REDD+ project developers wishing to incorporate both social and environmental standards into project design can pursue certification under several voluntary carbon standards. This provides investors with assurances of both the project’s emissions reduction potential and of the likely social/environmental co-benefits to arise from the project.

REDD+ relevance

Several REDD+ projects are in the process of obtaining dual-certification under multiple carbon standards. The CCBS is a popular standard to achieve in conjunction with other standards, for example the VCS. Although it does not issue credits, CCBS offers buyers assurance that the project has met specific social and environmental criteria. In 2011, co-benefit certifications such as the CCBS were tagged onto 30% of forest carbon volumes in 2011 (Ecosystem Marketplace, 2012), and transactions of VCS+CCBS dual-certified REDD offsets have tripled in volume from 2011 to 2012 (Conservation International, 2013), demonstrating the importance of social and environmental benefits to forest carbon buyers.

Standards themselves have adapted to incorporate the growing demand for dual-certification, with the most recent version of CarbonFix Standard (v.3.2) containing procedures on combined certification with the CCBS and FSC (CarbonFix Standard, 2011).


Conservation International, 2013. A corporate primer on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD): The Context, Key Technical and Policy Issues, and Private-Sector Involvement

Ecosystem Marketplace, 2012. Leveraging the Landscape: State of the Forest Carbon Markets 2012