How to develop

an offsetting project

If you are looking to invest in or develop your own carbon offsetting project, EcoAct can support in every step of the process: project feasibility, development, certification, monitoring and financing.

Project development is complex and can be daunting, but at EcoAct we understand every critical step. With more than 16 years of experience in developing projects and working in the Voluntary Carbon Market, EcoAct has guided hundreds of clients in supporting and developing high-integrity offsetting projects worldwide. Our developed projects range from ecosystem restoration to renewable fuel switching and distribution of improved household energy technologies. Both Nature and Technology-Based Solutions have an importance role to play in the global transition to net-zero and we recognise the important need for scaling up these actions. Therefore, we are working with partners to develop ground-breaking projects which aim to protect the strongest carbon sinks in the world as well as tackle pressing social and environmental challenges.​

Acceptance criteria

for project development

To qualify, projects must meet our minimum criteria. Before submitting a proposal, please ensure the project complies with our acceptance criteria.
Project typeProject size
Forest conservation≥ 20,000 hectares of standing forest
Land-based restoration≥ 1,000 hectares to be restored
Mangrove restoration≥ 500 hectares to be restored
Agroforestry≥ 1,000,000 trees planted
Improved cookstoves≥ 15,000 beneficiary households
Water access≥ 15,000 water filters / water kiosks
Renewable energy≥ 10MW installed capacity
Orchard plantation in French territoryLabel bas-carbone specific requirements/criteria
Coastal and marine ecosystems preservation in French territoryLabel bas-carbone specific requirements/criteria
Biochar productionStandard-specific requirements/criteria

Project development​


Our carbon offset projects follow a rigorous development and assessment process in accordance with the highest standards and certification bodies. EcoAct works closely with local partners throughout the life of the project from feasibility studies to ongoing monitoring post-certification, and manages the marketing and sale of the project to clients. The process of developing a carbon offset project usually takes between 12 and 36 months, depending on the project’s typology and complexity, as well as how advanced the project is on the ground. It takes on average 18 to 24 months to issue the first credits for renewable energy, energy efficiency or community-based projects, and around 24-36 months for forestry projects. The process will often be defined on a case-by-case basis as each project has its own intricacies, especially as we work within diverse territories, legal frameworks and ecosystems. The project development process is outlined in the 5 steps below.

Project sourcing and evaluation

Projects and partners are identified, and proposed projects are assessed against a set of strict criteria.

The first step taken by our Nature & Technology-based Solutions team is to seek and/or respond to potential partners either wishing to develop a project from scratch or in search of technical support to certify projects in advanced stages of development.

The proposed projects are assessed against a set of strict criteria aligned to ICROA standards and best practices identified by EcoAct and Atos through their long experience. The criteria consider factors such as the project size, technology, legal framework, financial viability, and local context.



On-desk and on-site due diligence is carried out to assess feasibility

If our minimum conditions are met, the team engages in the feasibility study phase, which grows in complexity over a period of 3  to 6 months. During this time, our team will use our ©EcoScore tool for project development to assess more than 30 criteria around 6 main risks categories: financial and political, legal, owner experience, reputation, social and environmental and certification. On-site audits are also a central component of our enhanced due diligence, a fundamental complement to off-site analyses.



Contracts are signed with partners and initial documents on the project plan are created. In parallel, EcoAct looks for investors interested in supporting project development.

If the due diligence phase is passed, work begins with local partners on the project design and implementation plan, the action plan and the financial model. Local beneficiaries are at the heart of this process.

Budgets are designed individually through a bottom-up approach, to identify and deliver on specific needs to fulfil the main project activities, and to ensure the delivery of co-benefits such as improved education, health, water and energy access, amongst others. All of these elements are reported internally in our Project Identification Note and formalised after the closure of contracts between the parties involved.

As most projects require additional, external funding, our team will, once the due diligence has been completed, start to present it to potential investors and develop a communication strategy to promote it externally.



Advanced documents required for the certification of the project, including the Project Design Document, are developed. The proposed project is validated by an external party and registered once completed.

At this stage, the team proceeds to support our partners in the certification process. The initial phase includes the development of the Project Design Document, which describes all the project activities, including details related to the emissions reductions or removals, and the parameters to measure the co-benefits, which will be monitored throughout the project lifetime.

Upon completion, and once project activities have started on the ground, the project is registered and validated externally by a verification body, approved by the chosen voluntary standard. Once approved, a validation report is issued, certifying it as a carbon offsetting project.



EcoAct supports the monitoring and verification of the certified project, together with the issuance and sale of the carbon credits generated.

Over the course of the project lifetime, which lasts around 15-30 years, depending on the methodology applied, EcoAct will continuously pilot the implementation of project activities and ensure the periodical monitoring and verification process to issue carbon credits.

EcoAct will present the project to potential clients throughout its lifetime, including at feasibility stages for investment opportunities, and boost its marketing and communication to ensure maximum reach and the ongoing success of the project.

Ways in which we can support

the development of projects​

    Consultancy approach

    Through this approach, EcoAct offers high-level consultancy services to assist project developers and clients from the early feasibility studies until the first and continued generation of carbon credits.

    Partnership approach

    EcoAct can invest in the development and certification of a proposed project. In this context, we will be covering the carbon advisory cost (the coverage will depend on the project’s specificities) of every step of the development process. In other cases, we might be supporting the certification process but seeking for external investors to cover the costs of development.

    In both cases, EcoAct will be marketing the project by creating content to present to clients and promote the project externally.

    Commercial-only partnership approach

    In the case where a partner already has the technical carbon expertise and only need investment to develop the project, EcoAct can raise the necessary funds by seeking potential investors if our in-house due diligence is completed and satisfactory.

    Are you interested in partnering with EcoAct to develop your offsetting project?

    If your project meets our basic criteria, fill in the template below and submit your proposal.

    Download our International Project Proposal template / French territory Project Development template.
    Fill in as much as you can and submit the completed proposal along with any other additional documents in the form provided.
    Our team of experts will evaluate your proposal and contact you as soon as we can.

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