carbon credits

January 16, 2024

This protocol applies to GHG reduction projects that divert eligible organic waste or agro-industrial wastewater streams.


This protocol applies to greenhouse gas reduction projects that divert eligible organic waste or agro-industrial wastewater streams that otherwise would have gone to uncontrolled anaerobic storage, treatment, and disposal systems (solid waste landfills, onsite anaerobic wastewater treatment facilities, etc.).

Projects that involve co-digestion of eligible organic waste streams with livestock manure are also eligible if they comply with the Livestock Project Protocol, diverting waste to a biogas control system (BCS). The protocol accepts several technologies, including:

  • Single digestion, co-digestion, centralized digesters, and existing digesters that use excess capacity.
  • Methane destruction onsite (flare, engine, boiler, turbine, fuel cell).
  • Methane is transported offsite for destruction (pipeline injection, direct-use arrangements) or used as vehicle fuel.

Project Eligibility

The protocol stipulates the following requirements:

  • The project and waste sources must be within the United States or U.S. tribal lands.
  • The start date must be within six months from the date of the first load into the digester of the eligible waste stream included in the quantification of emission reductions.
  • A biogas control system (BCS) must consistently, periodically, or seasonally digest non-industrial food waste, food-soiled paper waste, and/or agro-industrial wastewater.
  • Co-digestion of eligible organic waste and manure is permitted if livestock operations meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the Livestock Project Protocol.
  • The project must exceed any reductions that would have occurred as a result of compliance with federal, state, or local regulations.
  • The project developer must demonstrate the following:
    • Anaerobic baseline conditions (for agro-industrial wastewater).
    • Ownership of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.
    • The project is not registered with any other registry system.
    • Proper accounting and monitoring.

Project Exclusions

Protocol excludes the following activities:

  • Waste streams that do not meet the definition of eligible waste such as fat, oil, and grease residues, municipal biosolids (sludge), and industrial food processing wastes.
  • Grocery store waste streams not previously landfilled for at least 36 months before the project’s diversion date.
  • Waste streams mandated by law for diversion or digestion unless the project implementation is in conjunction with a local waste diversion mandate.
  • Agro-industrial wastewater at breweries, ethanol plants, pharmaceutical production facilities, and pulp and paper plants.

Project Outcomes

A project is eligible to receive credits for ten years from the start date or until project activity is required by law. Applications for a second 10-year eligibility period are available. Only two AD facilities have registered with the Climate Action Reserve (CAR). CAR has awarded these projects a total of 224,655 CRTs, valued at approximately $700,000. In 2022, CAR awarded 22,257 CRTs to these projects. At a market price of $3.00/CRT, 22,257 CRTs have a value of $66,771.

Credit Feasibility

Understanding the technology and navigating protocol requirements can take time and effort. That’s where we come in. Contact SCS Engineers at or Greg McCarron on LinkedIn to learn how your project may qualify.


Additional Resources


Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

January 2, 2024

Voluntary carbon credits provide compost and anaerobic digestion facilities with an additional source of income, complementing tipping fees and sales of final products.


Carbon credits can be a reliable and lucrative source of revenue for organic waste management facilities in addition to more traditional revenue sources. Voluntary carbon credits provide compost and anaerobic digestion facilities with an additional source of income, complementing tipping fees and sales of final products. Carbon credits are issued, bought, and sold in carbon markets in a broader effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Climate Action Reserve (CAR) establishes carbon credit standards, guidelines, and values (Climate Reserve Tonnes or CRTs).

Participation in voluntary carbon markets, mines, landfills, compost facilities, and anaerobic digestion facilities can generate additional revenue while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Is your project eligible for carbon credits? 

There are two main types of carbon markets: regulatory and voluntary. Regulatory carbon markets require mandatory participation. Voluntary carbon markets provide carbon offset credits for qualifying products that effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions from a baseline level. Each voluntary market defines its baseline and qualifications for offset projects. Offset credits can then be sold. Within voluntary carbon markets, eligible organic waste management and landfill projects can participate in generating carbon credits.

Project developers can enter into purchase/sale agreements and single-year or multi-year partnerships with buyers to secure evaluated carbon prices. The project developer does not need to guarantee credit quantities, as the brokerage assumes responsibility for managing the credits over a specific period and guarantees a price per credit. The brokerage markets any amount exceeding the agreed-upon price per credit to potential buyers. This option provides more long-term pricing stability.

Climate Action Reserve (CAR)

CAR is a nonprofit organization that promotes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through market-based policies and solutions. CAR serves as an approved Offset Project Registry (OPR) for the State of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program and is integral in supporting the issuance and administration of compliance offsets.

CAR also establishes standards for voluntary offset projects in the North American voluntary carbon market. It operates as a publicly accessible registry for carbon credits generated under its standards. CAR has eight voluntary offset protocols for waste handling and methane destruction projects in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. They assist, advise, and register clients with voluntary offset projects.

SCS has partnered with clients to pursue voluntary offset projects in Organic Waste Composting and Organic Waste Digestion protocols. Contact SCS Engineers at or Greg McCarron on LinkedIn to learn how your project may qualify.

Additional Video Resources



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

August 4, 2023

SCS Engineers is a Gold Sponsor of The American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) 31st Fall Conference in Washington, DC, October 11-13.
Join leading environmental, energy, and resources law professionals for knowledge-sharing, networking, and inspiration in the nation’s capital. The conference provides timely, topical updates on the latest opportunities and challenges facing the field of environmental law. 

Look for SCS Engineers’s Display Table and
talk with our Senior Vice President, Mike McLaughlin, PE, JD, about your environmental challenges

The ABA SEER 31st Fall Conference will feature informed discussion of topics including the environmental law implications of implementing the Justice40 Initiative, recent Supreme Court jurisprudence, practical tips for new and impending ESG disclosure rules, the latest in the Brownfields redevelopment space, and more.

Additional topics include the lifecycle of renewable energy and emerging issues related to the energy transition, from offshore wind to grid modernization to carbon credits. Top speakers will weigh in on PFAS and microplastics contamination of agricultural systems and waterways, how to ensure safe drinking water in our cities, and the impact of climate change on urban planning and environmental management.

Click for more details and regitration information



Posted by Laura Dorn at 11:14 am