Earlier versions of GS Standards

Gold Standard for the Global Goals supersedes all earlier versions of our standards. To learn how to transition your current project to Gold Standard for the Global Goals, refer to our Transition Requirements.

You can still view earlier versions of our standards in Archived Documents

GS4GG All documents

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.

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).

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

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

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).

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.

This document describes how Gold Standard certification decisions are made and how VVBs are approved to audit Gold Standard projects. It also includes which GS-VVBs are eligible to audit different Gold Standard project certification pathways.

For VVBs to apply to become an approved auditor for Gold Standard for the Global Goals.

Template to document the auditing techniques used as part of the Site Visit and Remote Audit Requirements. This template is for Validation/Verification Bodies and is to be included in the validation/verification report/form. Applicable to each audit of a standalone project of any scale.

This document provides specific requirements for Community Services projects, including renewables (mini/off-grid), end-use energy efficiency, waste management and handling and WASH. It is to be read in conjunction with the Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements.

Specific requirements for grid-connected renewable energy projects. It is to be read in conjunction with the Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements.

Specific requirements for Land-use and Forest projects, including Afforestation/Reforestation (A/R) and Agriculture. It is to be read in conjunction with the Gold Standard for the Global Goals Principles & Requirements.

Provides guidelines to help projects better consider, articulate and mitigate risk with regards to A/R and Agriculture projects. It is to be read and used in conjunction with the Gold Standard Land-Use & Forests Activity Requirements.

This document provides the Requirements and pathway to certification for Sustainable Urban Development projects and programmes.

This document outlines the Impact Quantification Methodology Approval Process under the Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG)

This template is for submission of new methodology concept as well as methodology revisions.

This downloadable excel document provides a list of all the methodologies eligible for certification under Gold Standard for the Global Goals. The document includes all Gold Standard methodologies and eligible CDM methodologies and provides a one-stop-shop for project practitioners assessing which methodology to apply to their project activity.

The methodology presents requirements to quantify changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks through the adoption of improved agricultural practices. Activities can achieve avoidance of emissions as well as sequestration of carbon in the soil, both which result in increased SOC content.

Provides guidance for the development and the procedure for approval of Activity Modules under the Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) Framework Methodology.

This Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) Activity Module presents the requirements and guidance to quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture by changing soil tillage practices within agricultural systems. This SOC Activity Module is based on and replaces the Gold Standard Agriculture Methodology for Increasing Soil Carbon Through Improved Tillage Practices V0.9.

This methodology was released for road testing and has since been replaced by the Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) Activity Module released under the SOC Framework Methodology.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions & Sequestration from Afforestation/Reforestation (A/R) activities. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Includes the set of templates required to help calculate GHG sequestration from Afforestation/Reforestation projects.

Gold Standard has approved the requirements to apply CDM Methodology AMS-III.AU “Methane emission reduction by adjusted water management practice in rice cultivation” for Gold Standard Certification.

The methodology quantifies the reduction of methane (CH4) emissions from enteric fermentation for dairy cows as well as impacts on emissions from manure handling. The methodology focuses on application of feed supplements to directly inhibit methanogenesis.

Methodology for quantification of GHG Emission Reductions from improved management in smallholder dairy production systems. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Top soil erosion is one of the main drivers of land degradation. Agricultural lands with declining soil organic matter face reductions in the water infiltration capacity of soil, leading to increased run-off and further topsoil erosion. This methodology quantifies the water benefits created when adopting sustainable agricultural land management practices (SALM) that mitigate soil erosion.

This template has been created to help to collect baseline and monitoring data for methodology application. The template is for guidance purposes and its use is not mandatory.

This tool is designed to quantify the uncertainty for the methodology application.

Applicable to projects and programmes that seek to introduce zero or low GHG water purification systems to provide safe drinking water, this methodology quantifies GHG emissions reductions displaced through decentralised thermal energy technologies. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements, projects and programmes applying this methodology may be issued with GSVERs.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from projects that displace decentralized thermal energy technologies. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

This document sets out the Requirements and Guidelines for carrying out usage surveys for projects implementing improved cooking devices. It is an annex to several methodologies related to clean cooking.

Methodology to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from micro-scale cookstove projects. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from alternative ignition techniques. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from displacing fossil fuel stoves with plant oil stoves. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for estimating and verifying 'Averted Mortality and Disability Adjusted Life Years' (ADALYs) from cleaner household air projects.

This methodology applies to modern energy cooking appliances that directly measure in real-time the amount of energy or fuel consumed in households, communities, and/or institutions such as schools, prisons or hospitals. This includes, but not restricted to, LPG, electric and biogas metered cookstoves, and bio-ethanol cookstoves.

