May 04, 2009
Reforestation Plays a Growing Role in Corporate Carbon Offset Strategies
by Robert Kropp
Report finds that many companies are purchasing forest carbon offset credits to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and offer carbon-neutral products and services to customers.
Even before the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, some
corporations had developed forest carbon offset projects to reduce deforestation pressures and
mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By 2007, according to a recently published report entitled
Forest Carbon Offsetting Survey 2009, forest carbon offsets accounted for 18% of the voluntary
The 141 respondents to the survey whose findings
were incorporated into the report included financial services companies and professional services,
as well as companies from the transport and aviation, energy and utilities, and information
technology industry sectors. According to the report, companies in these sectors often purchase
offsets not only to address their own GHG emissions, but to offer carbon-neutral products and
services to their customers as well. A total of 21 responses were received from specialized
The report found that most of the companies surveyed reported
positive attitudes toward forest carbon offset projects, especially in North America. About 7.6
million forest carbon offsets, or the equivalent of at least 855,000 tons of carbon, were purchased
in the last year. The primary motivations for purchasing forest carbon offsets include community
and environmental benefits, the scale of the problem of global climate change, and the carbon
storage properties of trees.
The report concludes that the forest sector has "the
potential to achieve broad sustainable development benefits that go beyond emission abatement
measures." Reforestation can improve livelihoods by increasing employment and the supply of
forest-related products and services, benefit biodiversity by protecting habitats, restore degraded
lands to production, and provide long-term support for local economies.
collaborated in the production of the report. EcoSecurities works with companies to create emission
reduction credits from projects that reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Conservation International is an international conservation
non-governmental organization (NGO) whose climate change program includes the development of
incentives for the protection and restoration of tropical forests.
The Climate, Community & Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) is a
partnership between companies, NGOs, and research institutes seeking to promote solutions to land
management that minimize climate change, support sustainable development, and conserve
biodiversity. ClimateBiz.com is resource
on climate management strategies for corporations seeking to reduce their carbon footprints.
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