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 CONSULTATION 

Site Visit and Remote Audit Requirements


The global pandemic has taught us all to be more flexible and creative with the use of technology. Learning from recent experience, Gold Standard has developed new requirements and guidelines for site visits and remote auditing techniques to help maintain integrity of the assurance process while streamlining processes and reducing travel and its associated climate impact where it is not explicitly needed. 
 
The consultation consists of the Site Visit Remote Audit Requirements v.0.9, which outline the minimum requirements for physical site visits, a series of safeguards to ensure that remote audit techniques deliver the same or better quality, and a template to report on the Audit Techniques.
 
The requirements and the corresponding audit template apply to all audits for standalone energy projects. These requirements will be expanded for Programme of Activities (PoAs) and Land Use and Forests projects in the coming months. 
 
Gold Standard is committed to closely observing the experience of Validation/Verification Bodies (VVBs) and project developers as well as developments in remote audit technologies and applications, and to providing further guidance and support in due course. 
 
 
How to submit your feedback:
 
We welcome your insights on these new requirements and the template during this 6-week consultation period as well as ongoing feedback after each audit through the Audit Techniques Template (Annex 3).
 
You can provide feedback directly into the following online form.
 
REMOTE AUDITING FEEDBACK FORM


Please submit your comments by COB 15 September 2021.


If you would like to set up a call to discuss these new requirements in more detail, please email standards@goldstandard.org
 

VIEW CONSULTATION

Rule updates + clarifications

 
The Gold Standard Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has approved a set of rule updates and clarifications to Gold Standard for the Global Goals and supporting schemes or governance.


 REQUIREMENTS UPDATE 
 

TRANSITION REQUIREMENTS

Requirements to transition projects from previous versions of our standard to Gold Standard for the Global Goals (GS4GG).
 
The Transition Requirements have been updated with specific procedures and requirements for projects that were listed or in validation under previous versions of the standard at the launch of GS4GG (01/07/2017). Projects that were listed or in validation at the time of launch of GS4GG have until 23/11/2021 to request registration or design review with the applied versions of the standard.
 

RENEWABLE ENERGY ACTIVITY REQUIREMENTS

Guidelines and the necessary requirements for renewable energy activities seeking certification of the project design and/or to issue Gold Standard Certified Impact Statements and Products.
 
The Renewable Energy Activity Requirements have been revised to provide clarity on the host country based eligibility of renewable energy projects located in Small Island Developing States (SIDs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) that can also be classified as low middle-income, upper middle-income or high-income countries. The revision states that all grid-connected renewable energy projects located in SIDs and LLDCs are eligible under GS4GG, except projects located in high-income countries. All other requirements remain unchanged.
 

 RULE CLARIFICATION 

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR PROJECT DOCUMENTATION

 

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.
 

 RULE UPDATE 

APPLICABILITY OF MINIMUM SITE VISIT REQUIREMENTS BY VVB


Minimum site visit requirements for Validation/Verification Bodies (VVBs) are part of the project verification process. This rule update provides requirements and guidelines for VVBs to address instances when the project/VPAs are in non-compliance with the minimum site visit requirements.     
 

 GOVERNANCE 

STANDARD WORK PLAN 2021


Following ISEAL requirements for good practice, Gold Standard publishes an annual work plan to inform stakeholders of anticipated updates to the standard and our supporting governance. 
    
 

VVB Approval Status Update

 
Gold Standard acknowledges a backlog of Validation/Verification Body applications, therefore, hereby clarifies that VVBs may continue to perform validation and verification services even after expiry of Gold Standard VVB Approval as long as: 

  • VVBs have applied for approval before 30 September 2021 
  • VVBs hold valid accreditation from UNFCCC/ANSI/ASI until at least 01 January 2022
  • Any new contracts for validation/verification services are signed before 30 September 2021
  • Validation and verification reports are submitted before 31 December 2021 to be considered valid for design/performance certification
     
FULL LIST OF APPROVED AUDITORS

For any further questions or clarifications, email standards@goldstandard.org
 

EVENTS
IN THE NEWS
7th International CSR and Sustainability Summit - ICS 2021
02 September 2021
+ info

Low carbon commodities: Accounting for the climate impact of certified goods
07 September 2021
+ info

Corporate Investments into Forestry and Biodiversity Summit
07 - 08 September 2021
Register
Net Zero Is Hard Work, So Companies Are Going ‘Carbon Neutral’
Bloomberg Green, 19 July 2021

The New Market for Carbon Offsets 
CME Group, Yahoo!Finance, 05 Aug 2021

Environmentalists cast doubt on carbon offsets
Financial Times, 13 July 2021
 
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