Principles and Requirements

100 – Principles and Requirements These resources feature both mandatory requirements and guidelines that all projects must follow, as well as specific requirements that apply only to certain types of project design, such as microscale projects or Programmes of Activities.

MANDATORY FOR ALL PROJECTS: Any project seeking Gold Standard certification must reflect best practice requirements for safeguards, stakeholder inclusivity and sustainable development provisions.
APPLICABLE TO CERTAIN TYPES OF PROJECTS: Depending on project scale or if a project is transitioning to Gold Standard for the Global Goals from an earlier version, additional requirements may apply.


The starting point for all projects seeking Gold Standard certification of any kind. It provides the mandatory Principles & Requirements that all Gold Standard projects must conform to.

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Requirements for conducting a mandatory stakeholder consultation and engaging stakeholders affected by a project on an ongoing basis.

A step-by-step guide to help project developers conduct stakeholder consultations in an effective and meaningful manner and presents guiding questions to audit and validate the stakeholder consultation process.

Safeguarding principles and associated requirements that all projects must assess and conform to throughout the certification process.

Mandatory gender-sensitive procedures/strategies that all projects must conform to. Plus optional gender-responsive guidelines for those projects wishing to quantify and certify specific gender equality (SDG 5) impacts.


Guidelines to assist project developers, partners and funders in communicating accurately and credibly about the benefits derived from Gold Standard projects.

Requirements, timings and procedures to transition projects from previous version of Gold Standard to Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG).

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Requirements for designing and implementing a Programme of Activity (PoA) – an 'umbrella' certification under which multiple projects may be developed.

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Specific requirements for micro-scale projects – those projects with less than 10,000 tCO2e in annual emissions reductions.

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The key principles, guidelines and procedures to be followed for projects seeking deviation from the Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG) requirements and SDG Impact Quantification Methodologies and/or applicable methodologies.

This document provides the requirements and approval procedures for project developers/CMEs seeking permanent changes to the implementation, operation and/or monitoring of a certified project activity/PoA. This document was formally included as Annex-A (Design Change Approval Procedure) of the Gold Standard Principles and Requirements (version 1.2 published October 2019).

The document provides the minimum requirements and procedures for Gold Standard Validation and Verification Bodies (GS VVBs) and Certification Bodies (CBs) to validate and verify standalone projects and Programmes of Activities (PoAs) that apply Gold Standard for the Global Goals and all earlier versions of the standard.

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Requirements for physical site visits and the requirements and procedures for conducting audits using remote audit techniques exclusively or in combination with physical site visits. Applicable to standalone projects of all scales.