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In the compliance market, or involuntary market, governments set a cap on how many tons of emissions certain sectors — oil, transportation, energy or waste management — can release.

As governments pressure the private sector to limit greenhouse gas emissions, many
companies have turned to a financial product to offset their environmental footprints — carbon credits.

A carbon credit (carbon offset) is a permit that allows the company to emit a certain amount
of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. One credit allows the emission of one ton of
carbon dioxide or the equivalent in other greenhouse gases.

Carbon credits are most often created through agricultural or forestry projects, although a credit can be made by nearly any other project that reduces, removes or avoids greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But they also bring other positive benefits, for example, they empower communities, protect ecosystems, restore forests or reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Projects must adhere to a rigorous set of criteria to pass verification by third-party agencies and a review by a panel of experts at a leading carbon offset standard such as the Gold Standard,  Verra's Verified Carbon Standard  (VCS), Social Carbon and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS), or standards verified by the UNFCCC.

While we believe organisations need to first reduce emissions as much as possible prior to offsetting, this being the ethical, best practice approach to carbon management, we also understand that, despite all efforts, some emissions might be unavoidable. Therefore, high-quality carbon credits allow you to compensate for remaining and transitional emissions on your quest towards net zero.  Contessa commodities provides access to a broad portfolio of carbon credits sourced from different countries and standards. You can choose cost-effective or high impact projects to complement your decarbonisation efforts.  Let us help you find proven and ethical projects that you actually want to support.

Gold Standard

The Gold Standard (GS), or Gold Standard for the Global Goals, is a standard for emission reduction projects in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Voluntary Carbon Market and other climate and development interventions. It is published and administered by the Gold Standard Foundation, a non-profit foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It was designed with an intent to ensure that carbon credits are real and verifiable and that projects make measurable contributions to sustainable development.

Verified Carbon Standard

The Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program is the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas (GHG) crediting program. It drives finance toward activities that reduce and remove emissions, improve livelihoods, and protect nature. VCS is administered by Verra, a 501(c)(3) organization

Clean Development Mechanism

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), defined in Article 12 of the Protocol, allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. It is one of the first global credit scheme of its kind, providing a standardized emissions offset instrument, the Certified Emissions Reduction (CER).                                                                                                                                                                            


The companies united in the REDD+ Business Initiative aim to support the further development of the UN’s REDD+ mechanism as referred to in article 5 of the Paris Agreement. REDD+ is one of the most effective metjto reduce deforestation in the tropics at scale.


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