With alternative energies flourishing, more and more organisations are committing to reducing – even completely eliminating – their carbon footprint by opting for cleaner, more efficient technologies. Nevertheless, this goal is neither easy nor cheap to achieve. For this reason, mechanisms have been put in place to support businesses in achieving their objectives: carbon markets.


Carbon markets offer businesses the possibility of offsetting their emissions by way of carbon credits, which they receive by undertaking projects around the world. Such projects are designed specifically so as not to generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or to keep these emissions to an absolute minimum.

Carbon credits must be certified to confirm their authenticity and can then be sold on to businesses or individuals through carbon markets. The VCS Program is responsible for certifying the credits in accordance with a series of strict requirements and standards. 



VCS is a standard setting out a series of rules and requirements by which projects in a range of sectors can obtain certification and so-called VCU (verified carbon unit) credits. Each VCU equates to one metric tonne less of GHGs released into the atmosphere.

Registering such a project offers a range of benefits to the project developer, including:  

  • Increasing the project’s profitability – in some cases making it possible at all – thanks to the additional funding provided by the VCUs 
  • Improving the company’s image, since this is a voluntary process 
  • Boosting the company’s competitiveness 
  • Promoting sustainable development around the world 
  • Meeting the emissions reduction targets agreed in the Kyoto Protocol 
  • Launching activities in emerging economies 


The procedure for generating carbon units within the VCS Program comprises five key steps:  

  • Identification of a methodology 
  • Description and registration of the project 
  • Validation of the project description 
  • Verification of the reduction in emissions 
  • Issuance of VCUs 

For a project to be validated and verified, its developers must turn to an external, impartial and duly accredited (VCS-approved) body to carry out an audit with a view to determining if it complies with all the VCS rules and requirements.  

The external body assigns specific auditors to carry out the validation and verification exercise according to their training and experience in the type of project and the sector in question. 



Applus+ Laboratories is accredited by the United Nations for CDM projects and also approved by VCS to carry out validation and verification work under this standard.

Applus+ Laboratories boasts a network of highly qualified auditors with in-depth experience of the following accredited fields: 

  1. Biomass for the generation of heat and power 
  2. Changes in the use of fossil fuels 
  3. Solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal power (renewables) 
  4. Energy efficiency (improvements in biomass cooking equipment, efficient lighting and climate control solutions for homes and industry, efficient methods of pumping water, etc.) 
  5. Management of solid waste (capture of biogas in landfills for power generation, waste treatment and recycling systems, incineration, gasification) 
  6. Sewage treatment systems 
  7. Management of waste arising from cattle farming and animal husbandry  

Applus+ Laboratories is a globally renowned, independent and impartial body accredited by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). It is a member of the Applus+ Group, a leading testing, inspection and certification company with a presence in 70 countries and more than 20,000 employees.

Applus+ Laboratories team of highly qualified auditors has proven experience in each of the accredited fields. They are based around the world and can therefore provide our clients with a high-quality, efficient, cost-effective and global service. 

For more information and documentation about VCS validation and verification projects follow this link. Once there select the entity UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and then the procedure 2018 VCS Project List.


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