These are exciting times for British woodlands. The Woodland Carbon Code is garnering growing popularity. The launch of CarbonStore also provides sorely needed improvements to the services offered to both landowners and companies in the woodland carbon market.
By quantifying the volume of carbon dioxide which any area of woodland, whatever its size, location or species mix, can sequester, the Woodland Carbon Code provides that vital link between companies, who have calculated their annual emissions, and woodland owners, who can now calculate the volume of offsets they have to sell
Since its inception in 2011, recognition of the Woodland Carbon Code has slowly gathered momentum. The complexity of its implementation and a widespread appreciation of its purpose have been major hurdles. Thankfully, the vital role which our woodlands play, not just in mitigating climate change but also in safeguarding our wildlife, reducing flooding, filtering our water supplies, supplying our timber, improving our mental health and providing a sustainable source of economic growth, are understood more widely.
A growing market, offering a valuable and increasingly valued service, provides the ideal conditions to launch a new service, like CarbonStore. However, we aim to go further than just replicate the existing services offered by our competitors. It is very clear that the evolution of the woodland carbon market has been stymied by inefficiency. Neither landowners nor companies have any idea whether the price they receive or pay for their woodland carbon units is fair.
This is a serious flaw in both the market’s smooth functioning and its successful evolution. Without a powerful financial incentive to allocate more land to woodland, landowners won’t plant trees. Moreover, if companies are paying too much for their woodland-generated carbon units, they will seek poorer quality alternatives elsewhere. Everyone loses when the middlemen take a disproportionately large share of the profits.
We, at CarbonStore, want more trees. Larger and more numerous patches of woodlands will bring significant benefits for millions of us across the UK. However, tree planting must be done properly. The plantations must be carefully designed, the trees properly planted and the woodlands attentively managed. Therein lies the value of CarbonStore’s link with Tilhill.
The cumulative knowledge of Tilhill’s forest managers in planting and nurturing woodlands exceeds that of any other organisation in the UK, including the Forestry Commission. This experience and knowledge provide important reassurance for landowners wishing to create new woodlands. It also gives companies confidence in the future of the woodlands which their funding has helped create.
For companies and landowners alike, no other company offers such a combination of industry-leading standards in all aspects of carbon-related woodland creation at such industry-beating value. I very much hope that you, be you a company, a woodland owner or a devotee of the outdoors, come to agree with me.
David McCulloch, Head of CarbonStore