Forest Carbon came into being 2006, through a handshake on a station platform between our co-founders James Hepburne Scott and Stephen Prior. At this time, there were no domestic carbon standards to enable voluntary carbon markets to function. As a result, Forest Carbon pioneered the idea of carbon-financed woodland creation in the UK, building on best practice from elsewhere and striving to make a market for woodland carbon.
Working in coalition with other organisations, including the Confederation of Forest Industries (CONFOR), Forest Carbon helped to make the case for a woodland carbon standard to the UK Forestry Commission. The government agency was persuaded by the idea and, in 2011, the Woodland Carbon Code was born. It continues to be owned and administered by the devolved arm of the Forest Commission, Scottish Forestry.
In 2013, Forest Carbon put the first ever project through the Woodland Carbon Code’s validation process, allowing the standard’s inaugural carbon credits to be transacted. Fast forward several years and we were helping to build a new code, this time focussed on peatlands, the UK’s most important terrestrial carbon store.
By 2015, the Peatland Code was ready to be launched and, in 2017, Forest Carbon was once again able to put the very first project through the code’s validation process. Interest in peatland carbon is now growing quickly, as landowners and businesses realise the benefits healthy peatlands confer, not just for the climate but for wildlife and water storage, too.
During 2016, the Forest Carbon team grew by 50% when George Hepburne Scott joined our ranks as the new business development manager. By this stage, the company had 94 projects under its belt and was benefitting from the growing corporate awareness around sustainability, with many sectors beginning to square up to the immense challenges posed by climate change.
This trend of increasing demand has continued ever since, and has seen the Forest Carbon team continue to grow. In 2019, Carolina Krodel joined the business as a carbon project manager; she was joined in this role by Matthew Hay in 2020, and Madeleine Wild in 2021.
As we look ahead to 2030, the UN’s decade of ecological restoration stretches ahead of us. It will undoubtedly be a time of great change for our planet’s economies and societies. At Forest Carbon, we recognise the challenges decarbonisation will bring, but also what is at stake. We remain committed to working with our partners to increase investment into nature-based solutions, and ensure the best-possible outcomes from our projects across the UK and the world.
Click here to read more about our team members.