High Carbon Stock Approach Toolkit

The High Carbon Stock (HCS) Approach is a methodology that distinguishes forest areas for protection from degraded lands with low carbon and biodiversity values that may be developed. It puts No Deforestation into practice.

TFT co-created the HCS Approach and actively supports and promotes its implementation throughout the supply chains of our members to help them eliminate deforestation. 

It was developed to help companies implement their commitments to end deforestation in their supply chains. The HCS Approach Toolkit provides guidance for producers on how to identify HCS forests and integrate them with other land-use planning approaches such as High Conservation Value areas, the protection of peatlands, and respect for the rights of indigenous and traditional communities to their lands.

The Toolkit has been developed by the HCS Approach Steering Group, a unique collaboration between major plantation companies with commitments to eliminate deforestation, along with NGOs and TFT.

This includes Golden Agri-Resources, Asia Pulp and Paper, Wilmar International Limited, Greenpeace, Agropalma, WWF, the Forest Peoples Programme, Rainforest Action Network, Unilever. Established in Singapore in 2014, the Steering Group is working to oversee the governance and standardisation of the HCS Approach to achieve a halt to deforestation.

Toolkit update  – May 2017


The Steering Group officially released The HCS Approach Toolkit Version 2.0: Putting No Deforestation into Practice on 3 May 2017.

This revised version incorporates the latest scientific research, feedback from on-the-ground trials as well as new topics and inputs from working groups of the HCS Approach Steering Group. The new toolkit also presents refinements, additions and important changes to the methodology, as a result of the ‘Convergence Agreement’ between HCS Approach and HCS+ Study in November 2016.


Module 1: The HCS Approach: an introduction, overview and summary
Module 2: Social requirements
Module 3: Integration of HCV, HCS Forest and FPIC
Module 4: Forest and vegetation stratification
Module 5: HCS Forest Patch Analysis and Protection
Module 6: Issues under development in the HCS Approach
Module 7: Assuring the quality of HCS Assessments
HCS meeting notes - Oct 2015