To ensure that the third party verification activities undertaken by companies are broadly comparable, CDP requires verification to be completed in accordance with recognized verification standards. These standards must have a common set of attributes which are set out in the criteria below. Any third party verification standard referenced in a company’s submission to CDP will be assessed against these criteria to determine acceptability. Note that “Agreed upon procedures”, “pre-assurance” or internal verification is not accepted as verification under the CDP scoring methodology.
Given the diversity of geographies and industries amongst CDP responders, and the evolution of standards, it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of all standards that meet these criteria. However, to support companies in their disclosure process, CDP has produced a list of standards that have been deemed suitable for CDP reporting and a list of standards that are not considered appropriate. A third list includes those that are currently under review – CDP will endeavour to confirm whether these standards meet the criteria as soon as possible.
The criteria for third party verification standards are:
Advanced technologies promotion Subsidy Scheme with Emission reduction Target (ASSET)
Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) des Airports Council International Europe
Alberta Specified Gas Emitters Regulation
Attestation Standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants/AICPA. Only assurance done using the following AICPA specific AT-C sections in combination are accepted:
Australia National Greenhouse and Energy Regulations 2 (NGER Act)
California Mandatory GHG Reporting Regulations (also known as Californian Air Resources Board regulations)
Note: Verification under this regulation can be annual, biennial or triennial. If a company is in the process of having the current reporting year's emissions verified, they should report "third party verification or assurance underway - last year's statement attached" and attach the most recent statement from within the three years prior to the current reporting year. This guidance was updated in January 2013.
Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Handbook: Assurance Section 5025
Note: Only High levels of assurance are accepted, as Moderate is a 'review', rather than a full verification process.
Carbon Trust Standard
Note: Companies should attach the certification letter AND certificate. Verification of GHG emissions as part of CTS certification can be annual or biennial. If a company is in the process of having the current reporting year's emissions verified, they should report "third party verification or assurance underway - last year's statement attached" and attach documentation from the most recent year with verification but no earlier than two years prior to the current reporting year. This guidance was updated in January 2013.
Chicago Climate Exchange verification standard
The Climate Registry's General Verification Protocol (also known as California Climate Action Registry (CCAR))
Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (CNCC)
National Company of Auditors (Pratique professionnelle relative au rapport du Commissaire aux Comptes sur certaines données ou informations environnementales et sociales ou sur les procédures d’établissement de ces données ou informations, contenues dans le rapport rendant compte en matière de « développement durable.)
Corporate GHG Verification Guidelines from ERT
Note: Only Tier III and Tier II where it is clear that the verification has been performed by an independent third party.
DNV Verisustain Protocol/ Verification Protocol for Sustainability Reporting
Note: This standard is only acceptable where the verification statement clearly confirms the independence of the verifier from the reporting organization and/or the data collection process.
Note: For organisations in the travel and tourism industry. Scope 1 & 2 verification only. “Earthcheck Benchmarked” status under the same program does not include 3rd-party verification, thus is not an accepted standard.
Enviro-Mark Solutions’ CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement And Reduction Scheme) standard
Companies should attach the CEMARS certificate and assurance statement. Verification of GHG emissions as part of CEMARS certification is annual. If a company is in the process of having the current reporting year's emissions verified, they should report "third party verification or assurance underway - last year's statement attached" and attach documentation from the previous year.
ERM GHG Performance Data Assurance Methodology
IDW PS 821: IDW Prüfungsstandard: Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger Prüfung oder prüferischer Durchsicht von Berichtenim Bereich der Nachhaltigkeit
IDW AsS 821: IDW Assurance Standard: Generally Accepted Assurance Principles for the Audit or Review of Reports on Sustainability Issues
ISAE 3000 1
Dutch Standard 3000A
ISAE 3410, Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements 1
Note: This standard is valid for assurance reports covering periods ending on or after 30th September 2013.
