The VCS project cycle sets out the four major steps in developing an individual project to generate quality-assured GHG emission reductions and credits.
The first step in the project development process is selecting a methodology applicable to the proposed project. This can either be an existing VCS methodology or one developed under an approved GHG program such as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). If an applicable methodology does not exist, project developers are welcome to propose their own.
Once a project is listed on the Project Pipeline, projects proponents develop a complete project description using the VCS template and have it validated by an approved validation/verification body (VVB). This process determines whether a project meets all VCS rules and requirements. The PD can be developed before, during or after project design and implementation.
When a project starts, projects proponents monitor and measure GHG emission reductions or removals. All information for a given monitoring period, including calculations of GHG benefits, is documented in a monitoring report, using the VCS template The monitoring report must be verified by an approved VVB.
Projects must open an account and submit all required documents to a VCS registry operator in order to be registered on the VCS Project Database and request issuance of VCUs. Projects can register upon validation or wait until they are ready to issue credits. All project information is listed publicly when projects are registered and VCUs issued.