Gold Standard: Standards Setting Work Plan 2019

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GOLD STANDARD:  STANDARDS SETTING WORKPLAN 2018 1.0 08.06.2018 view here



Gold Standard’s vision is ‘climate security and sustainable development for all.’ We believe that this is only possible if impact quantification and certification become mainstream. To help drive this transformation, Gold Standard is seeking full membership in ISEAL, the global association for credible sustainability standards, to strengthen our credentials as the trusted provider for quantifying, certifying and maximising impact toward the SDGs, and to be able to scale to certify the broad range of activities and impacts that are possible under Gold Standard for the Global Goals.



Following the ISEAL Alliance “Setting Social and Environmental Standards” Code of Best Practice, we are sharing with our stakeholders our work plan to update Gold Standard for the Global Goals and launch supporting initiatives. This includes any requirements, methodologies, frameworks, tools or supporting programmes to help accelerate progress toward climate security and sustainable development.


This document reflects work planned for the year 2019-2020 as well as work published in 2018. The next Gold Standard work plan will be published in March 2020, though please note that significant updates may be made during the intervening period.


Document or project being developed Document Series (as per GS-SSP) Objectives Timeline Remarks
Gold Standard for the Global Goals – Standard Documentation Updates
Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG) Scheduled updates  All Planned revision and update of GS4GG documents based on feedback received since last update launch in March 2018 Q2 2019 Public consultation


Q3 2019 Standard update release planned

Rule updates available here will be incorporated into revised version of GS4GG
Fund Level Certification requirements & Guidelines Contextual Requirements


Guidelines to report and certify SDG outcomes for impact investment funds 2019-2020 Initially funds will be subject to pilot approach under the GS Sustainable Urban Development Requirements with any enhancements or additions to be formalised post-piloting.  Pilot TORs released.
Gold Standard for the Global Goals – Standard Documentation & Simplification
Safeguarding Principles & Requirements Principles & Requirements Review of documents to restructure for ease of understanding and application Q3 2019  
Stakeholder Procedure, Requirements & Guidelines Principles & Requirements Review of documents to restructure for ease of understanding and application Q3 2019  
Innovation Programmes
Landscape and deforestation free guidelines Develop concept note and TORs for future guidelines 2019-2020
Next generation MRV Develop technology-led MRV approaches to various project-types.  This will be a GS-platform programme with open calls to engage. 2019-2020
Future proofing Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM) Developing solutions for double counting under the Paris Agreement and for new opportunities to link to corporate reporting. Q4 2019 (updates presented at Innovate4climate in June 2019)  
Gold Standard for the Global Goals – Methodologies
Shared Value Calculation Approaches


Framework to calculate shared value of the SDG outcomes – pilot along with SDG Tools Q4 2019
SDG impact assessment tools SDG Impact Quantification Create guidance for development of SDG tools. First tool to be developed Q4 2019  
Soil organic carbon SDG Impact Quantification (for VERs) Improve soil tillage methodology  to make it frame work methodology for soil carbon projects Work throughout 2019
Value Chain (Scope 3) Interventions – Guidance for soil organic carbon Support value chain intervention guidance Consultation has been completed. Guidance will be piloted in 2019-2020. This is different from improvements being planned to soil tillage methodology. It will be used in context of value chain interventions only.  It is understood that the GHG-Protocol will update rules on sequestration in 2019/20 and hence this guidance will be updated in line with outputs of that work.





Completed documents/projects (2018):

Document or project developed Document Series (as per GS-SSP) Objectives Timeline Remarks
Value Chain Interventions –  GHG Accounting & Reporting Guidance (not a GS4GGdocument) Part of “Corporate Climate + SDG Reporting”: Framework for accounting and reporting value chain interventions towards GHG Corporate Scope 3 inventory performance targets Completed September 2018 Document released for piloting
Emissions Reductions – Double Counting Tool and Guidelines Product Requirements Part of “Environmental Markets”: Risk assessment tool to help understand whether impacts (greenhouse gas emissions reductions, renewable energy generated, forests saved) from Voluntary Carbon Credit (VER) projects could be double counted against NDC Reporting under the Paris Agreement, to help future-proof the voluntary carbon market Completed in November 2019 Will not immediately be incorporated into the standard but is designed to inform further development on potential solutions