The National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) serves two primary functions:
- it sets minimum requirements for calculating, auditing and offsetting the carbon footprint of an organisation or product to achieve 'carbon neutrality'; and
- it provides guidance on what is genuine, additional voluntary offset.
To achieve carbon neutrality certification under the NCOS Carbon Neutral Program, an entity must measure its carbon footprint, reduce emissions where possible and purchase NCOS eligible abatement to offset the remaining emissions.
The entity must also develop a plan for management of emissions which includes the management framework, systems and processed in place to effectively manage the carbon neutral commitment from start to end, as well as prepare a summary of emissions and actions under the program for public disclosure. All of these activities must be independently verified.