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The UK Government's Quality Assurance Scheme for Carbon Offsetting

The Quality Assurance Scheme for Carbon Offsetting (QAS) is a Government-led initiative aimed at increasing consumers’ understanding of the role of offsetting in tackling climate change and helping them to make informed purchases of good-quality offsets.


The Scheme’s Quality Mark can be used for offsets where it has been shown that they meet the specifications laid out in the Scheme's requirements and procedures document  and have been assessed by the Scheme's Approval Body - AEA Group plc.

In turn, individuals and businesses wishing to purchase offsets can use the Quality Mark to identify those offsets that meet key quality criteria and that provide the assurance that emissions are properly offset tonne-for-tonne. 

Approved offsets that have met the Scheme's requirements are listed here.


Background and purpose

The Government recognises the role that offsetting plays as part of a wider carbon management strategy. First of all, companies and individuals should take steps to measure and reduce their emissions where possible. Then, they should consider offsetting their remaining, unavoidable emissions. The Government helps people to easily identify quality offsets through the QAS. This falls within DECC's wider work on the ACT ON CO2 campaign. The Government's guidance on carbon neutrality and on how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions complement the Scheme.

The main purpose of the QAS is to provide a straightforward route for those wishing to offset their emissions to identify quality offsets. By vouching for the quality of the offsets, the Scheme helps clear up the principle uncertainties involved in offsetting. In this way, it is hoped that the Scheme will address public confusion and mistrust of carbon offsetting. It is also hoped that the Scheme will help spread high quality standards and better information for customers across the carbon offsetting market.

Offset providers - approving your offset

Offset providers can apply to have offsets assessed via this website. If you would like to do this, please register and complete the online application form as guided. For more information click here.




09 March 11 -  Following a review process a revised version of the Scheme's requirements document version 1.4 dated March 2010, has been published.

Version 1.4 of the Scheme's requirements document will apply to all assessments starting from March 2011. Changes between version 1.3 and 1.4 are minor and include information on UK Carbon Budgets and the Carbon Accounting regulations 2009, clarification on what is being approved including offset provider and reseller terminologies and requirement for offset providers and core resellers to provide a summary of the emissions calculation methodology used to calculate emissions to be offset.

07 October 10 - Minutes of the 4th meeting of the Advisory Forum on the Quality Assurance Scheme for Carbon Offsetting - 19 July 2010

07 September 10 - EON leads green energy surge; carbon offsets used in green energy products developed by leading UK gas and electricity supplier, E.ON, have been given an official Government thumbs up for making a real contribution to fighting climate change. For further information click here

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