The SOCIALCARBON Standard requires the following criteria for certifying carbon-offset projects:

  1. Employment of the SOCIALCARBON Methodology.
  2. Monitoring and continual improvement of the project’s performance.
  3. Auditing by an independent certifying entity, provided through SOCIALCARBON Reports.

Since SOCIALCARBON does not establish specific criteria for carbon baseline and monitoring methodologies, project developers must select and comply with a carbon accounting standard for certification of emission reductions (e.g. VCS, ISO, CDM, or other).

Criteria 1 – Use of SOCIALCARBON Methodology

The methodology includes:



  1. Basic guidelines for initiatives undertaken with local stakeholders.
  2. A conceptual framework that provides a panorama of the situation, combining resources, perspectives and strategies. The methodology is based on the sustainable livelihoods approach and considers six basic resources: Social, Human, Financial, Natural, Biodiversity and Carbon. Indicators chosen and developed using the six resources of the SOCIALCARBON Methodology. These indicators receive scores ranging from the worst scenario (level 1) to the ideal scenario (sustainable use of resources – level 6).Schematic representation of the gradient of “Social” resource indicators


Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4 Scenario 5 Scenario 6
A formal community association does not exist. There is a formal community association, but it is unstructured and has internal conflicts. A formal association exists, controlled by directors interested in strengthening the group. A community organization exists and is controlled by recognized community leaders. A formal association exists, controlled by interested leaders who are relatively experienced. An Organization exists which embodies a collective communitymindset, controlled by prepared and experienced leaders.


All data used to score the indicators and provide a general panorama of the project context is collected through participative methods, such as interviews, questionnaires and meetings with stakeholders. The average score of the indicators is then plotted on the hexagon.

The SOCIALCARBON Report (SCR) must be elaborated with the support of an Approved Organization.

Approved Organizations are qualified institutions, authorized by the Ecologica Institute, responsible for developing SOCIALCARBON indicators and reports. This procedure guarantees that the involved entities are carrying out the SOCIALCARBON concept and the fundamental steps involved in its methodology.

To see the list of Approved Organizations, click here.

Criteria 2 – Monitoring and continual improvement of the project’s performance

The methodology is applied periodically and independently verified in order to stimulate continuous improvements. Projects are re-evaluated according to the monitoring period of the corresponding carbon accounting standard, through participative diagnosis and formulation of SOCIALCARBON reports in order to indicate the project’s contributions to sustainable development.

Criteria 3 – Auditing by an Independent Certifying Entity provided through SOCIALCARBON Reports

SOCIALCARBON Reports must be validated and verified by a Certifying Entity. In this process an independent verification of the SOCIALCARBON Report is performed.

Validation and verification of the SCR and the PDD may be combined or done separately, according to the capability of the verifying technical team.

To see the list of Certifying Entities, click here.

Procedures for Project Developers


Conventional Project Cycle Project Cycle with SOCIALCARBON®
1 -  Selection of professionals for elaboration of the PDD

Selection of an Approved Organization:

A qualified institution shall carry out the application of the SOCIALCARBON Standard.

2 -  Selection of baseline and monitoring methodologies

Establishment of the core indicators for the project:

New indicators must be submitted to the approval of the SOCIALCARBON Team.

3 -  Project Design Document (PDD) Elaboration of the SOCIALCARBON Report (SCR Definition of a baseline to assess the project’s contribution towardssustainable development (Point Zero).
4 -  Validation

Validation by a Certifying Entity:

An independent audit is carried out, based on the SOCIALCARBON Report.

5 -  Periodic monitoring


Projects are evaluated according to the monitoring period of the corresponding carbon accounting standard through the SOCIALCARBON Reports.

6 – Verification Verification is conducted by a Certifying Entity.
7 -  Issuance of verified emission reductions


After verification of the SOCIALCARBON Report, VERs may be registered on the SOCIALCARBON Registry.