VCU Tags and Other Standards
Verified Carbon Units (VCUs) can be tagged with additional certifications when a project meets the requirements set out by participating standards.
For example, a project that meets the requirements of a participating social and environmental standard may issue VCUs that are 'tagged' with that standard's certification.
VCS Policy on Tags and Other Standards
Standards, programs or other sets of requirements developed by non-profit or government organizations can be eligible to participate as VCU tags. All such programs, standards and requirements are referred to as 'standards' in this VCS policy.
Eligibility Criteria for Other Standards
A standard (or program or other set of requirements) can be eligible, at VCS' discretion, to become a participating VCU tag when the following conditions are met:
- The standard administrator is a non-profit organization, government or other regulatory body and does not have any involvement in GHG project development that would represent a conflict of interest with respect to administering the standard.
- The standard has been developed through a process of public stakeholder consultation or is the implementation of regulations that themselves have been developed through a process of public stakeholder consultation.
- The standard is publicly available.
- The standard administrator maintains a public record of all projects to which certification statements have been issued.
- Compliance with the standard's requirements is indicated via the issuance of a certification statement, and the standard administrator has procedures in place for issuing certification statements and/or specifies procedures for accredited entities to issue such statements. Where accredited entities may issue certification statements, the standard clearly specifies the accredited entities that can issue such statements.
- The standard is complementary to the objectives and scope of the VCS. For example, it may provide certification with respect to a project's social and environmental co-benefits.
- The standard is applicable to GHG projects and the emission reductions or removals generated by such projects (eg, is not a certification that applies at the organizational level).
Request to Become a Participating Standard
Standard administrators may apply to participate as a VCU tag as follows:
- The standard administrator shall submit an application to VCS with the following:
- Evidence of fulfillment of the eligibility criteria set out above.
- A specimen certification statement and the name(s) of the body(s) that will be issuing certification statements, accompanied by guidance on how to ascertain the authenticity of certification statements.
- Instruction on whether certification is granted at the project level (ie, granted once and forever to a project) or at the VCU level (ie, must be renewed on a periodic basis and hence only pertains to a given vintage of VCUs).
- VCS shall review the application pack based upon the eligibility criteria set out above and shall inform the standard administrator of the outcome.
- Where the standard is accepted as a VCU tag, VCS shall update the VCS registry system and corresponding internal procedures to allow VCUs to be tagged with the additional certification. VCS shall also provide on its website the standards that are accepted as VCU tags.
Tag VCUs with Participating Standards
Once a standard has been accepted as a VCU tag, project proponents may request that their VCUs are tagged with a certification under that standard. Readers are referred to the VCS Registration and Issuance Process document, which sets out the procedure for tagging VCUs.
VCS may suspend or terminate arrangements for tagging VCUs with the certification of a given standard at any time by providing notice to the standard administrator and citing the reason(s). Likewise, a standard administrator may instruct VCS to suspend or terminate tagging VCUs with their certification at any time.
Limitation of VCS Liability
Standard administrators are responsible for overseeing certification against their standards and maintaining public records of certification statements issued.
Any documentation maintained within the VCS registry system with respect to such certification statements represents a secondary repository only and the standard administrators remain the primary source of information and documentation with respect to certification against their standards.
Tagging VCUs with additional certifications within the VCS registry system is undertaken on a best efforts basis.
Neither the VCS Association and the VCS registries, nor any of their respective affiliates, directors, employees, agents, licensors and/or contractors shall be liable with respect to any claims whatsoever arising out of erroneous additional certification tagging within the VCS registry system for indirect, consequential, special, punitive or exemplary damages, including without limitation claims for losses resulting for claims of whatsoever nature brought against the VCSA or the VCS registries by registry accountholders, other VCS registries, project proponents, validation/verification bodies or any other third party. This paragraph shall apply regardless of any actual knowledge or foreseeability of such damages.
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