This technical reference manual aims to assist project developers and practitioners in applying the Gold Standard Methodology to Estimate and Verify ADALYs from Cleaner Household Air. While the specific requirements and guidelines are laid out in the ADALYs methodology, this document serves as a supplementary guide to support the successful implementation of the methodology. The manual also provides information on global and regional organisations and testing centres who have the expertise and capacity to monitor personal exposure – a mandatory requirement for the ADALYs methodology.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs), such as Black Carbon, from improved cookstove projects.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from improved household device (e.g. efficient light bulbs) projects. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from thermal improvements in buildings. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from fuel switch to biomass. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions switching from fossil fuels to biomass residues. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from using biodiesel made from waste projects. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from micro-scale energisation and electrification projects. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements project may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from small scale food presevation activities. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from small scale energy production for agricultural products. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from manure management activities. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology to quantify Emissions Reductions from the retrofit of energy efficiency measures in shipping. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from applying advanced hull coating activities.

Methodology for projects seeking to quantify GHG Emissions Reductions from installing flow improvement equipment on ships. Used in conjunction with the GHG Emissions Reduction & Sequestration Product Requirements projects may be issued with carbon credits.

This methodology quantifies the impact of projects which provide access to clean and safe water, particularly in developing countries using the Gold Standard Foundation’s Water Benefit Standard.

This methodology is specific to an adaptation of a particular planting method for sugarcane, which is part of the much more comprehensive package of practices known as the Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI).

An excel-based standardized template to easily, clearly and transparently monitor SDG impact. From 13 March 2022, the SDG Impact Tools are a mandatory part of the project development cycle. You can find all the information you need to apply these tools in the SDG Impact Tool Featured Requirements page.

A step-by-step guide for using the SDG Impact Tool, including five project specific case studies showing how the SDG Impact can be applied in practice.

This document provides specific rules and requirements for projects/PoAs seeking issuance of GS4GG specific products, namely Gold Standard Verified Emission Reductions (GSVERs), Gold Standard labels for Certified Emission Reductions (GSCERs) and Gold Standard Planned Emissions Reductions (PERs) for Land Use & Forests. It also provides the requirements for projects/PoAs transitioning from other standards to GS4GG.

Presents the set of requirements and follow up actions to address a performance shortfall scenario associated with a Gold Standard Land-Use and Forest project.

Requirements and process for Renewable Energy projects to issue Gold Standard labels for eligible Renewable Energy Products such as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

This document sets out the procedures and guidelines for all standards setting activities at Gold Standard. This includes the development and revision of standards, tools, guidelines, methodologies and procedures.

Provides the principles that guide all the technical developments made under Gold Standard, including standards-setting; methodology, tools and guideline development; and certification structures and decision making.

Defines the role, remit, authority and modalities of the Gold Standard Technical Governance Committee (TGC). The TGC is responsible for the technical governance in Gold Standard, in line with the Technical Governance Guiding Principles.

Sets out the mission, function and working modalities of the Gold Standard Technical Advisory Committee(s) (hereafter “TAC”) and the working groups mandated to make decisions following the Standards Setting Procedure.

Gold Standard's approach to the monitoring and evaluation of its impacts. It shows how the ISEAL Code of Good Practice; “Assessing the Impacts of Social and Environmental Standards Systems” is/will be applied.

Provides a summary of the Gold Standard's annual work programme that includes the standards currently under preparation and development, and the standards which have been introduced or updated in the previous year.

This document presents the Gold Standard Gender Policy, as applicable at an organisational level and to the standards and certification of Gold Standard projects.

Defines the policy Gold Standard follows when hosting a public stakeholder consultation.

The procedure to be followed for effective and timely resolutions to grievances relating to standard setting activities, procedures and Gold Standard itself, as well as, SustainCERT, Gold Standard Validation & Verification Bodies (VVBs) or the Oversight Body (if applicable).

This template provides guidance and a checklist to guide project developers through the initial stages of project design. It is mandatory for all new projects requesting a preliminary review, except those transitioning from another standard.

To submit as part of the preliminary review to provide evidence of conformity.

To review and submit as part of the preliminary review.

To document and report the stakeholder consultation process and sustainable development assessment.

For project developers to formally request approval of material and permanent changes in their project design.

For Programme of Activities to document how they plan to host and report on the stakeholder consultation process.

To document key project information such as eligibility, safeguarding principles assessment, defined SDG impacts, methodologies followed, demonstration of financial additionality, and a draft monitoring plan.

To document key project information such as eligibility, safeguarding principles assessment, defined SDG impacts, methodologies followed, demonstration of financial additionality, and a draft monitoring plan for a Programme of Activities.

