Integrity - Quality Assurance Standard

QAS - Quality Assured Carbon Offsetting


What is the Quality Assurance Standard?

The QAS (formerly known as the Quality Assurance Scheme) is a Not For Profit organisation. Its objective is to bring highest levels of confidence to businesses and individuals that the carbon emissions calculation methodology being used is independently verified, that carbon offset projects meet the highest standards available in the offsetting industry and that carbon retirement is done in an open and timely manner.

Independent Auditing for Full Confidence



To achieve these goals, QAS approved organisations undergo a rigorous Third Party audit to verify that they are following this standard and fulfilling the full offsetting obligations for their customers, covering an extensive 40 point plan. In addition, QAS stipulates the international standards that  offsets must adhere to, that ensures that only the highest quality of programmes are available. It also requires on-line pricing to be transparent and that a transparent and timely process is followed for carbon retirement on international exchanges. 

Carbon Footprint Ltd was one of just four carbon offsetting organisations that met the original government scheme requirements and is one of the founding members of the new QAS programme,  launched as an independent not-for-profit organisation in July 2012.

The Quality Assurance Standard continues to give confidence to businesses and individuals that the calculation methodology being used has been independently verified and the offset project meets the highest standards available in the offsetting industry. In addition the scheme includes an audit process to verify offset providers are following this standard and fulfilling the full offsetting obligations for their customers.

How do I buy Approved QAS Carbon Offsets?

You can buy QAS approved carbon offsets through this web site
Step 1 - Use our approved online carbon calculator tools as discussed below
Step 2 - Purchase any of the carbon offset projects available on this web site to offset the full amount calculated (see note below about which calculations are approved). All offset projects sold meet the high requirements set.

Which online calculations are approved?

Our Individual and Sustrax Lite online calculators are audited on an annual basis, the only areas not included are:

  • the secondary footprint, due to the uncertainty in this estimation.
  • building energy (e.g. gas and electricity) entered in monetary values, due to the large range of energy tariffs and therefore the likely error margin with this calculation method.

Are all our offset projects approved?

Yes, all the offset projects sold through this web site are approved as part of the QAS. These include:
  • The Certified Emission Reductions (CERs)
  • The Clean Energy - Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) projects
  • The tree planting projects in Kenya and UK as the emissions reductions are guaranteed by the Tree Buddying approach, where for every tree planted 1t of carbon from a VCS project is also retired.

Who audits the calculations and the offsetting?

An independent environmental consultancy (Ricardo) is being used to verify the accuracy of the on line calculations. They also ensure all carbon offsets sold are retired on the appropriate carbon registries within 12 months of the sale being made.