Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation Emissions Verification
Demonstrate Compliance with CORSIA Verification from SCS
Emissions from aviation make up an estimated 2.5% of annual global CO2 emissions and growing. To meet the demand to reduce the carbon footprint of air travel, the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) introduced the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) scheme in 2016. International operators can have their annual carbon emissions verified by SCS Global Services, an accredited independent CORSIA verification body.
Airplane operators traveling in international air space have started reporting their annual emissions through a CORSIA disclosure and working towards significant emissions reductions and offsetting on their journey towards carbon neutrality. 121 world governments have adopted CORSIA, and compliance with the CORSIA scheme, which will be required by most adopters in 2027. CORSIA reporting helps air carriers to meet regulatory requirements, improve their near-, short- and long-term environmental impacts, and improve investor and stakeholder relations through advanced climate stewardship strategies.
With a goal of overall emissions reduction, the CORSIA scheme also promotes additional measures for offsetting the amount of CO2 emissions that cannot be reduced through the use of technological or operational improvements and sustainable aviation fuels by the purchasing of offset units from the carbon market to ensure that baseline levels are not exceeded.
Why Choose SCS?
SCS is accredited by the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) as a provider of Greenhouse Gas Verification Services under ISO 14065 and is listed by the ICAO as a verifier for the CORSIA scheme. As a leader in sustainability certification and reporting for the last four decades, SCS has established itself as a reputable provider of Greenhouse Gas Verification with over 15 years of experience and hundreds of verifications. SCS was one of the first CORSIA verifiers for a major U.S.-based airline. SCS has been providing high-quality verification of biofuel and alternative fuel supply chains for over five years and has more than 25 years of experience in agriculture, greenhouse gas, and forestry certification. In addition to LCFS, SCS verifies sustainable supply chains under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) system, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and more.
- CORSIA provides a unified framework for the reporting of CO2 emissions and carbon offsets, providing airplane operators with a streamlined approach to showcasing climate mitigation strategies.
- CORSIA supports aviation companies on their journey to carbon neutrality and supports eco-tourism with additional strategies that can positively impact aviation brands that value the showcasing of their sustainability initiatives.
- CORSIA has a phased-in approach that allows airplane operators to use a baseline emission number from their 2019 emissions profile or use actual CO2 emissions emitted on an annual basis. This allows airplane operators to become accustomed to the CORSIA program in anticipation of its requirement starting in 2027.
- CORSIA is continually striving to help the aviation industry do its part to reduce emissions and positively impact the climate by working hard to develop new less carbon-intensive technologies, more efficient operations and better infrastructure.
What is CORSIA Verification?
CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, is a multi-stakeholder, global offsetting initiative set up to offset international aviation CO2 emissions to help stabilize the global climate and reduce CO2 emission levels caused by airplanes. Per the CORSIA Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) the offsetting of CO2 emissions from adherence to this initiative will be achieved by airplane operators through the acquisition and cancelation of emissions units from the global carbon market. The CORSIA initiative was started in 2016 when member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) made an historic decision to adopt a global, market-based measure to reduce aviation CO2 emissions.
Who is required to get CORSIA Verification?
CORSIA applies to planes larger than 5,700 kg and with annual emissions greater than 10,000 tons of CO2 per year. Included aircraft are airlines, cargo carriers and business airplane operators. Currently, CORSIA is a voluntary program for airplane operators in ICAO member states (currently 121) but will be mandatory beginning in 2027. There are two initial phases starting in 2021-2023 and 2024-2026 when airplane operators have specified options for determining the basis of their offsetting requirements. In the “pilot phase” which goes through the end of 2023, airplane operators have two options:
- Use the airplane operator’s verified emissions covered by CORSIA in the given year (i.e. 2021, 2022 and 2023)
- Use the airplane operator’s verified emissions for the baseline year of 2019.
For the “initial phase” from 2024-2026, the calculation to determine an airplane operator’s offsetting requirements will be based on the verified emissions in a specific year (i.e. 2024, 2025 and 2026).
In the third phase which begins in 2027 and currently ends in 2035, participation for member states will no longer be voluntary, and there will only be limited exemptions based on aviation-related criteria such as low overall emission for the state or socio-economic criteria such as states defined as Least Developed states or Small Island Developing States. For additional criteria, please visit the ICAO CORSIA website.
What are the CORSIA Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs)?
The ICAO has created a formal set of standards and recommended practices as a set of guidelines for CORSIA membership and airline operators. They are set forth in a 120-page document that is available on the ICAO website here and detail the monitoring, reporting and verification that is required of airplane operations in order to be compliant with the CORSIA guidelines.
Do airplane operators have to verify their emissions each year?
Yes, airplane operators are required to have their annual emissions report verified by an accredited, third-party verification provider. In addition, each airplane operator is required to submit its verified report to their member state. For example, in the United States, reports are submitted to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Each of the 121 members states has its own air space regulator to which verified emissions reports should be submitted.
Is CORSIA Verification an accredited program?
Yes, the CORSIA Verification Program is an ANAB accredited program, so all verifications will undergo standard ANAB audits, which includes two lead auditors, one to do the audit/verification and the other to provide a technical review of the audit. These auditors are trained both in ISO 14064-3 standard and the CORSIA program and technical requirements.
Can an airplane operator have offsetting requirements, even if its State of registration does not participate in CORSIA offsetting?
Yes. Because of CORSIA’s route-based approach, an airplane operator flying routes between participating States would be subject to the offsetting requirements under the CORSIA, no matter whether its State of registration participates in CORSIA offsetting or not.
What is the deadline for submitting a CORSIA report?
Generally, airplane operators are expected to compile their previous year’s CO2 emissions data and have their verification report submitted to their designated aviation authority no later than April 30 each year.
For additional details on the CORSIA program, please visit the ICAO CORSIA FAQ page here.
Step 1: Requisition Questionnaire
- Airplane operator completes a detailed questionnaire regarding type and scale of their operation, fuel use monitoring methods, data systems used, number of airplanes, number of subsidiaries (if applicable) to be included in the scope of work. [Note: we need to create this]
Step 2: Scoping
- SCS reviews questionnaire, discusses budget, timeline and audit schedule (which may or may not require an on-site review)
Step 3: Auditing and Reporting
- SCS ANAB accredited Lead Auditor provides a comprehensive data review and audit and submits a report to airplane operator for review. Report may include findings that need review and revisions by the operator.
Step 4: Report Verification
- Once all clarifications and adjustments are made and the information has been approved by the operator, SCS documents the results of the verification within the CORSIA report template and submits for internal independent review by an SCS CORSIA Lead Verifier who remains independent from the Verification Team.
Step 5: Final CORSIA Report Submission
- SCS submits the final CORSIA verification report to the operator and the operator’s aviation authority. Operator also submits the verified report to its aviation authority.
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