ICROA Code of Best Practice

The ICROA Code of Best Practice aims to define international best practice in carbon crediting and represents the minimum requirements that all ICROA accredited organisations must meet. The ICROA Code of Best Practice is applicable to voluntary carbon management services provided by ICROA Accredited organisations.


Scientific knowledge on climate change demands urgent and substantial cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Achieving this requires a comprehensive strategy of carbon management for organisations. Carbon management is the implementation of a thorough and transparent organisation-wide process to measure and report GHG emissions, identify and implement actions to reduce internal emissions in line with science, and thereafter use of high quality carbon credits.

The ICROA Accreditation programme has been recognised since 2008 as the industry standard for voluntary carbon market (VCM) services providers1 (Organisations) promoting greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions, removals, and use of carbon credits to the highest standards of environmental integrity, in support of the Paris Agreement goals. Accreditation is obtained annually through a third-party audit process based on the requirements outlined in this document, the ICROA Code of Best Practice (the Code). The Code sets out requirements and guidelines for high integrity and evolves as the VCM develops in order to always encompass best practices.

The Code of Best Practice ensures ICROA Accredited organisations, and their clients, undertake carbon management strategies that lead to ambitious and impactful climate action.

Code structure

  • Transacting Carbon Credits

    Section 1: Transacting and Retiring Carbon Credits

  • Footprinting

    Section 2: GHG Emissions and Removals Inventories (Footprinting)

  • Advisory Services

    Section 3: GHG Emission Reductions Advisory Services


All organisations seeking Accreditation have already completed the ICROA Application process and have thereby confirmed in good faith that they meet eligibility criteria and are eligible to be audited against the requirements of this Code of Best Practice.

The Code of Best Practice is applicable to the following voluntary carbon management services provided by the Accredited organisation:

  • Developing GHG emissions and removals inventories (footprint)
  • ​GHG emissions reduction advisory services, including target setting and strategies to align with science
  • ​Providing and advising on certification programmes that include the use of carbon credits, e.g. BSI PAS 2060 and NCOS (Australia’s National Carbon Offset Standard)
  • ​Carbon crediting services through the provision and retirement of ICROA-approved carbon credits
  • ​​Providing transparent and robust reporting, claims and communication services

ICROA Code of Best Practice

Transacting and retiring carbon credits

When transacting or retiring carbon credits on behalf of a client, ICROA accredited organisations commit to use carbon credits based on the following principles:

  • Real
  • Additional
  • Measurable
  • Independently verified
  • Permanent
  • Unique

ICROA Accredited organisations are also encouraged to promote sustainable development in the projects that they develop and provide. ICROA Accredited organisations commit to use only the carbon credits that are or will be validated, verified and registered under the ICROA Carbon Crediting Endorsement Programme.

ICROA Accreditation Programme

ICROA Accreditation