Offsets Reports 101

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

What you need to know about offsets reporting


Offset reports are a key requirement of participating in the ACCU Scheme. They outline the way the project achieved carbon abatement over its reporting period and are lodged with the Regulator as evidence to validate the issuance of ACCUs. The result? They are highly detailed and subject to rigorous assessment. Read on to understand how you can ensure you are ticking the right boxes before getting started on your next report. 


What is an offsets report?

An offsets report is a mechanism to reconcile the carbon abatement of your project over a reporting period. It outlines the manner and processes you have used to demonstrate compliance with the methodology determination that your project operates in.


What your offset report is required to contain is defined by the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 and Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Rule 2015 (the Act and the Rule). It is also affected by your respective methodology determination. Each methodology has its own individual reporting requirements, but at a high level an offsets report will include:

  • Abatement calculations,
  • Mapping files defining the extent of your project, 
  • Evidence and explanations addressing how the project complies with methodology requirements,
  • Quantification data (i.e. FullCAM outputs, soil sample results).

These may be included within a ‘report’ format document or provided as an attachment.


Your initial offset report will have more detail, as it must contain information about your project setup that will remain constant for future rounds. 


When do I need to submit an offsets report?

Offsets reports need to be submitted for every reporting period of your projects crediting period. A reporting period can generally be as short as 6 months, or as long as 5 years. The length is up to you – but you must continue to report for the duration of your crediting period (which is 25 years for sequestration projects). 


A reporting period commences from the start of the projects crediting period – or will immediately follow the conclusion of the previous reporting period. You must submit the offsets report within 6 months of the end of the corresponding reporting period. 


Okay, so how do I pull together an offsets report?

Offsets reports are complex pieces of work. They are generally prepared by a skilled carbon service provider. This will be most cost- and time-effective if it is through a provider who you’ve worked with since project commencement. That way, it doesn’t require engaging someone to start from scratch to familiarise themselves with the project details. This applies to both your initial and future reports. You may require other specialist services to collate the information required to complete the report. They may include:

  • Foresters or ecologists (to assess forest cover and survival)
  • Soil sampling crews and soil testing labs
  • GIS experts 

Additionally, your report may need to be accompanied by an audit. This requirement will be defined by your audit schedule, which is issued to you as part of your project declaration. We’ll cover audits in a future blog post, but as a snapshot:

  • If it is your initial report, you will automatically need an audit report. This applies to every project and every method.
  • You will need to factor in a site visit. This is generally a must for an initial audit and may be required for future visits. 
  • You must engage a Category 2 registered auditor. The Clean Energy Regulator keeps a register of auditors here.

How much will my offsets report cost?

The cost to produce an offsets report will vary depending on the complexity of your project. Initial reports are always more expensive than subsequent reports. This is because they require more scene-setting. Larger projects with more CEAs will usually inherently have more complexity. 


As a rule of thumb, you can expect to pay $15,000 – $25,000 for an offsets report. This doesn’t include services such as forester site inspections or soil sampling, or auditing costs.


We recommend you seek quotes from multiple service providers to ensure you are receiving a fair price. 


Okay, I’ve pulled together my report – what next?

Once you’ve completed the report, you will need to provide it to your engaged Auditor for review. They will assess it in detail, and may come back to you with clarifying questions or requests for corrections.


When they are satisfied, they will provide you with an ‘assurance report’ to attach to your report. This can be packaged up and submitted to the Regulator via the CER Client Portal for assessment alongside a request for credit issuance.


Hot tips to ensure the reporting process is smooth:

  1. Keep good records from project commencement – it will make collating the report much easier. A good carbon service provider will have templates and documentation to assist you in consolidating this. 
  2. Start prepping early. Offsets reports can take some time to produce, so give yourself a good head start. This includes engaging with expert services well in advance – these can be booked out months ahead of time 
  3. Make sure you have all of your consents in place! If your project received a conditional approval, you must ensure you have addressed all conditions prior to submitting your offsets report. 

Ready to find out more?

Explore our range of educational resources in our Carbon Farming Education Hub where we frequently publish educational articles, webinars, and guidebooks. 


When you’re ready to explore the feasibility of undertaking a carbon project on your property, email us at or give us a bell at (08) 6835 1140 to be connected with one of our project facilitators.

Sign up for our newsletter

© 2024. The Carbon Farming Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

The Carbon Farming Foundation (ABN 67 645 498 004) is a Corporate Authorised Representative (AFS Representative No.001298535) of True Oak Investments Ltd (ABN 81 002 558 956, AFSL 238184).

The information on this website is general financial product advice only. It does not take your personal financial objectives, situation or needs into consideration. We recommend that you read our Financial Services Guide and consider seeking independent advice before making a financial decision.