Case Study - Forest Carbon Ltd
Acoura spoke to Stephen Prior - director of Forest Carbon Ltd - about his work with us over the last few years.
Firstly, can you tell us a little about Forest Carbon Ltd?
“We started Forest Carbon in 2006 and now we’re the country's leading developer of new native woodlands for carbon capture and ecosystem protection. So far our operation is responsible for the planting of 3.6 million new trees in the UK to date – that’s an estimated capture of more than 800,000 tonnes of C02 over time. Our projects are verified under the government’s Woodland Carbon Code because we’re creating projects for UK businesses who want to balance the impact of their products and services in a certified and tangible way.”
“We actually played an integral role in the development and design of the government’s Woodland Carbon Code, as members of its technical design committee. The Code launched in July 2011 and four months later the first ever WCC validation was granted for a Forest Carbon project at Montrose, Aberdeenshire. By November 2012 our projects accounted for 90% of all UK woodlands achieving WCC validation.”
How have Acoura helped Forest Carbon Ltd?
“You’ve worked alongside us during the WCC design phase, helping to ensure that the Code’s procedures were practicable and fit for purpose. They also continue to advise Forestry Commission, based on experience gained through actively working with ourselves, and this continued contact and collaboration ensures that any revisions to the code are based on sound practical experience.”
Was there any particular reason you decided to work with Acoura?
“The recommendation came through friend of my co-founder James Hepburne Scott who, having links through the SOPA scheme, spoke well of you. James himself has known their Technical Manager Gary Stoddart and their Organic Assessor Maggie Magee for several years. An early exploratory meeting James and I had with you quickly indicated that we’d be able to work well together. The fact that they are locally-based also helps.”
How have you found Acoura staff to deal with?
“Acoura have been excellent at every stage. They are extremely thorough in applying the principles of the Code and at spotting errors and omissions in PDDs [Project Design Documents]. The staff are friendly and accessible and we’ve found that, beyond their thorough scrutiny there is also a great willingness to help find solutions.”
What do you believe the lasting benefits to working with us have been to your business?
“Where necessary you’ve have helped us adapt our procedures to comply with Code requirements and facilitate efficient validation. Our successful partnership in turn creates confidence in Forest Carbon’s clients for the products and services they receive from us. So far you’ve fully validated 18 projects and there are a further 16 still going through the process (11 of which are included in the Code’s first ‘group scheme’). Forest Carbon never hesitates to ask for your advice.”
Finally, how do you see Forest Carbon Ltd progressing in the next few years?
“We expect Forest Carbon to grow in a number of areas. We anticipate a rising demand for more carbon based woodland creation for business customers and also the development of woodland carbon projects outside the UK. Making woodland carbon projects available to individual buyers is something else that we’ll be looking at. As well as this we’re looking to be involved in woodland creation projects for ecosystem services based buyers. Everyone knows we need more trees.”
To find out more about Forest Carbon Ltd CLICK HERE to check their website.