ICROA has officially endorsed the UK Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) into the ICROA Code of Best Practice. The ICROA Code is the established benchmark of quality for carbon management and offset service providers, and ICROA’s endorsement of credible carbon standards demonstrates quality, integrity and credibility in the voluntary carbon market. This will be welcome news for both landowners in the UK looking to create woodland carbon projects, as well as providing added assurance for organisations looking to purchase carbon units to compensate for their UK-based unavoidable emissions.
The UK’s WCC is the first new standard added to the Code of Best Practice this year after the Technical Working Group's first Quarterly Standards Review held at the end of January 2021.
This voluntary code (UK WCC) encourages a consistent approach to woodland carbon projects, and offers clarity and transparency to customers – and “we are proud to include the WCC into the ICROA Code and commend the WCC for their great work and improvements over the years to be best-in-class” says ICROA Programme Director Antoine Diemert.
Dr. Vicky West, the WCC Manager says that "endorsement by ICROA is an important step for the UK’s Woodland Carbon Code, and will provide confidence to buyers of the credibility of carbon units provided by our programme."
Launched in 2011, the WCC is the UK’s government-backed standard for woodland carbon projects. It applies similar standards to other global carbon initiatives, but is tailored to UK conditions and existing legislation and provides the mechanism for landowners to engage in the carbon market in the UK, providing assurance that CO2 removals through planting new woodlands are permanent and additional. The scheme is based on robust carbon prediction tools and monitoring protocols developed by Forest Research; new woodlands meeting the standard have to be third-party checked by Soil Association or Organic Farmers and Growers as being sustainably managed and meeting high carbon standards, giving confidence to buyers. Both organisations are accredited ISO 14065 by the UK Accreditation Service. There is also a project and carbon unit registry (provided by IHS Markit), that tracks the issuance, ownership and use of carbon units ensuring transparency and boosting confidence.