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Our Mission

Named for philanthropist Winthrop Rockefeller, Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources.

Bearing the Rockefeller imprimatur, Winrock’s nonprofit American Carbon Registry (ACR) is a leading carbon offset program recognized for its strong standards for environmental integrity and its quest to innovate. Winrock believes that climate change will have a profound impact on the poorest populations and the most fragile ecosystems around the world and that markets are the most effective path to mobilize actions to reduce emissions.

Founded in 1996 by Environmental Resources Trust (ERT) as the first private voluntary offset program in the world, ACR has over two decades of unparalleled experience in the development of rigorous, science-based carbon offset standards and methodologies as well as operational experience in carbon offset project registration, verification oversight and offset issuance.  

ACR operates in both global voluntary and regulated carbon markets. Since December 2012, ACR has operated as an approved Offset Project Registry (OPR) for the California Cap-and-Trade program, the first economy-wide Cap-and-Trade program in the U.S. In this role, ACR works with the Air Resources Board (ARB) to oversee the registration and issuance of California-eligible Registry Offset Credits developed using ARB’s compliance or early action offset protocols. In March 2020, ACR was approved by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to supply eligible ACR-issued emission reduction units for compliance under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The CORSIA is a global market-based mechanism approved by ICAO in 2016 to achieve carbon neutral growth in international aviation starting in 2020.

In fulfillment of Winrock’s mission, ACR enhances confidence in carbon markets and catalyzes transformational emissions reduction opportunities. ACR is a pioneer in harnessing the power of markets to improve the environment and has set the bar for offset quality that is the market standard today.