JVETS (Japanese Voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme) Guideline for verification
Korean GHG and energy target management system
NMX-SAA-14064-3-IMNC: Instituto Mexicano de Normalización y Certificación A.C
RevR 6 Bestyrkande av hållbarhetsredovisning (RevR 6 Assurance of Sustainability)
RevR6 Procedure for assurance of sustainability report from Far, the Swedish auditors professional body
Saitama Prefecture Target-Setting Emissions Trading Program
Standard 3810N Assurance engagements relating to sustainability reports of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Registered Accountants
SGS Sustainability Report Assurance
Note: This service is only acceptable where the verification statement clearly confirms that the assurance is provided in accordance with ISO 14064-3 or AA1000AS.
Spanish Institute of Registered Auditors (ICJCE)
State of Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection, VERIFICATION OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND EMISSIONS REDUCTION IN ISRAEL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT FOR CONDUCTING VERIFICATIONS, Process A.
Note: This guidance covers two processes, for CDP purposes we would only accept the process A. Emissions inventory of companies and organizations that report to the Israeli Voluntary GHG Registry; and not process B.
Swiss Climate CO2 label
Thai Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Verification Protocol
Tokyo Emissions Trading Scheme
Verification under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) Directive and EU ETS related national implementation laws
1 The assurance provider needs to be subject to Parts A and B of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (the IESBA Code), or professional requirements, or requirements in laws or regulations, that are at least as demanding and/or clearly demonstrates equivalent independence in the assurance statement.
2 Only assurance engagements that state that they are in accordance with the regulations and NGER (audit) determination 2009. Verification engagements do not give an opinion and therefore will not meet our criteria for the statement. Submitting data under NGER does not automatically confer to achieving an appropriate level of verification unless the condition stipulated previously is met.
(includes climate reporting/environmental management standards, verification services)
Australian Government's National Carbon Offset Standard
Note: This is not a verification standard. All verification undertaken for this program is done in accordance with another verification standard (such as ASAE3000 or ISO14064-3).
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
Note: This follows a different GHG accounting method (Project Accounting) compared to the one requested by CDP (Corporate Inventory Accounting) which means that the verification process under CDM does not verify the figures submitted to CDP.
The CLEEAR Standard
Note: This is a standard to record, measure and reduce carbon emissions therefore not resulting in verification of processes and data and does not guide a full verification process.
Note: This is a standard for companies who are providing product certification.
EPA Climate Leaders Review
Note: This applies to the “review” only. EPA does not regard the “review” as independent third party verification. However, some companies separately contract verifiers or assurers to verify/assure their EPA Climate Leaders inventory. Statements from this process are not “reviews” and should be completed using a standard that meets CDP’s criteria to be accepted.
EPA Part 75
Note: This is a second party check i.e. by the recipient of the data. The CDP guidance document specifies a third party check. The EPA's enhanced requirements published in October 2014 have not altered this.
The GHG Protocol Corporate Reporting & Accounting Standard
Note: This is a corporate GHG inventory reporting standard.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
Note: This is not a verification standard, but a reporting platform.
Note: This is a standard for the verification of environmental management systems i.e. of processes not resulting data and does not guide a full verification process.
Note: This is a life cycle assessment standard series which does not cover verification by third party procedures.
Note: This is a corporate GHG inventory reporting standard.
Note: This is a standard for companies who are providing GHG verification, not a standard on how to conduct verification of GHG emissions.
Note: This is a standard for companies who are providing verification of management systems, and is not a standard on how to conduct verification of GHG emissions.
Note: This is a protocol for auditing management systems, i.e. of processes not resulting data and does not guide a full verification process.
Note: This is a standard for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system therefore not resulting in verification of processes and data and does not guide a full verification process.
Note: This is not a verification standard itself, but statements may be produced that mention a verification standard that is on the CDP list.
Note: PAS 2050 is a life-cycle GHG reporting standard for products and services.
Note: This is a GHG reporting standard. If they have verified data against this, ISO 14064-3 will be stated in the statement.
VfU (Verein fur Umweltmanagement) Indicators
Note: VfU is a corporate GHG inventory reporting standard. Note that the latest VfU methodology states it is compliant with CDP, which is true for calculating emissions figures but not for verification.
VfU (Verein fur Umweltmanagement) Indicators Standard
Note: These are environmental performance indicators for the financial industry and are not a verification standard.
There are currently no standards under review.