What are Additional Certifications?

Learn about the added ways in which carbon offsetting can help the world.

by Greenwashed

What are Additional Certifications?
Photo by Jay Mantri / Unsplash


Additional certifications track the impacts of carbon offsets outside of the emissions reduction.

It’s a familiar principle: When comparing two college applicants with identical test scores, universities would favor the applicant with the long list of extracurriculars because they believe that the applicant adds more value to their university.

Additional certifications use the same logic. The more certifications associated with an offset, the more value it holds.

Note: Additional certifications are different from the concept of additionality. To learn more about additionality, read here.

The Various Certifications

Popular examples of additional certifications include:

Each certification assures the buyer that their offset has more impact than an offset that simply reduces emissions. On top of the one-tonne reduction in emissions, an additionally certified offset creates opportunities for the environment and the community. Most importantly, additional certifications provide further credibility to the carbon offset sold.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Adopted at the United Nations Conference in September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development included 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These goals build on the principle of leaving no one behind, and the new plan emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. To learn more about The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), visit the United Nations SDG guide.

To contextualize, we can dissect the impact of two urban development projects.

Based in Dallas, Texas, Project A builds homes for underprivileged communities. Project B builds homes for underdeveloped communities in ParaΓ­ba, Brazil. Project B includes an excavated well system in each residence to allow access to clean drinking water. So, while Project A & B share similar end goals of housing those in need, the additional effects of Project B’s operations make it eligible to receive certification for SDGs 6 and 11 (Clean Water and Sanitation & Sustainable Cities and Communities).

The SDGs are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich, and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.

The link between climate change and the SDGs is clear.

Tackling climate change is essential to achieving the SDGs, and taking action will help build resilience to climate change and its lasting impacts. Some offsetting methodologies contribute environmentally in more ways than one, so certified carbon offsets can contribute to several SDGs.

In the carbon markets, the more benefits a carbon offset has, the more valuable it is. These benefits, in the form of additional certifications, assure the buyer that their purchase positively impacts the planet outside of pure emissions reductions.


The Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is an international carbon offsetting scheme for the airline industry. CORSIA offsets will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13 (climate action), among others.

As the aviation industry grows, so does its impact on the climate crisis.

In 2016, international aviation was responsible for about 2% of global CO2 emissions and could grow to 3-4% by 2050 without action.

Rather than 1️⃣ do nothing about it or 2️⃣ shut down the airline industry, schemes like CORSIA help this problem by creating strong financial incentives for projects to offset the immediate impact of plane emissions, giving the industry time to invest in long-term sustainable operations.


Not all offsets are created equal. Additional certifications assure the buyer that their purchase has a positive impact.

The carbon markets value these benefits, as they offer a way to achieve climate goals and sustainable development objectives. It is necessary to leverage the link between climate change and additional certifications to become a planet-positive economy.

To learn more about how you can help in that fight, consider subscribing below of offset your emissions here.