To document key project information such as eligibility, safeguarding principles assessment, defined SDG impacts, methodologies followed, demonstration of financial additionality, and a draft monitoring plan for a Project Activity under a Programme of Activities.

Standardised template to submit any new monitoring indicators for the SDG Impact Tools

Guide to filling up VPA Design Document Template

For Objective Observers to document their validation assessment of a microscale project.

To produce the yearly report required to outline the project and summarize the recent activities and updates, any inputs/grievances, and relevant monitoring information.

To outline the project and monitoring systems applied, record the data and parameters, calculate the SDG impacts and include stakeholder inputs.

For Objective Observers to document their verification assessment of a microscale project.

To declare non-use of Official Development Assistance for project owners.

For Project Developers seeking to convert a GS VER Project to a Gold Standard CDM/JI Project to agree and surrender the relevant number of CERs or ERUs for immediate retirement.

Form to describe and substantiate the reason for any proposed deviation from the rule/requirement/ methodology and the impact of this deviation.

To document updated safeguarding assessments, SDG contribution assessments and any updates to the monitoring plan, when transitioning from previous versions of the Standard to Gold Standard for the Global Goals.

For identifying risks with regards to Land Use & Forest projects.

The projects transitioning from CDM or other Standards to Gold Standard for Global Goals (GS4GG) shall submit the transition request form and PDD (this document). The Transition Request Form is also to be completed for projects that are already registered with GS4GG for CER labelling and seek to move to GSVER stream to issue Gold Standard VERs.

This rule clarification provides further guidance on specific project information and documents that need to be made publicly and transparently available for each certification stage. It also prescribes the approach for treating confidential information in project documents required to be made public.

This rule clarification outlines a provision to demonstrate compliance with CORISA Emissions Unit Eligibility Criteria (EUC) for projects applying methodology or methodological standards that allows exemptions for situations where legally binding mandates are systematically not enforced and non-compliance is widespread in a country.

The Water Boiling Test is used to calculate the thermal efficiency of cookstoves. It consists of three phases that immediately follow each other. This rule clarification outlines which phases can be used for calculating high-power thermal efficiency.

Transitioning Programme of Activities (PoAs) are allowed to retain their 7 year crediting period at the time of transition to Gold Standard for the Global Goals, however, subsequent PoA crediting period renewals shall follow the GS4GG certification cycle, i.e. 5 year cycle.

This rule clarification is applicable to Programme of Activities (PoA) version for inclusion of Verified Project Activities (VPAs) after PoA renewal.

Applies to projects and PoAs using current or previous versions of the Gold Standard’s improved cooking solutions methodology (TPDDTEC). It clarifies that the levels of Usage Monitoring Requirements and corresponding caps now apply to each monitored cookstove age group.

Performance Shortfall Guidelines present a set of requirements and follow-up actions to address the performance shortfall scenario associated with a Gold Standard certified Land Use and Forests project. This rule clarification introduces a few editorial changes to remove errors in these guidelines.

Performance Shortfall Guidelines present a set of requirements and follow-up actions to address the performance shortfall scenario associated with a Gold Standard certified Land Use and Forests project. This rule clarification introduces a few editorial changes to remove errors in these guidelines.

This rule clarification provides further clarity on applicability of the eligibility criteria pertaining to waste to energy and biomass based project activities supplying electricity to grid.

This rule clarification confirms the maximum retroactive certification period allowed for projects seeking combined design certification with the first verification/performance certification under Gold Standard for the Global Goals.

Gold Standard projects shall not introduce GMO crops, trees, and/or livestock; however, the continuation of use of GMOs already in place in the baseline is allowed. This document provides further clarification.

This rule clarification confirms that Annex B “Requirements for A/R smallholder & microscale projects” apply to all eligible LUF projects including Afforestation & Reforestation Projects (A/R) and Agriculture Projects (AGR). The title of Annex B, LUF Activity Requirements, has been amended to reflect this.

This rule clarification provides guidelines on the applicability of the Clean Development Mechanisms (CDM) Tool 32 – Positive list of technologies in the context of Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG) certification for waste handling and disposal projects.

Clarification on definition of Erroneous Inclusion and requirements for managing Non- Conformity have been included in these documents.

Clarification on issuances of PERs

Clarification on issuance of Gold Standard VERs related to eligible Soil Carbon component

Clarification on applicability of Global Warming Potential for Gold Standard for Global Goal projects

Clarification on eligibility of credits that can be used to meet the Gold Standard Conformity Buffer requirements.

NOTE: The Cookstove IQ Tool is currently in the process of being upgraded and will be re-released in the future.