Guidance launched to help value low carbon commodities

Properly accounting for emissions and valuing positive impact is a key opportunity of our time. Carbon pricing has demonstrated a step forward in what economists call ‘pricing in externalities’, as markets have generally failed to do on their own.

In parallel, many standards have embedded sustainability factors into their certified goods that command a price premium, though largely to date through process-oriented evaluations.

The next frontier is to capture more granular sustainability data in purchased goods and services that can also be used for reporting to key targets or commitments, further boosting the value of those goods.

To this end, Gold Standard is pleased to share new guidance, which establishes the foundation for realising added value for low-carbon commodities. This guidance informs sustainability systems on how they can build GHG Reporting Systems to quantify, attribute and allocate emissions data to certified commodities processes – both in energy and emerging land use developments – in line with the GHG Protocol.

This paves the way to allow accurate accounting of purchased goods and for corporate purchasers to count their purchase of lower-carbon goods toward their climate commitments, including Science Based Targets. In turn, producers can seek potential premiums and preferential procurement and mitigate the risk of losing demand due to pressure for climate performance data.


These documents represent short ‘start here’ level introduction to the ‘Accounting & Reporting the Emissions of Certified Commodities’ suite of guidance documents. There are four such introductory guides for:

  1. Sustainability systems like ISEAL members Certificate holders/applicants
  2. Certificate holders / applicants 
  3. Assurance and oversight providers
  4. Buyers of certified goods

It is recommended that each stakeholder group begins with their respective ‘start here’ document, followed by the general ‘Introductory Guidance’ document before delving into the full guidance for creating a GHG Reporting System. 

This semi-technical document provides a starting point for sustainability systems to engage and align with credible, science-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting and reporting for certified commodities



This technical guidance provides sustainability systems with approaches to align their commodity certification with greenhouse gas emission reporting good practices.




This guidance has been reviewed and piloted through the ValueChange Initiative.

This work is made possible thanks to a grant from the ISEAL Innovations Fund, which is supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO. 

Innovation-Solution Category: ValueChange
Media Category: Guide
Event Dates: Tuesday, June 21, 2022