The Business Case for Buying Woodland Carbon Credits

9 August 2023

So, your business has calculated its carbon footprint, and reduced its emissions as much as possible, but what plans have you got in place to tackle your residual carbon emissions?

The stubbornly remaining emissions you still have showing ‘on the books’ that you simply can’t reduce any further, within the capabilities of our existing low carbon technology?

You can rest easy in that there are many options out there that you can tap into to help, but what if you want to look no further than the shores of the UK? If UK based residual carbon offsets are your company’s remit, then you need to be giving serious consideration to tree planting.

Planting trees in the UK also provides localised benefits and opportunities, such as educational tours with our professional foresters and planting days to showcase your project.

Trees are the Natural Way

Planting trees and woodlands in the UK is the most effective and natural way to mitigate your residual carbon emissions. As trees grow, they directly remove carbon from the atmosphere, providing a natural carbon sink.

Once they mature, the trees become a carbon store, with the carbon locked within the trees’ roots, trunks, and branches. If the woodland is intended to enhance wildlife, the trees will remain untouched and the carbon will be locked away for many decades, probably centuries.

Similarly, if the trees are to be harvested for timber, the carbon will remains locked up in the window frames, doors and roof beams of the homes we live in, the furniture we use, the cardboard in our packaging – the list is a long one.

Where should you start?

Choosing a partner – It is important to partner with the right company when purchasing your carbon credits. This applies whether you are buying woodland or peatland carbon units in the UK or an offsetting project abroad.

The choice of partner you make will depend on how much involvement your company wants to take in both the project and the process. The ‘hands on’ or ‘hands off’ approach in other words.

‘Hands On’ with CarbonStore

CarbonStore provides companies with a very much ‘hands on’ approach when purchasing residual carbon offsetting units. What does ‘hands on’ mean then in this instance?

The first aspect of a hands-on approach is how we partner with you and guide you through the entire process of making your purchase, from establishing your requirements, finding the right project for you, and taking you through the purchasing process.

We work with the landowner and the business in so all can benefit. We then plant and manage the trees to the high standards required to realise your carbon purchase.

The second aspect of being ‘hands on’ is what you, as a business, want to achieve from your offset purchase over and above the paperwork confirming your ownership of the actual carbon units.

You could view this as the perfect opportunity to provide your staff and clients with a tangible asset they can have access too – it is always great to say you can visit a woodland or forest. Tree planting is high up on everyone’s ‘nice to do’ wish list and the resultant PR opportunities can be many when buying UK based woodland carbon offset projects.

A unique partnership you can trust – CarbonStore has developed a process which ensures maximum integrity in the carbon credits we transact, limiting your costs, and safeguarding your net zero claims.

Our mission is to help businesses to make a long-term commitment to climate change goals by harnessing the ability of UK, home-grown trees to capture the balance of unavoidably released carbon as part of your net zero strategy.

CarbonStore is in a unique position within the UK forest and woodland industry. We are owned by the UK’s leading woodland planting and management company, Tilhill, and we have within our group parent company, the UK’s most progressive commercial tree grower, Maelor Forest Nurseries.

Together, we cultivate the finest trees. We sow the seeds, plan the projects, plant the trees, and tend their growth so that they realise their greatest potential.

The Right Project for you

Woodlands and forests range in size from a few hectares to many hundreds. Some typify the quintessential native broadleaf woodlands, while others represent the productive conifer woodlands which grow the timber to build our future homes and offices. Public access, location to your office, signage and promotional opportunities are also key to your decision-making process.

There are decisions to be made as well, depending on how much you are looking to offset. Whatever your businesses requirements, CarbonStore can help you make the right choice.

Benefits of Buying UK Woodland Carbon Offset Units

The benefits of woodland creation extend well beyond mitigating climate change, from improving biodiversity, to flood mitigation to reducing soil erosion in local areas. Planting woodlands in the UK also generates significant ecological, hydrological, social, and economic benefits, which directly support many of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

These wide-ranging advantages of trees means that woodland creation can provide an entirely natural but almost perfectly designed antidote to many of our most serious climate change challenges.

Working with CarbonStore means we can also help you share the benefits of your environmental enhancement project as widely as possible, helping to organise educational tours, planting tours and community involvement.

How Does It Work?

As a business, it is first important to define what benefits you want from your tree planting scheme. We can help you define these if you are uncertain. Once you know this information, CarbonStore can work with you to select a woodland that best suits your needs.

  1. We will introduce you to the landowner and facilitate negotiations.
  2. We guide you on a fair price to pay for the carbon PUIs (Pending Issuance Units) attached to the woodland.
  3. We help you agree signage and access rights to the woodland, if these are on your wish list.
  4. We will help you open an account with the IHS Markit Registry.
  5. We help with the process to approve and sign the legal agreements and complete payment of the carbon credits.
  6. The carbon credits are transferred into your account (and ownership) on the IHS Markit Registry.

Your business can then promote to your employees, clients, suppliers and the public, the wide-ranging benefits of your woodland carbon-offsetting project.

Interesting Facts

  • According to the Woodland Carbon Code’s calculator, one hectare of mixed broadleaves with a lower timber value which is managed responsibly would sequester roughly 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 100 years.
  • In contrast, one hectare of Sitka spruce, with a higher timber value which is thinned in year 25 and harvested in year 40, would sequester about 140 tonnes carbon.
  • Over the next 25 years, the UK government aims to plant 30,000 hectares of woodland every year. This would increase the UK’s woodland cover from 12.5% currently to 17% by 2050.
  • Even if the government achieves these targets, our woodland cover would still be significantly below the level of France (31%), Germany (33% and Austria (48%).
  • If we realise out national tree planting targets, by 2050, our newly planted woodlands will have the potential to capture roughly 180 million tonnes of carbon.

More Information

CarbonStore has created a comprehensive guide on how businesses can offset their residual carbon emissions by harnessing the multiple benefits of planting trees in the UK, which you can access here CarbonStore Business Brochure.

For more information on how to get your business started in purchasing a woodland based residual carbon offsetting projects in the UK, or to discuss your businesses options, just get in touch directly with David McCulloch, Head of CarbonStore: 07500 950832,

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Pending Issuance Unit: A promise to deliver a Woodland Carbon Unit during a given period, based on the trees’ predicted growth Woodland Carbon Unit: A ton of carbon dioxide which has been sequestered in a scheme verified under the Woodland Carbon Code