Carbon Mitigation Project Development (2.2)

This is an optional Innovation & Leadership credit. These credits recognize exemplary practices and performance above and beyond what is recognized in standard credits and may not be relevant to every institution. Scoring in the Innovation and Leadership section is capped at 4 bonus points total.

Credit Language

IN 5: Carbon Mitigation Project Development – version 2.2

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an innovative offset?

Consistent with The Offset Network, Innovative Offset Projects are those which pursue new strategies outside of currently approved offset methodologies. In general, Innovative Offset Projects may take one of three forms:

  1. Innovative Offset Projects may draw on widely-accepted existing methodologies for generating offsets, offering approaches which reduce the requirements of currently accepted offset protocols such that they are approachable by a greater audience and feasible on a smaller scale.
  2. Alternatively, Innovative Offset Projects may incorporate methodologies used for other purposes but which have not yet been demonstrated specifically in the area of carbon offsets.
  3. Finally, Innovative Offset Projects may put forth truly unique approaches for generating carbon offsets.

Innovative methodological approaches for carbon offsets should be grounded in theory, should reference peer-reviewed literature, and should ideally be supported by anecdotal pilot initiatives.

What is a peer reviewed offset?

Consistent with The Offset Network, Peer Reviewed carbon offsets are the same as traditional market available carbon offsets with one key difference. Instead of receiving verification by an International Standards Organization (ISO) accredited verifier, Peer Reviewed offset credits are verified by a peer institutional verifier and therefore, at present, may only be used towards an academic institution’s carbon neutrality commitment. These credits are non-marketable and may only offset scope 3 emissions, not to exceed 30% of an institutions total emissions.

Example Responses

  • Arizona State University – Comprehensive responses provided. A good reporting example of an innovative carbon offsets project that is also peer reviewed.
  • McGill University – Great documentation and links. A good reporting example of earning full points through an innovative carbon offsets project that follows a new or modified project protocol.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Timeline – In order to count, the institution must have actively participated in carbon mitigation efforts beyond its campus boundary during the previous three years. Affirmative responses must be supported.

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