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The Woodland Carbon Code

A UK Carbon Standard

The Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) is a UK-wide carbon standard. Forest Carbon was one of the driving forces behind its creation, back in 2011, and our woodlands are validated and verified with the WCC.

This certification gives buyers confidence that the carbon credits they buy represent permanent and additional removals of carbon – that their investment reduces atmospheric carbon beyond what would have happened otherwise.

Validation and verification with the Code also provides landowners with a trusted framework for quantifying the carbon stored in their new woodlands.

Pending Issuance Units

Pending Issuance Units (PIUs) are issued at the outset of a woodland creation project, once the trees have gone into the ground and the project has been validated through the Woodland Carbon Code. Each PIU represents one tonne of CO2e that will be sequestered by the trees as they grow, from the day they’re planted until the end of the project, 30-100 years later.

Woodland Carbon Units

Under the Woodland Carbon Code, a woodland must be verified every 10 years from year 5 onwards. At each verification, the tonnes of sequestered CO2e are measured, and a commensurate quantity of Pending Issuance Units are converted to Woodland Carbon Units (WCUs). By the end of a project, if it has grown as expected, all PIUs will have been converted to WCUs.

While new woodlands will, in many cases, continue to sequester carbon for 100 years and beyond, Project Hosts often choose shorter commitments under the WCC. What this means is that we may stop verifying and quantifying the carbon stored in the woodland after 50 or 60 years, but it will continue to capture carbon and provide a range of benefits for decades to come. 

Where our
projects are

Forest Carbon leads the way in developing woodland creation and peatland restoration projects for carbon capture and ecosystem services in the UK. We have planted over 10 million new trees in 200+ new woodlands since 2006 with our partners removing over 2 million tonnes of CO2e from the atmosphere, as well as providing a host of other benefits to society, including habitat creation, biodiversity support, flood mitigation, river ecosystem improvement and public access.

Our new woodland schemes spread across Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. They are certified by the Woodland Carbon Code – which is supported by the UK government and internationally recognised by ICROA. Planting the ‘right tree in the right place’ is required though adherence to the Forestry Commission standards.

Our peatland schemes can be found in Scotland and Wales. They are certified by the Peatland Code which is supported by the IUCN. These certification codes assure the additionality and permanence of each tonne of carbon stored.


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