What is forest carbon?

Forests sequester carbon — which creates value for the forest owner.

Healthy forests conserve carbon in their biomass (wood and vegetation) and soil, preventing emissions into the atmosphere. Conserving forest land promotes healthy air, water and soil, and helps to combat climate change.

Reducing carbon emissions not only benefits the environment, but also has financial value. By tapping into the carbon markets, landowners can earn money for the carbon offsets created by their forests.

Forest owners know the ecological value of their forests. And now, some of them are getting paid for it.

Harvested trees and rotting wood

How does the carbon market work?

California has the country’s first enforced cap-and-trade program, requiring companies that emit carbon to cut their emissions. To meet a part of this requirement, companies can buy offsets from forest owners who have committed to enriching their forests’ biomass.

Forest Carbon Works operates within the cap-and-trade program, complying with and reporting to California’s Air Resources Board.

Learn more about the carbon market

How does Forest Carbon Works make this possible?

We have three keys that unlock access to the carbon markets for small landowners. Without these essential services, a financially viable forest carbon project isn’t accessible for most landowners.

We make it affordable to do a carbon inventory of your forest.

Typical carbon inventories can cost tens of thousands of dollars and require a professional forester. We provide free carbon inventory services for eligible applicants. We have regional forest technicians stationed throughout our focus areas in the United States. These forest technicians use our proprietary smartphone inventory tool to collect information about an applicant’s property. This reduces the greatest upfront cost required to establish your forest carbon project.

We work efficiently and save money by leading multiple projects at once.

For any project to be financially viable, revenues must exceed costs. Besides the cost of the inventory, several other costs are required for a project to succeed. We spread certain fixed costs across multiple carbon projects in the same physical region, to prevent landowners from having to bear costs that would exceed their revenues from their forest carbon project. However, it’s important to note that while certain fixed costs are shared across multiple projects in a region, each project retains its independence as an individual project.

We handle the complex rules of forest carbon projects and simplify the process for you.

The rules and requirements for forest carbon projects are complex. We lower the cost to establish a forest carbon project by reducing complexity, requiring that all members of Forest Carbon Works meet certain prerequisites. Without this standardization, the cost of complexity would prohibit access to carbon markets for many small landowners.

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See how it's worked for other landowners

See how forest carbon has been a valuable source of revenue for them and other small landowners.

See success stories

Could a forest carbon project work on your land?

Learn more about what makes a project eligible, the requirements and responsibilities for landowners, and how to apply to work with us.

See how to get started