Unlocking the international voluntary carbon market for smallholder farmers by streamlining the certification activities as a program.

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Our principles 

Three principles underlie our certification approach: sampling, scalability, and simplification. 


Acorn adopts a standardized approach when sampling monitoring and validation activities are conducted under the Acorn program. The integration of a well-recognized sampling approach ensures Acorn can compare projects and report on results in a manner that is easily interpreted on a global scale. 


Acorn’s certification approach supports the application of satellite technologies for project monitoring and evaluation. The use of data from such high-quality remote sources significantly reduces costs and increases scalability.  


The Acorn Framework introduces a simplified approach for implementing agroforestry and reporting results at both farmer and project level. 

These three principles ensure that the burden of getting projects certified is lifted from project coordinators and the smallholder farmers they represent. We’ve made the process easier for them and take on as much of it as we can, so they can focus on other things—afforestation and decarbonization should take precedence over paperwork, after all. 

The Acorn Framework

Acorn has developed its own tailor-made approach for a more scalable and inclusive certification process directed at small-scale agroforestry projects. Acorn’s certification approach and the requirements projects must adhere to, are described in the Acorn Framework. 

> Download the Acorn Framework v1.0 here

The Acorn Methodology 

The complementary Acorn Methodology describes the processes involved when measuring and calculating carbon removal units. The Methodology has been externally assessed and approved by two accredited validation and verification bodies: SCS Global Services and AENOR.  

 > Download the Acorn Methodology v1.0 here 

How certification works 

To successfully certify a project and the CRUs generated, a project will be first assessed in terms of eligibility and additionality. A range of baseline data is collected, describing the current livelihood and environmental conditions in the project area, and demonstrating that the required structures and processes outlined in the Acorn Framework are in place at the start of the project. 

Project partners

gizrenatureOne acre fundSolidaridadFarmstrongkaderes


microsoftSC logoBainDLL logoFalcon Coffee

Strategic partners

maastricht universityPlan vivothird millenum allianceWUR

Remote sensing partners

52impactspace4goodsatelligenceagerpoint logo

Project partners

logo wetpaveda logocomacofarm Africatrees 4 Kenya

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