Natural Capital Exchange (NCX) connects companies that aim to reduce their carbon footprint and inspires them to delay harvesting and allow their forests to pull more carbon from the atmosphere. NC State entered into a partnership with NCX in July 2022.
Alex Macintosh is the origination team leader for NCX in the United States and is responsible for initiatives that appeal to forest owners and land management institutions such as NC State. According to Macintosh, NCX sees forest carbon as a new and emerging market for forest owners who previously could only generate revenue from timber markets.
“Any landowner will have slightly different motivations and incentives,” Macintosh said. “But the people we work with usually have management goals that are based on generating income from their property. And the reason that fits our program well is that we really think of our carbon market as a shifting management, pushing it to use economics to create a market-based system where we can and try to fight against climate change.
According to Macintosh, NCX is committed to the NC State College of Natural Resources because of its strong forestry program and its employees who are highly respected in the wider forestry community.
“I think the university was specifically interested in this learning opportunity, both to generate revenue that could be used to fund financial aid or student programs through the various forest assets, but also as a way to s ‘engage and introduce people to this new kind of forest management opportunity and trend that we’re seeing with carbon markets,’ Macintosh said.
According to John Sanders, a forest manager with the College of Natural Resources Forest Assets team, the relationship between NC State and NCX began in May 2022. NCX conducted analysis based on aerial and satellite imagery to report the amount of carbon on NC State. properties and what has the potential to be harvested. These numbers were reported as harvest deferral credits, and the management team then decided how many fertile harvest units they were willing to defer.
“When you tell them how many credits you’re willing to roll over, you’re also telling them what price you’re willing to roll over those credits at,” Sanders said. “We set our prices low because we wanted to make sure we would be in the market. And according to our harvest schedule, we had a lot of acres that weren’t in the harvest plan that we could roll over credits and get some money out of, even if we don’t plan to harvest them at the end. ‘internal. And so it gave us the ability to generate revenue from a standard that we wouldn’t generate otherwise.
According to Sanders, the College’s relationship with NCX began in May 2021 and their contract lasts from July 2021 to June 2022.
“We need to make sure we stay within the threshold of our harvest plan to ensure we don’t harvest beyond the allowed amount, based on the agreement with NCX now that we can continue to harvest,” Sanders said.
There is huge expectation for projected growth in this industry, and more and more companies are publicly announcing statements of wanting to achieve net zero and reduce their carbon footprint, according to Macintosh.
“We’re hearing that more and more companies are doing this, and there’s potentially, in the future, additional regulations that could come into play that would really take this market off the ground,” Macintosh said. “We have grown fairly steadily over the past 16 months to the point where we are now under contract with over 3,000 landowners, representing approximately 5 million acres of forest land.”
Sanders said money from the NCX deal helps forest management, and the excess goes toward scholarships and research opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to participate directly in the partnership.
“We have a team of students working for us who are what we call scholarship students,” Sanders said. “And they are able to work on these tracks that we sold to the carbonyl. And the funds that we’re going to get are going to help sustain the work, help pay those workers. And we have one student in particular who actually participated in a promotional video that NCX did for our university and our relationship.
Sander said the biggest benefit of the College’s relationship with NCX is the ability to generate revenue from areas that aren’t as productive.
“It gave us alternatives,” Sanders said. “It also means contributing to carbon sequestration and avoiding, in particular for private owners, any form of aid to avoid scenarios of change of use. Whether in the near future or later, it will help.