|Severe wildfires, exacerbated by climate change, are reducing the capacity of forests to naturally regenerate|
In today's economy, consumers are increasingly demanding that the businesses they patron be proactively engaged in reducing their carbon footprint. The NFF encourages all businesses to reduce their emissions, but we also recognize that achieving zero-emissions is extremely challenging. To help businesses offset the emissions they can't reduce, and to help address the massive reforestation needs on our public forests, the NFF provides opportunities for businesses to support reforestation projects on National Forest lands and earn non-tradeable, non-compliance carbon offsets.
The NFF offers two types of offset opportunities:
Registered offsets: These projects are registered on the American Carbon Registry and are validated and
verified by an accredited third party Verification and Validation body. Carbon offsets are
delivered over the 100-year life of the project in five year intervals through the verification
process. Once verified, the offsets are immediately retired by the NFF on behalf of the
partner. Registered projects provide carbon offsets that meet the most rigorous voluntary
market demands, but are more costly than non-registered offsets.
- Non-registered offsets: These projects meet the same standards and rigors of registered projects, but are not formally registered, providing a lower cost alternative for the voluntary market. Projects are implemented and monitored by the U.S. Forest Service and are reviewed by an independent third party at year five. Advanced computer modeling is used to predict the amount of carbon sequestration provided by the project over its 100 year life span, but the offsets are not verified or retired by the NFF over the life of the project.
- Reputational offsets: Projects that generate reputational offsets provide a cost effective option for businesses looking to make carbon claims. NFF staff works with the U.S. Forest Service to project carbon sequestration amounts from reforestation projects. Businesses that sponsor projects can use the NFF projections to make reputational claims about offsetting carbon. Importantly, no actual offsets are generated by these projects, only projections of carbon sequestration amounts, which can then be used in marketing and and communications outreach by the sponsor.
- All projects meet all additionality requirements and provide real carbon benefits. The planting and maintenance of trees are the same under either project type. Registered projects simply provide for on-the-ground verification of offsets over the entire project life, while non-registered and reputational projects rely on computer modeling to predict the carbon sequestration of the project.
- Please contact Wes Swaffar (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 406.830.3356 to learn more about how your business can work with the NFF to voluntarily offset your carbon footprint through reforestation of our National Forests.
In addition to sequestering measurable amounts of carbon, reforestation provides multiple benefits to the American people. Reforestation helps prevent sediment and pollutants from entering waterways and negatively impacting water supplies and fisheries. Trees also filter air pollutants and provide oxygen; they improve wildlife habitat; and they enhance recreational opportunities for millions of Americans who play in their backyard forests.
Some important aspects of this program:
- The Carbon Capital Fund (CCF) program generates carbon offsets, not carbon credits. Carbon offsets, as defined by this program, are non-tradeable, non-compliance carbon units that are retired immediately upon issuance by the NFF on behalf of its partner. The participating company or individual has no right, claim, or ownership of public lands, the trees planted through the program, or any of the additional benefits associated with tree-planting.
- The NFF operates the CCF program through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forest Service.
- CCF projects are independently reviewed by third-party carbon registry organizations. Because trees sequester carbon at relatively slow rates, most CCF projects have 100-year life spans, meaning all carbon accrued over 100 years will be retired on behalf of the donor.
- Projects are implemented in a manner consistent with the standards and guidelines outlined in the plan for each National Forest, providing a management framework for multiple objectives.
- Projects occur in areas where natural disasters, such as wildfire, have reduced the forested cover and where the lands are considered “degraded” as a result of this forest loss.
- Companies purchasing carbon offsets partner with the NFF, not the Forest Service. Participation in the CCF does not imply endorsement of the Forest Service by the company or the company by the Forest Service.