The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 is reshaping our world in profound ways. It has exposed the fragility of our economic modus operandi, and the highly globalised supply chains that underpin it. But while a recession looks likely in many parts of the world, the other ramifications of this virus remain far from certain.
The environment is good case in point. Debate is currently ongoing about whether COVID-19 will lead to an increase in our commitment to mitigate climate breakdown or the reverse. In a sense, though, worrying about such outcomes is a distraction because regardless of how the economy looks post-lockdown, the climate crisis isn’t going away. The amount of time and the amount of emissions we have left before the 1.5°C target becomes impossible remains unchanged. We must not lose sight of that fact.
Moreover, if there is one overarching lesson to be learnt from our response to COVID-19, it is that any delay in reacting to a threat can lead to exponential increases in both the scale of the problem and the danger it poses. Climate change will be no different.
If possible, businesses must use this time to think and to plan. To strategise for the future and consider what the new economic normal might look like in the aftermath of this pandemic. Resilience and sustainability are likely to be higher priorities for many investors, as they should be. Businesses will need to consider what those terms actually mean within the context of their operations, and decide how they are going to address them, if they are to successfully adapt to a post-COVID world.
For several years now, Investors in the Environment and Forest Carbon have been working together in a partnership, helping businesses to take action on climate change (SDG 13) and improve life on land (SDG 15).
Forest Carbon uses the money raised by the sale of woodland carbon credits to facilitate the creation of new UK woodlands right across the country. These woodlands provide a host of benefits besides carbon sequestration: they also mitigate flooding, reduce soil erosion and harbour native biodiversity, much of which is declining due to habitat fragmentation and climate change.
All of the woodlands Forest Carbon create are certified under the ‘Woodland Carbon Code’, a UK carbon standard and the equivalent of international assurances like the ‘Gold Standard’ and ‘Verified Carbon Standard’.
Government-backed, the ‘Woodland Carbon Code’ was launched in 2011 to ensure that the UK’s voluntary carbon market was regulated and transparent, able to provide stakeholders with total confidence in its integrity. Every woodland created under the code is certified to ISO standards by a UKAS accredited third party and registered with the independent ‘Markit Registry‘, a leading provider of global carbon and environmental credit registry services
As a result, businesses who partner with Forest Carbon can be sure that:
- The right trees have been planted, in the right place
- The carbon capture estimates are project specific, scientifically sound and risk adjusted
- The woodland is protected in the long term
- The trees would not be there but for the intervention of Forest Carbon and its partners.
Forest Carbon is also able to support partner businesses with bespoke services, including arranging site visits for company stakeholders, to see the woodlands they have helped create. As well as this, Forest Carbon can assist with the development of marketing or PR copy, and will dedicate pages on its website to partners’ project(s), thereby offering third party confirmation of their actions with information and photographs.
If your business would like to measure, reduce and mitigate its environmental footprint then working with iiE and Forest Carbon will enable you to do so in an independently assured and innovative fashion, delivering multiple co-benefits for society at the same time.