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A next generation Standard to quantify, certify and maximise impact toward climate security and sustainable development

To meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming well below 2°C and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate action cannot be one-dimensional. Efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must also help the world develop on a sustainable pathway – providing access to clean energy and water, good health and nutrition, secure livelihoods, and thriving ecosystems. This means that climate and development interventions must be holistic and high-impact, allowing every dollar invested to deliver as much as possible. 

Gold Standard for the Global Goals is a next-generation standard designed to accelerate progress toward the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, allowing a broad range of projects and programmes to quantify, certify, and maximise their impacts.

The standard maximises the positive impacts – and associated value – of assets in carbon markets and renewable energy markets to ensure environmental integrity and contributions to sustainable development.

Current Initiatives

Environmental markets

Certified impacts toward the Sustainable Development Goals allow for innovative pay-for-performance financing structures for development agencies, foundations, and other donors. 

Current Initiatives

Results-based finance for development

Using Gold Standard for the Global Goals for sustainable supply chain programmes enables credible, third-party verified claims for Scope 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting, while also capturing additional SDG impacts for reporting.

Current Initiatives

Corporate climate and SDG reporting

To support urgently-needed scaling up of climate and development action, the standard provides practical applications for sustainable urban development and infrastructure as well as fund-level certification and landscape approaches.

Current Initiatives

Large-scale climate and development

Gold Standard for the Global Goals is tailored to provide the right safeguards, requirements and methodologies to measure and certify the impact that a project and its funders seek to deliver -- from market instruments like carbon credits and Renewable Energy Labels to gender equality and improved health.
Learn more about Certified SDG Impacts>>


Gold Standard works in collaboration with a wide range of partners on strategic initiatives to support the development, deployment and scaling of climate and development interventions.
Read about our strategic initiatives>>

We have over 1400+ projects in over 80 countries seeking Gold Standard certification, creating billions of dollars of shared value from climate and development action worldwide.
Support Gold Standard-certified projects>>

Who benefits from the standard

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Click to explore how different stakeholders use Gold Standard for the Global Goals to maximise their impact.

Investors funding ‘green’ or development-focused projects

National, regional and city governments, impact investors, and traditional investors can use the standard to:

  • De-risk investments as a result of the standard’s financial, social and environmental safeguards and stakeholder engagement
  • Maximise 'impact' return on investment: Gold Standard projects have historically been shown to deliver between $21 and $177 in additional value toward the SDGs for every tonne of CO2 mitigated
  • Generate accurate, credible impact data through robust quantification methodologies and third-party verification of results
  • Develop innovative financing structures such as green bonds or social impact bonds
Corporates seeking credible claims for their sustainability initiatives
All companies want to avoid being accused of overclaiming or ‘greenwashing’ in their reporting and communications. Gold Standard is working with and endorsed by leading NGOs and experts, meaning companies can be confident that their programmes – from offsetting and climate finance strategies to sustainable supply chain interventions – follow best practice and that associated metrics and claims are verified by independent third parties. Beyond the data, the development impacts from Gold Standard projects provide more compelling narratives to communicate to stakeholders.
Developers of climate and development projects

The robust nature and civil society endorsement of the standard can make projects more attractive to investors because they are positioned to maximise the impact profile of an investment and effectively manage any risks along the way. On top of this, development agencies are speaking the SDG language. Investors are looking for strong, low-risk projects that can quantify positive environmental and social impact. Corporates are increasingly aligning their sustainability strategies to the Global Goals and are looking for credible ways to report on their contributions.

The possibility to credibly quantify and certify SDG impacts makes Gold Standard projects more attractive to a wide range of funders, including buyers of carbon credits, but also those with commitments to impacts like health, gender, biodiversity, and more.

National and sub-national governments that want to ensure climate action benefits their own constituents
By demonstrating that climate action also contributes to local development priorities, governments that host Gold Standard projects are more likely to gain local stakeholder support for their climate commitments. By providing a range of improvements in quality of life – from access to clean energy and water, reduced air pollution, improved transport, less waste, and cost savings – efforts to meet the Paris Agreement can actually be popular with constituents.

Why a standard?

The Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals have defined where we need to go as a global community. Standards show the best way to get there – to ensure the necessary results to make the transition to a climate-secure, sustainable world.

  • Trust: Standards are the building blocks of markets. They give funders the confidence to know their dollars will accomplish what they’re meant to.
  • Progress: Standards allow us to produce credible and comparable data to answer the questions: What is our progress? Are we on track to meet the ambition of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Scale: With common language, metrics, and processes, we can move from isolated projects to integrated collective action to take solutions to the scale needed for these ambitious global agendas. 
We are delighted to be working with ClimateCare, strategic partners in the implementation of Gold Standard for the Global Goals.