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.