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Announcements and Q&A

For verification, 1st VVB site visit should happen within 2 years of the start date of the crediting period?

That is for cases where validation was done remotely.

Since contracting of VVB is PP scope, the statement “VVB fails to conduct physical site visit within two years “, is harsh on VVB, and uncalled for.

If the requirement is not met, then the VVB can advise on the monitoring period to be covered and adjust it. VVB should ensure that the monitoring period covered is in line with requirements that require that the monitoring period should be 2 years prior to the site visit date. VVB shall not submit a verification report covering more than 2 or 3 years from the actual site visit date. Please refer to RU_2021_Applicability-of-minimum-site-visit-requirements-by-VVB, section 2.2

If an on-site visit was done during the validation of a retro project, how the timelines will impact the first verification? Can the on-site visit be skipped for the first verification, if the monitoring period is less than 2 years?

Please refer to par 3.2.2 of site visit and remote audit requirements https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/standards/112_V2.0_PAR_Site-Visit-and-Remote-Audit-Requirements.pdf

As per 3.2.2 | A physical site visit by VVB is mandatory at the first verification of a project. So irrespective of the conduct of validation on-site visit for retro projects (even if the time gap between retro validation and verification is less than 12/6 months), the on-site visit is mandatory for the first verification. Is the understanding correct, please clarify.

Yes, the understanding is correct. A physical site visit by VVB is mandatory at the first verification of a project.

If validation is successfully completed with physical onsite. For the first verification, VVB need not visit within 2 years of the start date. Does the start date refer to the GS start date or the GS start date of the crediting period?

At a minimum, the VVB shall conduct a physical site visit within two years of the project start date; and Once within every three years after the first physical site visit date. For example, validation onsite is conducted by GS VVB on 01 Dec 2023, 1st verification onsite should be conducted by 01 Dec 2026. 2) Project Start Date: The Project start date shall be the earliest date on which the Project Developer has committed to expenditures related to the implementation of the Project. This does not include the purchase or option to purchase the land upon which a Project is intended to take place. https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/standards/101_V1.2_PAR_Principles-Requirements.pdf

Regarding site visit requirements, does the VVB need to conduct an onsite visit for a project, if it’s the first verification for VVB with regard to this project activity?

A physical site visit by VVB is mandatory at the first verification of a project. https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/standards/112_V2.0_PAR_Site-Visit-and-Remote-Audit-Requirements.pdf

In cases where two persons are in a team, One is the team leader and the other is a technical expert. So is it compulsory that both need to be qualified as GS-approved auditors or is anyone with the same qualification is ok?

The audit team collectively shall have the required competencies for conducting the audit, meaning at least one of the team members shall be qualified as GS approved auditor. See sections 7.6.1 and 7.6.2. of the VVB requirements.

For projects that have not been registered under other Carbon Standards (e.g., only submission has been completed), what would be the requirements for deregistration or how to ensure that a project does not cause double counting?

Submission has to be rescinded and a confirmation letter from the other standard on rescinding the submission be submitted.

Will VVB be a must-player in the approval of a new methodology? or it is on a voluntary basis?

It’s a voluntary contribution. VVBs are encouraged to provide comments, especially around the audibility of a methodology, during the Public Consultation period of a methodology approval or revision process. The page containing all past and present public consultations is https://www.goldstandard.org/our-work/innovations-consultations. The Methodology Approval Procedure is: https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/401-sdgiq-methodology-approval-procedure/

In such cases where there is a deadline for verifications or Design change validation and deviation approval must be obtained for a project, and the deadline has not been met due to the approval period of deviation, is there any risk that a project will be rejected by the registry?

For example, If the developer fails to submit the request for approval within one year, the design change component shall not be eligible for Gold Standard Certification. PD shall request deviation on this rule and justify the delay reason, i.e. deviation must be obtained, which impacts the design change validation timeline.

What if the promoter denied seeking approval during verification, even if VVB identified the deviation?

VVB shall inform the PD that the requirement has not been met and a negative verification opinion will be provided.

What if VVB, during verification observed deviation, raised findings, or should inform the project promoter to seek GS approval?

The VVB shall liaise with PD to submit the deviation request and wait for the outcome of GS before preparing a final report in order to factor in the GS decision outcome.

Can you please discuss the fees involved in design change? It is not very clear from the fee schedule.

You can reach out to help@sustain-cert.com who can provide you with a clear fee structure for your particular project; the design change fee is based on the annual average VER volume after the design change.

Will you consider any new methodology/revision consideration in approved Meth which is under consideration with UNFCCC.

Please contact the GS standard team on methodology development at methodology@goldstandard.org

How do I change the measurement of my project biomass assessment without making drastic changes in the PDD?

You only change the monitoring plan and monitoring parameters table. However, that is only possible if the project operation design is not affected. If the operation is affected, then you need to ensure that the ER calculation process is not affected too, and then you need to ensure that the changes are reflected in all relevant sections, including the project description on the SustainCERT app, if necessary.

Are you planning to extend standard types to be accepted for transition?

Please contact the GS standard team on standard types extension for transition projects, at help@goldstandard.org

Does GS accept the new wind turbine project?

Yes but with conditions. Please refer to Renewable Energy Activity Requirements.

Can a PD have multiple log-in accounts to use the new digital SDG tool? I was wondering if one PD (i.e. one SC/GS account holder) can have multiple login accounts for the digital SDG tool.

Please contact help@goldstandard.org

In terms of the baseline for biomass assessment does the 2-year review apply to A/R projects?

At the Design Renewal stage, the baseline is reassessed to see if it is in line with the GS principles and requires a redefinition for LUF projects. For projects applying AR methodology this reassessment at the time of renewal may not be necessary – however, its applicability of reassessment is determined at the renewal level. Please refer to 3.1.12 of
Land-use & Forests Activity Requirements – Gold Standard for the Global Goals https://statics.teams.cdn.office.net/evergreen-assets/safelinks/1/atp-safelinks.html and 8.9.7
Program of Activity Requirements – Gold Standard for the Global Goals

We requested some clarifications from the SC help desk and we received answers. Are the responses provided binding and we can use those to make the changes we want in the project?

For GS4GG rule clarifications, please use the Clarification Request Form: https://globalgoals.goldstandard.org/t-clarification-request-form/.

How will the GS Metered methodology account for the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the production of imported LPG, often referred to as “upstream emissions”?

When emissions from fuel production, transport, and similar are included to determine a project-specific emission factor, then the following shall apply as well: The project boundary must include these processes;
Avoidance of double counting considerations (see two parameter tables) must cover all steps in the project boundary
The determination of the specific emissions from these sources is fully documented and evidenced in the PDD
These provisions may be applied to include the actual GHG emissions happening upstream in charcoal production in the charcoal emission factor; however, emission factors higher than the methodology cap are not permitted.

I need clarification on the water methodology regarding the CAP of the volume of water provided. Does the quantity of water to be measured only refer to water consumed, or does the quantity of water include water used for cooking or hygiene?

Water consumption is used for drinking, food preparation, and cleaning.

At SustainCERT we hope you found the session informative and valuable. Remember, if you have any questions or would like further information, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at help@sustain-cert.com.

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