Building demand for Gold Standard credits

In our last newsletter, we outlined that we would work toward ensuring that Gold Standard credits will be sold at above-market prices. These efforts take their root in our new brand that expresses how Gold Standard contributes to “climate security and sustainable development for all” and launched in our website during Climate Week New York. From this foundation, we are focused on three key efforts to build credibility in carbon markets and to support our stakeholders in developing and promoting Gold Standard projects.


  1. Redefining voluntary offsetting - The concept of offsetting has faced significant reputational challenges that have depressed demand for carbon credits. We believe we need to change the conversation. It starts with a clear and compelling value proposition for those who most influence the market. This has been built on the impact Gold Standard projects make in financing the transition to a low-carbon economy, and will focus on two types of advocacy:

    1. Science-based case for influencers: There is a strong science-based case that supports using Gold Standard carbon credits as an effective means to combat climate change now. We are advocating for this position to be i) accounted for and promoted among private sector coalitions and NGOs that shape corporate commitments and strategies related to climate change, and ii) better acknowledged and rewarded among reporting and ratings organizations.  

    2. Business case for corporates: As companies set increasingly ambitious targets, supporting Gold Standard projects allows them to contribute to climate security today as a cost-effective complement to deeper reductions in energy efficiency. And with a newly-adopted development agenda, these same investments also yield outcomes against multiple Sustainable Development Goals. An early articulation of the value of Gold Standard for corporates can be found here. We will develop and promote Best Practice Climate Action recommendations to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability audiences that include supporting Gold Standard projects as a key feature. Finally, we continue to seek opportunities to increase the visibility of Gold Standard projects at CSR and sustainability events. We’re pleased to partner with CodeREDD and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves to host a session at Sustainable Brands London on 17 November that focuses on the business case for offsetting and how to effectively communicate its value and virtues to stakeholders.

  2. Improving transparency in carbon markets - As more and more companies are pressured to create climate strategies and evaluate market-based solutions as a tool, we believe transparency is critical for the credibility and viability of the voluntary carbon market. To this end, we have launched a public consultation for our Climate Finance Transparency Initiative. The core of this initiative is the publication of pricing data for Gold Standard credits, which historically has not been transparently available for prospective buyers. Much like real estate home sale pricing data helps a new buyer understand market trends and their value for money for a comparable property, understanding the market value of a Gold Standard credit will help reassure buyers that they are engaging in a fair and credible market. With greater trust and transparency, we believe we can avoid a Tragedy of the Commons effect and support growth in the market for everyone involved.

  3. Quantifying beyond-carbon impacts in Gold Standard 3.0 - To support project developers and retailers in securing a higher price point for our credits, Gold Standard is restructuring to serve as one comprehensive and integrated standard “Gold Standard 3.0” that will address the nexus of Climate, Energy, Food, and Water security. This holistic standard elevates the critical development impacts that were previously relegated to “co-benefits” to carbon and often not monitored or quantified with the same level of assurance as the climate impact. The expert panel for Gold Standard 3.0 met for an in-person workshop in Amsterdam on 2-3 October, and we look forward to sharing the outcomes of these developments soon.