Investors will receive Woodland Carbon Units (WCU). WCUs are issued by the Woodland Carbon Code (WCC), the voluntary standard for UK woodland creation projects where claims can be made to quantify the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered. WCUs represent measurable amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) removed from the atmosphere by trees as they grow. One carbon unit is equivalent to 1 tonne of CO2 which has been sequestered in a WCC-verified woodland and removed from the atmosphere1. It is estimated that a woodland in England will capture 450 tonnes of CO2 over 100 years per hectare2. The initial value invested is not returned to the investor at the end of the term.
Independent validation and verification to this standard provides assurance and clarity about the carbon capture of these sustainably managed woodlands, enabling companies to report against UK-based emissions and to use in claims of carbon neutrality or Net Zero emissions.
We advise against the sale of Pending Issuance Units as these produce low returns due to the increased financial risk, and instead promote the sale of actual carbon units from around 10 years after planting. This longer-term outlook will provide investors with higher returns, creating a competitive investment option for pension funds and businesses alike.
We will be working alongside the Government and researchers to ensure the highest returns for carbon credits. The Forest Canopy Foundation will continue ongoing research and development to challenge current carbon calculations and improve on the amount of carbon sequestered.
In combination with carbon, additional benefits will be available and will continue to become available over the duration of each plan. These will include natural capital, biodiversity, water quality and many more.
In addition to WCUs, by investing in woodland you are making an invaluable contribution to the environment and to fighting climate change and global warming.