Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Boreal Wildlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Carbon Offsets

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

NCC’s carbon projects direct private sector investments to nature-based solutions

The Nature + Climate Projects Accelerator is developing rigorously certified carbon projects in support of NCC’s conservation goals. By protecting areas of high conservation value that are under threat of conversion, NCC is able to generate and sell carbon offsets and reinvest the profits in more conservation and stewardship.

What are carbon offsets?

NCC generates carbon offsets through conserving natural areas under threat of conversion from an intact landscape to commercial land use. The carbon offsets generated and sold, which are validated and verified by independent auditors, represent the CO2 that would have been released without NCC’s conservation of the natural area.

NCC’s carbon offsets are sold to businesses that are actively working to lessen their environmental impact. These organizations rely on carbon offsets to counterbalance emissions that currently cannot be avoided, reduced or otherwise lessened. The benefits of an investment in NCC’s carbon offsets extend far beyond revenue generation. For example, by investing in ecosystems that capture and store carbon in trees and soil, this reduces climate change impacts and conserves biodiversity. 

Carbon projects provide long-term, sustainable revenue for NCC to invest in conservation where it is needed most. NCC’s first carbon project, the Darkwoods Forest Carbon Project in BC, has been successfully funding stewardship and conservation across Canada for 15 years.

Carbon projects also provide new ways for directing private investment to conservation. NCC’s newest carbon project — Boreal Wildlands in Ontario — attracted a $10M upfront investment from TD Securities in 2022 to fund the securement and stewardship of Canada’s largest-ever private conservation project.

Read more about the Accelerator’s current carbon projects here.

Infographic: NCC's carbon projects and offsets

NCC follows rigorous international standards and protocols

How does NCC generate carbon offsets?

A carbon offset (also known as a carbon offset credit) is a certificate representing the avoided release, or removal, of one metric tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere. Carbon offsets can be generated through activities that prevent the release of CO2 from ecosystems through the conservation of natural habitats, such as forests, wetlands and grasslands.

To issue carbon offsets, NCC must prove our projects are actually preventing the release of CO2 and we must measure those savings. This process uses rigorous international standards and protocols for measuring and documenting the carbon savings our projects provide, and requires regular third-party verification.

NCC’s carbon projects are certified to meet the highest international standards available today, including:

In addition, NCC adheres to the 10 Core Carbon Principles from the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market. These principles are “a global benchmark for high-integrity carbon offsets that set rigorous thresholds on disclosure and sustainable development,” including effective governance, sustainability and emissions impact standards.

To learn more about the Accelerator and opportunities for investing in nature,
please contact accelerator@natureconservancy.ca.

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