MINNEAPOLIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Forest Carbon Works (forestcarbonworks.org) delivers premium payments to landowners for long-term conservation and climate outcomes on properties as small as forty acres. Backed by the AXA Impact Fund: Climate and Biodiversity, an additional $5M in growth capital is being directed to scale its proven membership-based service throughout the United States. As members of Forest Carbon Works, some landowners are already getting paid more than $50,000 each year.
The investment was made by AXA Investment Managers in line with its fund’s objective to back credible, investable solutions that deliver intentional, measurable and positive outcomes that combat climate change and loss of biodiversity. The transaction was advised by Mirova Natural Capital, an investment platform dedicated to creating value and measurable impacts by investing in the growth of companies that are focused on reforestation, sustainable agriculture, ocean conservation, and the restoration of degraded land.
Developed by an experienced team, the platform is backed by proprietary technology that was first featured in the New York Times article “How Small Forests Can Help Save the Planet”1 in 2016. Since then, the technology has been working for landowners to deliver payments from carbon credits that are generated on their properties. Today, Forest Carbon Works is the only carbon platform that is actually paying landowners for conservation outcomes in the United States, immediately issuing checks to landowners upon signing up for membership.
“Caring for the land is my family’s legacy,” says Bill Rowan, a landowner whose annual payment is more than $20,000. “For us, stewardship means keeping the forest healthy and maintaining our 190-acre property for future generations. We will use our membership payments to pay property taxes, plant native species as well as remove invasive species, and to help us share the beauty of this rare old growth forest with other like-minded people.”
Jonathan Dean, Head of Impact Investing at AXA Investment Managers, adds, “We value the role that forestry plays as a credible solution to climate change. Our investment in Forest Carbon Works provides a mechanism for small forest holders to contribute to climate change mitigation at scale by providing an income that is directly related to the long-term preservation of their forests. Our capital commitment to Forest Carbon Works will help expand its current service and contribute to climate action in the United States.”
Membership payments are substantial because carbon credits generated using the platform are legally recognized by the first enforced cap-and-trade program in the United States2, supplying a compliance market that historically commands prices at three to four times that of prices typically seen in the voluntary carbon markets. Unlike other platforms that may eventually supply the voluntary markets, Forest Carbon Works payments are available now and are calculated on premium pricing. Further, membership payments are low risk without any membership enrollment fees or the possibility for delays in creating a new methodology; the platform already uses a rigorous quantification methodology that has been tested and approved by the State of California.
“Family forest owners are in a unique position to address climate change,” says Kyle Holland, founder of Forest Carbon Works. “We promote long-term conservation which means long-term carbon storage. At full scale, conservation commitments on 270 million acres of family forests has the potential to eliminate more than a half billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere each year. That’s a huge impact on climate and biodiversity.”
Adam Gibbon, Investment Director at Mirova Natural Capital commented, “In the midst of the climate crisis, the world needs new economic and business models that value sequestered carbon and can be scaled. FCW has the technology and tools to provide small forest owners in the US access to carbon markets and financial reward for their stewardship of the carbon and biodiversity stored in their forests.”
About Forest Carbon Works
Forest Carbon Works, PBC is a spin-off Company from EP Carbon3, a US-based consultancy providing technical project design, GHG emissions measurement and reporting services to carbon projects in both the voluntary and compliance markets. EP Carbon’s technical experts have developed more than 36 projects globally, protecting forests totaling 13 million acres and avoiding more than 250 million tons of carbon-dioxide emissions. Forest Carbon Works lends from this same expertise, and is the exclusive access point to the carbon market for family forest owners.
About AXA Investment Managers
AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) is an active, long-term, global, multi-asset investor. We work with clients today to provide the solutions they need to help build a better tomorrow for their investments, while creating a positive change for the world in which we all live. With approximately €815 billion in assets under management as at end of June 2020, AXA IM employs over 2,350 employees around the world and operates out of 30 offices across 21 countries. AXA IM is part of the AXA Group, a world leader in financial protection and wealth management.