Participating in the Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme is an important business decision.

Before applying, make sure you plan your project and consider:

  • who will own and manage the project
  • the type, scale and location of a project
  • potential of the project to generate benefits and income
  • investment costs
  • the crediting strategy (how frequently you want to and are able to receive Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs))
  • audit and reporting costs.

This is general information to help you decide if the ACCU Scheme is right for you. You should seek independent technical, legal, audit and/or financial advice for your circumstances and requirements.

Check the project is viable

You should conduct a feasibility assessment to confirm an ACCU Scheme project is right for you. Consider:

  • if there's a method for your project idea
  • technology options, quality assurance requirements and warranties
  • state and territory regulatory approvals needed for your project
  • record keeping and monitoring systems you need
  • expected costs to implement and maintain the project 
  • budget for audit costs and other requirements
  • what equipment you will need to install or species to plant
  • availability of qualified or experienced personnel
  • estimated emissions reductions and certainty of estimates
  • if there are other project benefits 
  • any expected risks.

Do a cost-benefit analysis

The money you can make from a project varies depending on many factors. Before you apply to run a project, make sure you understand how much you might make.

Projects usually require an upfront investment as well as ongoing expenses. Upfront costs might include:

  • purchasing technology
  • preparing land for planting
  • hiring expert carbon service providers to give advice or help run your project.

You should add up your project costs to help you decide what price you want for your ACCUs when you sell them to the Australian Government or on the secondary market.

You should also consider return on investment for land based projects.

Understand the method

The types of projects or activities eligible under the ACCU Scheme are determined by methods. Your project must use methods approved by the Australian Government. Methods set out the rules for running the project and calculating emissions reductions.

Make sure you understand the eligibility, reporting and auditing requirements for your method.

Find out more about ACCU Scheme methods.

Assess technological requirements

Consider if you need specific technology or equipment to set up and manage your project. This might include:

  • methane gas capture equipment
  • metering equipment
  • biomass surveys.

Comply with relevant legislation

Make sure you understand any laws or regulations that apply to your project in addition to the method. This includes work health and safety laws and any approvals, permits or permissions needed to run your project.

Know the crediting and reporting periods

A crediting period is how long a project can generate ACCUs. Crediting periods vary depending on project type and method. The crediting period is generally 7 years for emissions avoidance projects and 25 years for sequestration projects.

A reporting period is a period of time for which a project report is prepared to submit to us. You nominate the reporting period based on your project type:

  • emissions avoidance projects: 6 months to 2 years
  • sequestration projects: 6 months to 5 years.

Get help from a carbon service provider

Running an ACCU project can be complex. Carbon service providers enter commercial agreements with landholders or landowners who grant them legal right to carry out the project and receive ACCUs. These agreements include obligations on each party to run the project and how proceeds from ACCUs issued for the project.

Different service providers can help you understand your obligations and risks and help you participate. These include:

  • legal services
  • financial advisory services
  • agents
  • aggregators.

You can find carbon service providers by searching online or on the Carbon Market Institute's directory.


This is general information only. We cannot give business or financial advice and don't endorse or recommend any carbon service provider or their services.

Prepare your application

Before you apply make sure you have all the information and documentation you need. This includes: