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Gold Standard and partners are pleased to publish a new guidance document to inform development of user-friendly tools that will help project developers capture the full range of their projects' contributions toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while also guarding against overclaiming, or "SDG washing."

  >>Download the guidance  

Why is this important?

While setting a clear end zone for the future we want, the SDGs were designed for national governments. As a result, the targets and indicators are often not applicable at the organisational, project, or activity level, introducing inconsistencies in impact reporting and barriers to aggregating the impact from action to global progress.

More specifically for Gold Standard stakeholders, the ascendance of sustainable development in carbon markets -- great news for local communities and our global society and ecosystems -- has also led to increasing cases of "SDG washing." Overclaiming, or citing positive impacts from projects that have not followed safeguards, engaged stakeholders, or verified their positive contributions, poses a threat to market credibility that is important to mitigate.


What you can you find in the guidance?

This document sets out the key principles that will shape the development of SDG impact quantification and reporting tools tailored for different climate actions, with specific indicators linked to the SDGs, relevant and applicable by project type and sector. These principles will help ensure that the range of tools are developed consistently and with integrity. While Gold Standard stakeholders are likely most interested in the tools applicable in project development in carbon markets, the guidance can inform impact assessment of climate impact more broadly.

How this helps you?

  • Project developers - Capture the full impact of your project more simply, with consistent indicators per activity type that are easier to monitor over time.
  • Civil society and other market participants - Put simply, market credibility. Consistent, comparable, and credible SDG impact reporting demonstrates the value-add of robust climate action and can strengthen carbon markets.
  • Carbon credit buyers - Gain confidence on objective comparisons of project performance -- avoiding the risk of overclaiming what your investment has achieved -- and benefit from new impact visualization tools in development.

Next steps

Gold Standard issued an
open call for co-creation of these activity-specific SDG Tools based on this guidance in May 2019. We are still accepting expressions of interest until 6 September 2019. Please contact

We will commence development of the first tools – for community activities – in mid-September 2019. Development of the other two activity types (Land Use and Renewable Energy) will kick off in October and November, respectively. We expect to begin piloting use of these tools with project developers in the first quarter of 2020.


This work emerges from the collaboration between Gold Standard and the UNFCCC Secretariat to help non-governmental stakeholders transparently and independently assess and report the impact of their climate initiatives and their contributions towards the SDGs.

We wish to express our gratitude for the efforts and expertise shared by our partner organisations.



Gold Standard will be hosting a corporate-focused workshop in New York for Climate Week.
ValueChange: How to tackle Scope 3 emissions

This program will showcase how companies can work to reduce climate impact up and down their value chains, reporting in alignment with the GHG Protocol and with recognition toward their Science Based Targets.

It will feature case studies from large food and beverage companies with a focus on nature-based solutions, highlighting their challenges and solutions for credible impact quantification and reporting.
Hosted with SustainCERT and featuring WWF, CDP, WRI (TBC) and corporate partners including Mars and Danone.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019
16:00 to 19:00; 90 minute workshop followed by networking reception
Citco Gateway New York
350 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to
Sarah Leugers>> 

If you were an organisation actively selling offsets in 2017 and/or 2018 via the voluntary carbon markets or the Colombia carbon tax, we ask that you support the 15th annual 2019 carbon markets survey by submitting your data.

Information collected in this survey is used to analyse and share insights about voluntary carbon markets’ pricing and key market trends.

 >> For more information visit Forest Trends
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Climate Week NYC
New York, USA
23-29 September 2019

Ethical Corporation - Transform 2019
Amsterdam, Netherlands
16-17 October 2019

UN Climate Change Summit (COP25)
Santiago, Chile
02-13 December 2019