Breaking Down Barriers for Small Landowners
In the United States, one-third of forestland - approximately 290 million acres - is owned by individuals and families. 80% of these private landholdings are less than 500 acres in size. Despite the huge amount of acreage owned by this group, land holders with smaller parcels have historically been excluded from entering carbon markets. The cost of developing and verifying a project, as well as the ongoing monitoring fees, have previously made market entry prohibitive.
Traditionally, a minimum of 3,500 acres was required. If that threshold wasn’t met, the sale of carbon credits did not offset the cost associated with setting up a project. We set out to change that.
With the goal of opening up access to this important group of landowners, SIG Carbon and a team of partners developed an innovative new way of structuring carbon deals that enables landowners to pool resources, split costs, and participate in the market for the first time.
An Opportunity to Pool Resources and Reduce Costs
SIG Carbon performed the project development for an innovative aggregated carbon offset project. A group of ten Vermont landowners successfully entered the voluntary market, and credits were purchased by Amazon to fulfill its corporate climate commitment.
As pioneers in the area of aggregating small landowners together into a single, successful project, we created SIG Carbon’s Aggregation Program. Our Program provides a way for multi-owner projects to enter the voluntary market with little risk and zero out of pocket cost for landowners. By working together, landowners are able to create greater efficiencies and receive revenue for implementing forest practices that increase tree growth and carbon capture on their land.
- Pool resources and split transactions costs.
- Enter the market with zero out of pocket expenses.
- Receive significant cost savings on ongoing monitoring and reporting through SIG Carbon's use of remote sensing technology, which reduces the cost of field work.
- Mitigate risks associated with shared project ownership.
- Receive a sustained revenue stream in exchange for a 40-year commitment to implement and maintain sustainable forestry practices
- Split operations between offsets and timber harvesting.
SIG Carbon Services Provided
- Outreach and management enrollment of landowners into the project, ensuring all protocols and requirements are met
- Outlay of startup expenses and willingness to take on performance risk
- Utilization of remote sensing technology for producing inventories, replacing manual field work with satellites, drones and data science, where possible
- Management of all aspects of project development: inventory design, inventory contracting and quality assurance, project documentation, registry communication as well as the on-site verification process
- Provision of legal contractual documents
- Pre-marketing of credits, obtaining commitment from the buyer, and negotiating the best price for credits