Taking Action for a Climate-Positive Future With Our Carbon Projects

Taking Action for a Climate-Positive Future With Our Carbon Projects

Published April 3, 2024

In the face of the ever-increasing climate crisis, addressing carbon emissions has become paramount for businesses and individuals alike. 

However, the intricacies surrounding carbon and its regulatory frameworks can be overwhelming and add uncertainty.

That's why we want to shed light on our carbon projects and how they can help businesses mitigate their residual carbon emissions.

Our Carbon Projects are Independently Audited

We work closely with the Woodland Carbon Code and the Peatland Code to validate and subsequently verify the carbon stored as a result of our projects.

This means that we now have independently validated carbon units available and can help businesses address their residual carbon emissions through our award-winning woodland creation and peatland restoration schemes.  

Understanding Carbon Units

Before we share more about our award-winning woodland creation and peatland restoration projects, you may be wondering what a carbon unit actually is. 

A Woodland Carbon Unit (WCU) or Peatland Carbon Unit (PCU) represents one ton of CO₂e (carbon dioxide equivalent) removed from the atmosphere through the growth of trees (WCU) or restoration of peatland (PCU).

Our carbon projects have forerunners known as Pending Issuance Units (PIUs), which represent a 'promise to deliver' a WCU or PCU within a specified timeframe.

You can read more about our validated carbon units here.

The Future Forest Company leaves of a tree

What is a Carbon Project 

At The Future Forest Company, our carbon projects put nature first and provide certified UK Woodland and Peatland Carbon Code units, which are traceable, authentic and legally recognised.

We currently offer businesses validated Woodland Carbon and Peatland Carbon PIUs. Carbon projects generally encompass two main categories: avoidance and removal. 

Avoidance schemes aim to prevent the future emission of carbon into the atmosphere. 

Peatland restoration is an excellent example of this, as peatlands are one of the world's largest carbon stores. However, more than 80% of peatland habitats have been degraded, causing carbon to be released back into the atmosphere. 

By restoring peatland habitats, we can halt the future emission of carbon from these ecosystems.

On the other hand, removal schemes focus on actively extracting carbon from the atmosphere. 

This can be achieved through technical removal methods or nature-based solutions, such as reforestation. 

Trees, in particular, are a powerful tool for carbon sequestration, and woodland creation is an impactful approach as its benefits extend far beyond carbon sequestration to the creation of diverse habitats, flood prevention, and improvement to air and water quality.

The Future Forest Company Glenaros tree planting

Our Woodland Carbon Projects

Our woodland carbon projects enable businesses to mitigate climate change, whilst supporting the natural ecosystem and local community.

All our forests are registered and validated through the Woodland Carbon Code, to ensure that high-quality verified Woodland Carbon Units are produced.

The Future Forest Company Ancient Woodland

On our twelve UK sites, we plant a diverse species mix of predominantly native broadleaf trees. These are monitored by our in-house forestry and ecology experts to ensure that the woodlands we establish stay healthy and are able to thrive long into the future.

For example, our Dumyat site, is a treasured location in the Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire landscape and recently won The Climate Change Champion Award at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards 2023 for its contribution towards mitigating and responding to climate change.

We have planted over 340k trees at the site, mainly native broadleaf and native Scots pine, to sequester an estimated 80,000+ tonnes of carbon over the next one hundred years, as well as extending existing woodland habitat networks and enhancing biodiversity.

Our Peatland Carbon Projects

Peatlands are a vast natural carbon store. Degraded peatlands are releasing carbon back out into the atmosphere 20 times faster than it is being sequestered.

We work alongside organisations such as Peatland ACTION in order to achieve the highest standard of restoration and monitoring.

We have several peatland restoration projects across the UK, where we aim to improve biodiversity and lock up carbon. 

Restored, healthy peatlands are home to specialised plant and animal life, and positively contribute to biodiversity gain alongside carbon storage and natural flood and wildfire mitigation. 

The Future Forest Company peatland restoration

For example, Swarthghyll in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales was our first peatland restoration project. Taking around 15 months in total, surveying began in December 2021, followed by planning and peatland code validation.

Our Peatland Expert, Matt Cook and team of contractors started work in October 2022 and completed work in February 2023. With the support of Natural England and the Nature for Climate Grant Scheme, our team have restored 57.9ha of peatland. Across the project's lifetime (100 years) this will result in the reduction of  9,499 tCO2e of emissions.

Why Do Carbon Projects Matter? 

There are simply not enough carbon sinks in the world to truly mitigate against the world’s current rate of emissions. 

We need to plant trees urgently, but it will take years before saplings take in substantial carbon from the environment. If the UK was going to offset its entire emissions via planting trees, it would need a land mass eight times its size.

Reductions in emissions are therefore critical and should be prioritised over offsetting.

While it’s clear that carbon projects are not a silver bullet against the climate crisis, investing in carbon projects  can still be a useful way for a business to mitigate its unavoidable carbon emissions once it has reduced its emissions in other areas.

Investing in carbon is also a great way of providing essential funding for climate-action projects that might otherwise struggle to exist. 

How Does the Sale of Carbon Units Support Our Restoration Work?

We have a nature-centred approach at the forefront of all of our carbon projects. 

The funds from the sale of carbon units and PIUs allows us to finance the restoration itself and are invested right back into the business, allowing us to continue to grow and access more land to restore more habitat.

This means that an investment in our carbon projects goes far beyond mitigating excess carbon emissions. It also plays a role in safeguarding the forests of tomorrow, for future generations, and helping to safeguard biodiverse habitats that provide a host of benefits to nature and local communities.

You take a look at our other restoration projects here.

Taking Imperfect Action 

We’re at an unprecedented time where urgent action is needed to protect the future of our planet. 

There are no perfect solutions to the climate crisis, but that does not mean that we shouldn’t take any action at all. 

While we know that carbon projects are not the only solution to the climate crisis, they are a necessary way to mitigate unavoidable carbon emissions that have catastrophic consequences on our planet. 

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