- Benefits to companies of Investing
- Testimonial from Marks and Spencer
- Testimonial from The Green Insurance Company
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Cost-Effective: A competitive way to reduce your net emissions, and to support UK emissions reduction targets
- Reassurance: You will be contributing to UK woodland creation projects delivering benefits that your customers can see
- Confidence: Measurement, reporting and verification processes associated with the Code are robust and deliver genuine carbon sequestration.
- Wise Investment: Reliable returns in the long-term, counter-cyclical to other investments; Broaden your investment portfolio – Ideal for ‘patient’ sustainable investments.
- Standards: You will be able to show that you have invested in an approved carbon sequestration project that meets national standards.
- Responsible: An effective way of addressing corporate and social responsibility objectives
- Leadership: Demonstrate leadership in high quality environemental investment
- Demonstrable: Ability to demonstrate investment in sustainable projects which not only sequester carbon but also provide a range of social and environmental benefits such as:
- Benefits to wildlife and biodiversity
- Opportunities for varied recreation
- Enhance the local landscape or restore degraded landscapes
- Provide shelter for animals or humans depending on location
- Provide a source of woodfuel as an alternative to fossil fuels
- Provide timber which can then also continue to store carbon in long-lasting timber products
- Protect water and soils
- Regulate temperatures in urban areas
- Reporting the benefit: Companies can now report the benefits of woodland creation in the UK in their end of year greenhouse gas emissions report.
- Location: Choice of local UK-based investment
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'd 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 pledge 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 invested in 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 will be a fantastic addition as there is currently no one clear standard for woodland carbon projects. At the moment there still remains a sense of scepticism in the public and private worlds, largely fuelled by a lack of understanding about woodland carbon projects. The Code will give investors such as ourselves another way to back up what they are doing when investing in woodland creation for carbon sequestration purposes. We are delighted to be able to play a part in it’s development.”
My company is looking for advice on our carbon emissions and reducing them – How do we get help?
The Carbon Trust is an independent not for profit company set up by the UK Government with support from business. It provides specialist advice and support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies.
Can my company choose the project they wish the contribution to go towards?
Yes you can choose any project you wish. All Woodland Carbon Code certified projects are listed in the Registry along with the relevant contact details.
What type of credits are created by projects certified by this code?
Currently a company can choose to invest in a woodland creation project on a voluntary basis, and claim the carbon sequestered in that project. There is not yet a system within the UK whereby these carbon units can be traded within a compliance or regulatory trading scheme but it is possible that such a scheme will develop in future.
Where is woodland planted?
The registry of Woodland Carbon projects on the Forestry Commission website gives the location of all woodlands validated and those working towards that. This is the place to look to find out more about the registered projects and their locations.
How do I find someone with land available to create woodland?
There are a range of organisations that represent landowners such as CLBA (Country, Land and Business Association), SRPBA (Scottish Rural Propety and Business Association), NFU (National Farmers Union), NFUS (National Farmers Union Scotland), NFU Cymru (National Farmers Union Cymru) , FUW (Farmers Union of Wales), UFU (Ulster Farmers Union), ICF (Institute of Chartered Foresters), and CONFOR (Confederation of Forest Industries), who can offer help to locate landowners in your area.
Yes. There are several companies willing to broker a deal between investors and landowners. See our list of carbon companies.
Who else is investing in projects certified by this scheme?
Companies who have invested in projects certified under the Woodland Carbon Code will be able to display the Woodland Carbon Code logo, alongside the unique ID of the project in which they have invested. Names of companies investing in certified projects appear in the Register of UK Woodland Carbon Projects.
Why should my company take responsibility?
The UK Climate Change Act set legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. As a result in 2008 the Department for Energy and Climate Change published the UK’s first three legally binding carbon budgets for 2008-12, 2012-2018 and 2018-2022. This carbon budget is broken down by sector and all businesses have a role to play in helping the UK achieve the proposed reductions in carbon emissions.
Analysis of woodland planting scenarios for the UK indicate that forestry could make a significant contribution to meeting the UK’s challenging emissions reduction targets. Woodlands planted since 1990, coupled to an enhanced woodland creation programme of 23 000 ha per year over the next 40 years, could, by the 2050s, be delivering, on an annual basis, emissions abatement equivalent to 10% of total GHG emissions at that time. Such a programme would represent a 4% change in land cover and would bring UK forest area to 16% which would still be well below the European average (See the Read Report).