- Why buy Woodland Carbon Units?
- What are Woodland Carbon Units?
- Benefits to your business
- How do I find out more?
- Who else has bought PIUs?
- Case Study - BWOC
- Case Study - Thorlux Lighting
- Testimonial from Marks and Spencer
- Testimonial from The Green Insurance Company
Buy carbon units from a Woodland Carbon Code project and your company can:
- Make a real contribution to tackling climate change
- Report Woodland Carbon Units against its emissions
- Choose projects which provide enhanced social and environmental benefits
The Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) is the standard for woodland creation projects in the UK which generate verifiable Woodland Carbon Units (WCUs). These are measurable amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) removed from the atmosphere by the growing trees. Backed by government, forest industry and carbon market experts, the Code is unique in providing woodland carbon right here in the UK. Buying carbon from these projects brings many benefits in addition to carbon sequestration.
A Woodland Carbon Unit (WCU) is a tonne of CO2 which has been sequestered in a WCC-certified woodland. It has been independently verified, is guaranteed to be there, and can be used to report against emissions as soon as it is purchased.
A Pending Issuance Unit (PIU) is effectively a ‘promise to deliver’ a Woodland Carbon Unit during a given period, based on predicted growth. It is not ‘guaranteed’, and cannot be used to report against emissions until verified. However, it allows companies to plan to compensate for future emissions.
Every 10 years, projects are checked and, if performing well, verified. At that point the PIUs are converted to WCUs. PIUs are available now from a growing number of projects, and the first WCUs will be available in 2016.
The average global price of woodland carbon in January 2014 was £6/tCO2, although there was wide variation around this figure, depending on the nature of the project. See ‘State of the Forest Carbon Market’ reports.
WCC projects create real and verifiable carbon units which can be bought and used by businesses wishing to reduce their impact on the global climate and cost-effectively compensate for their emissions.
As a business manager, you will only want to buy units from carbon-capture projects if you feel confident that the woodlands will be well managed and really will capture the CO2 claimed. Verification against the Woodland Carbon Code meets this need by providing the evidence. You can also be reassured that you can track the purchase, ownership and use of credits on a highly respected registry.
Funding a WCC woodland can also help your business to meet other corporate responsibility objectives and enhance its reputation. Woodlands can
- improve air quality
- provide wildlife habitat
- provide timber and woodfuel
- provide sites for public recreation
- provide opportunities for community engagement and staff volunteering, education and development
- in the right places, they can reduce flooding and improve water quality
- View the registry
- Join the registry and login to search for units on offer at Markit’s RFI platform
- Contact a project developer
- Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join the LinkedIn ‘Woodland Carbon’ group
A number of well known companies have already bought PIUs in WCC-certified projects, including:
- Marks and Spencer
- The Green Investment Bank
- Thorlux Lighting
- Mears Group
Fuel distributor BWOC has helped to create four new woodlands in England and Scotland which will capture more than 20,000 tonnes of CO2 over the decades to come. One of these, Cranborne, is BWOC’s first foray into productive forestry. It will be managed on a “continuous-cover” basis, using natural regeneration and selective harvesting to ensure that tree cover is always maintained, comprising trees of all ages.
Mark Wayne, Managing Director, is particularly excited by this aspect of the project: “I loved the idea of contributing to the creation of a woodland which can ensure its own permanence through the sustainable extraction of timber, and also the fact that most of the timber extracted would still be locking up carbon in wood products."
When manufacturing firm Thorlux Lighting decided to find a way of compensating for some of the unavoidable emissions arising from its production process, it went one step further than buying carbon units. It bought land at Cwm Fagor in Wales and created almost 30 hectares of native woodland.
It now owns a resource which will sequester more than 15,000 tCO2 over the next 100 years. The new woodland will also produce quality timber, link up valuable wildlife habitats and add to the network of local footpaths.
Mike Allcock, Managing Director, said:
“It’s particularly pleasing that this woodland will be contributing towards a number of climate change targets. The scheme demonstrates that we recognise the carbon emissions from Thorlux Lighting and the FW Thorpe Group, and it will also help the Welsh Government’s target to increase the area of woodland.
“Our manufacturing processes will always produce emissions, and these can be calculated. We also help our customers minimise their emissions by selling extremely efficient lighting and electronic control systems, but a small amount of energy use is inevitable. By opening our scheme to our customers we are enabling them to purchase tree plantings to compensate for the emissions they generate by using our products.
“Contributing to our woodland offers them the chance to do the right thing in partnership with a company committed to the environment. We hope, too, that the added credibility of government recognition will further encourage customers to join our environmental initiative.”
Why we got involved with forest carbon projects
“In 2005 we worked with a forest carbon company to 'offset' the carbon emissions from our Home delivery fleet. Essentially we paid for the value of the resultant carbon saving which contributed to the cost of afforestation in the UK.”
Benefits to the business
“The scheme proved very compelling to our customers because of its UK base, and forestry also provides the additional benefits of habitat and recreational areas.”
Benefits of the Code
“What we like is a Code which gives assurance over the ‘science’ involved with the calculation of carbon sequestration and is supported by the majority of stakeholders. Equally we need clear standards to ensure that carbon reductions are being delivered and make clear the contribution this makes to emissions reductions in the UK.”
Why we got involved with forest carbon projects
“The Green Insurance Company pledged to sequester 100% of our customer’s vehicles C02 emissions through woodland carbon projects in the UK. To ensure that this was done correctly we partnered with Forest Carbon who have a wealth of experience finding and managing such projects. It’s very important to us that our claims are credible and that there is a genuine environmental benefit from our offsetting, so choosing a partner who would ensure we only bought from the best projects was vital to us. We only support UK forestry projects that take full account of additionality and will not be used for timber, and all are audited frequently to ensure accurate calculations.”
Benefits to the business“Offsetting really is the ‘unique selling point’ of our car insurance – it’s what sets us apart from our competitors and helps us appeal to a wide audience of greener customers. However as well as commercial benefits, we also benefit as a company from our commitments to woodland investment. We frequently run trips taking staff to see our forests and this really helps them gain a personal sense of connection, ownership and understanding. This in turn allows them to inform our customers in a better way about how and why we invest in new forestry, and what this achieves.
The company now invests in 15 projects across the UK, including one on the Alladale Estate in the Scottish highlands, made famous for its wildlife reintroduction projects. The company has planted more than 700 trees per day for every day that it has been trading – we feel that’s a remarkable number! We are also proud to say that all the projects we have invested in have a ‘right to roam’, allowing the public to use the woodlands for recreation.”
Benefits of the Code
“The Woodland Carbon Code is a fantastic addition as there was previously no one clear standard for woodland carbon projects. The Code gives buyers such as ourselves another way to back up what they are doing when investing in woodland creation for carbon sequestration purposes.”