Gold Standard Technical Updates
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LATEST STANDARD UPDATES + TRAINING


Our standard is updated on a regular basis to account for stakeholder inputs and to consider updates in the sector. This is in compliance with ISEAL’s Code of Best Practice for “setting social and environmental standards”.

We held a 60-day public consultation to solicit stakeholder feedback between 17/06/2019 to 18/09/2019. The comments received have been incorporated into the latest standard updates. The main updates are summarised 
here>>.

To provide further guidance and to help answer any questions, Gold Standard and SustainCERT will host two webinars: 

VVB Training Session for
Gold Standard for the Global Goals:

31st October 2019, 12:30 PM CET


Project Developer standard update for
Gold Standard for the Global Goals:

01st November 2019, 12:30 PM CET 

 REGISTER HERE 

Thank you to everyone that contributed to this consultation. We will continue to build upon and improve the efficiency and effectivness of our standard. 

>> Read full summary document

>> Gold Standard for the Global Goals documents
 

IMPORTANT UPDATES:

Renewable Energy Eligibility Requirements


We have introduced new eligibility requirements for Renewable Energy (RE) projects.
In line with Gold Standard’s focus on supporting vulnerable communities, eligibility is restricted to those projects that are based in least developing countries (LDCs) or in limited exceptions, for example, in conflict zones or where the renewable energy serves impoverished beneficiaries at preferential rates – this ensures that funding goes to interventions most in need post-2020 when the Paris Agreement comes into force.

Exceptions to this rule maybe provided under certain circumstances. The full list of eligibility criteria is provided in
the document>> 

 

ENHANCEMENTS TO IT SUPPORT SYSTEMS 

Gold Standard and SustainCERT share a goal to reduce complexity in the project certification process and provide more clear, compelling and transparent impact reporting. Our IT systems are evolving to better meet those goals, including some recent and upcoming updates outlined below.

 

Gold Standard Impact Registry


Since the March 2019 launch, our development team has been interviewing account holders 
to track how they use the registry>> and how we can optimise usability to help them complete critical tasks. In parallel, we have invested time in back end infrastructure improvements to enable quicker responsiveness to user feedback moving forward.

Some new and upcoming enhancements:

 
  • Improved credit list view: This view prioritises the most important information to reduce time spent searching for mission-critical data.
  • Sorting: Columns with numeric values can now be sorted to help find relevant information across accounts, e.g. vintage, quantity of credits, issuance and retirement dates.
  • Retirement emails: These now include a direct link to the credit block page for easier access to proof of retirement.
  • Gated releases: This functionality allows release of updates and new functionality to a user sub-set for testing and feedback before a wider roll-out.

Coming soon:
 
  • Filters: In addition to sorting, users will also soon be able to filter credit lists to quickly find needed information.
  • Integrated summaries: Account holding views will be able to be customised based on specified indicators.
  • Navigational hierarchy: Navigation around the registry and between accounts and credits will be more intuitive and friendly for different types of users.

​​​​​​​

SustainCERT application

To provide project developers, auditors and experts with simpler, more efficient processes when certifying climate and SDG impacts to Gold Standard projects, SustainCERT has made the following improvements to the SustainCERT application>>.
  • Unlimited document upload: Now, any number of documents can be uploaded in a review, providing more flexibility for users.
     
  • View historical project documentation: Project documentation that was uploaded to the previous Markit Registry can now be accessed and viewed. To locate this information, simply open the project and go to Preliminary Review, there users will find a compressed document which contains the relevant documents.
     
  • Access documents from previous reviews: A new feature has been added that enables users to view documents uploaded in previous reviews, making it simpler for users to refer to previous documentation for any clarifications during review.
     
  • Ability to overwrite documents: Users can now overwrite documents in the system up until the review initiation date. After this date no further amendments can be made.


Both Gold Standard and SustainCERT thank you for your patience and your feedback so far. We commit to continue improving these systems on an ongoing basis. If you’d like to share new ideas (or complaints!) or be part of user testing for new features, please contact us>>.
 

ENVISIONING THE VOLUNTARY CARBON MARKET POST-2020:

Phase 1 final statement


 
With many thanks to our working group partners and those who submitted input to the Consultation>> for Envisioning the Voluntary Carbon Market post-2020, we’re pleased to publish a final statement>> to close Phase 1 of this programme.

As a reminder, this programme is intended to shape future carbon markets to align with the emerging rules and context of the Paris Agreement, positioning them to help fill the Emissions Gap, the Finance Gap and the Time Gap and effectively channel finance to meet 1.5 ambition. Specifically, this phase sought to define the nature of voluntary carbon credits, foundational claims associated with those units, and implications on accounting.

Phase 2 will provide guidance that further defines preconditions for legitimacy like internal reduction target setting, best practices for financing emission reductions beyond organisational boundaries, and credible claims for those buying carbon credits, as well as alignment with new Article 6 developments.


Read the final working group statement>> 
 

UPDATE ON SDG IMPACT TOOLS PROGRAMME:

Ensuring credibility + comparability in SDG claims
 New guidance published 

In August 2019, we published 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."


 First Working Group for Community Services Launched 

Phase II and the first Working Group for community service activities has now been launched. The Group will work to identify SDG impacts and monitoring indicators related to community services projects and develop a suite of monitoring approaches for these identified impacts. We expect to begin piloting use of these tools with project developers in the first quarter of 2020.


Acknowledgements

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.

 
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12 November, Paris

Sustainable Brands New Metrics
18-19 November, Philadelphia

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