As a part of the global carbon market, the voluntary CO2 market is different from the compliance schemes under the Kyoto Protocol and EU-ETS. Instead of undergoing the national approval from the project participants and the registration and verification process from the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the calculation and the certification of the emission reduction are implemented in accordance with a number of industry-created standards.
The advantage of lower development/transaction cost makes the voluntary market especially attractive to those small and sustainable projects to which the UN certification process is too expensive.

Credits originated from the voluntary CO2 market are called Voluntary Emissions Reductions (VER). Currently VERs are mostly used by companies who are looking to voluntarily offset the emissions generated during their business activities in order to show social responsibility and establish a healthy and green corporate image. An increasing number of companies are investing in VER projects in order to reduce their carbon footprint and to reach a “zero emission” status.

There is a range of different certification and quality standards:
VER standards VER


The VCS Program is the most widely used greenhouse gas program in the global voluntary carbon market. It provides a robust global standard and program for approval of credible voluntary offsets. VCS offsets must be real, additional, measurable, permanent, independently verified and unique.
The Verified Carbon Standard was initiated by The Climate Group, the International Emissions Trading Association, the World Economic Forum and the World Business Council in 2005 and is backed by the world’s largest companies.
For more information about the VCS:

Gold Standard
Gold Standard was founded in 2003 by WWF International and was developed to identify the best carbon reduction projects in the voluntary market. It involves strict rules of conduct beyond The CDM criteria and has additional requirements for social responsibility and sustainable development of carbon offset projects.
Gold Standard projects must adhere to a stringent and transparent set of criteria developed by the Secretariat, overseen by an independent Technical Advisory Committee and verified by UN accredited independent auditors. The certification process uniquely requires the involvement of local stakeholders and NGOs.
For more information about the Gold Standard:

Agrinergy manages the entire VOLUNTARY CARBON MARKET project cycle for its clients:
Agrinergy’s capability to deliver end-to-end solutions from the identification of projects to the delivery of voluntary carbon credits adds value to both project sellers and buyers: We maximise the qualification potential of projects and ensures the delivery process is managed seamlessly. Our presence in both sellers’ and buyers’ markets guarantees an efficient transaction.