of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), Natural Capital Partners complies with the ICROA Code of Best Practice through an annual audit and our offset projects are all validated and verified to recognised third-party standards. Annually, Natural Capital Partners is audited by a “big four” firm which covers renewable energy and carbon procurement, registration, retirement processes and controls. It gives third party verification that we remain compliant with both ICROA and The CarbonNeutral Protocol.

However, our commitment to quality goes beyond industry standards, which is why we’ve been recognised as Best Offset Retailer by Environmental Finance for the last six years. Our global markets team conducts a detailed due diligence review of every project we consider, ensuring we only contract with the highest quality projects and eliminate the risk of under-performance.

Natural Capital Partners actively works with and supports a range of industry bodies including the UN’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, the Business Renewables Center and RECS International. In addition, our Advisory Forum of external experts works with us to keep up to date with the latest best practice in our industry, and in turn we ensure clients are made aware of any policy, industry or project developments that will interest them or impact their programmes. See further details of our association partnerships here.

All of our renewable energy solutions guarantee that certificates have not been double-counted, double-issued or double-claimed. They are tracked and retired on third-party registries and are underpinned by leading standards which verify renewable power projects.

Find out what carbon neutral means, why it is a powerful business action, and how we can help you achieve CarbonNeutral® status quickly and effectively.