Accreditation scheme helps clear atmosphere of 1m tonnes of CO2
A government approved accreditation scheme may have cleared more than 1m tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, according to the Forestry Commission.
The Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) was approved by the government back in August 2011 and was set up to recognise business' efforts to capture and store carbon.
The WCC allows corporations to include details of any woodland creation scheme they operate in their emissions reports.
Over the schemes first year of operation, 63 projects have been registered, while a total of 2800 hectares (7000 acres) of woodlands has been created.
Pat Snowdon, head of economics for the Forestry Commission, pointed to the potential for investment in woodland carbon projects in the UK.
"Investing in woodland creation provides companies and individuals with a tangible way to demonstrate how they are reducing their carbon footprint. From April next year UK quoted companies will be required to report their gross carbon dioxide emissions.
"Under the Government's Greenhouse Gas Reporting Guidelines, all companies have the opportunity to report the benefit of their investment in carbon sequestration through Woodland Carbon Code-certified projects".
The scheme has also independently validated 17 woodland projects, which means that the carbon sequestration claims and other aspects of the project have been checked and confirmed by auditors.
Out of the 17 woodland projects, two have been verified in England, 14 in Scotland and one in Wales.
Pam Warhurst, chair of the Forestry Commission, said: "This is excellent progress in such a short time, and I congratulate all those involved, from the landowners who are making land available for tree planting, to the people and organisations who are investing in the projects.
"Trees, woods and forests provide all of us with a wide range of benefits, and amongst them carbon sequestration is especially important.
"I look forward to the Woodland Carbon Code going from strength to strength in boosting development of the green economy and efforts to provide much-needed new woodland by giving confidence to investors that the projects they invest in will deliver real and verifiable carbon benefits."