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February 28, 2024

GreenTrees Achieves Global Leadership in Carbon Removal, Surpassing 7.79 Million Metric Tons


GreenTrees Highlights Reforestation’s Role in Climate Action

The Plains, VA – February 28, 2024: GreenTrees, the pioneer in reforestation-based carbon removal, has affirmed its decades long vision for a non-existent carbon market for reforestation by partnering with landowners and working within a public private partnership framework to patiently wait for natural investments over twenty years ago to scale into the world’s largest carbon dioxide removal project.   After announcing the issuance of 1.52 million ERTs on ACR for vintage years 2021-2022, the GreenTrees reforestation project has now removed a total of 7,790,211 mtCO2e since our founding over 20 years ago, equivalent to the annual emissions of 1.5 million passenger vehicles. 

GreenTrees’ achievement affirms the important role nature-based solutions play in addressing climate change. Compared to nascent carbon capture technologies, natural climate solutions such as tree planting can remove larger volumes of carbon over a shorter timeline thanks to their cost-effectiveness and scalability.

“This achievement is a testament to the clarity of vision in a yet to be defined market and the relentless  dedication and hard work of our team, intentional USDA policy action, and, of course, our landowner partners who earned their rights to benefit from the now emerging carbon markets by changing their land use for the benefit of the environment ,” said GreenTrees co-founder and managing partner, Chandler Van Voorhis. “Together, we are not just planting trees; we are growing a sustainable forest for the future, one acre at a time”

“One aspect that is not much appreciated by the carbon markets is how difficult it is for average landowners to gain access to the market. GreenTrees has democratized the carbon market for the average landowner wanting to participate. It does this by removing the barrier of entry that landowners face due to the acreage size coupled by the S curve of growth of the forest and takes away the complexity and expensive nature of verifications,” said Van Voorhis.

Founded in 2003, GreenTrees has responded to the challenges voiced by multiple US Presidents to work with landowners and through directed government policy to scale nature’s carbon removal capacity by investing millions in these partnerships with private landowners to change the land use across the southeastern United States from marginal farmland into ecologically impactful forests. The project primarily works with small and medium-sized landowners in Virginia, South Carolina, and the Mississippi Alluvial Valley to reforest their property, measure the annual tree growth, and sell the resulting carbon credits. Qualified landowners enrolled with GreenTrees can receive half of the project’s carbon credit net revenues and don’t pay any out-of-pocket expenses associated with project implementation and management.

To date, GreenTrees has partnered with over 650 landowners to reforest 140,000 acres of deciduous hardwood forest. These trees have collectively drawn down nearly 8 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide from the atmosphere since the project’s inception – a number that will jump to 30 million metric tons over the next forty years even if GreenTrees never plants another tree. Unlike some projects that calculate carbon credits based on the removal they anticipate will happen in the future, a process called “ex ante” crediting, GreenTrees helps minimize delivery risk to the market by only issuing credits for carbon removal that has actually occurred through its tree planting. 

GreenTrees’ owners and partners continue to shape the future by investing in cutting edge technologies and machine learning for verifications!  Newly formed affiliated company, ACRE IO, combines best in class remote sensing technology with 20 years of GreenTrees’ on the ground data for young reforestation to develop and train its algorithms for incremental biomass growth detection with statistical precision at scale of traditional on the ground measurements.  During this past verification, ACRE IO and its remote sensing partner, independently flew all the GreenTrees project acres and achieved statistically the same quantification as the traditional measurement approaches with higher resolution.

“By coupling AI technology with natural intelligence, we can not only scale reforestation as an asset class but radically shorten the lag between growth and payment to landowners,” said Van Voorhis. “The lag in the market is far too long,creating real transactional drag and financial barriers to landowners.  We need to realize that nature is the most scalable technology we have for removing carbon from the atmosphere. The question is, how do we organize that scale and what does speed to scale look like? For over 20 years, we have been pioneering how to organize scale. Now we are zeroed in on speed to scale through our know-how applied to the technological promises of AI and other technical advances well suited to bringing the carbon markets into the capital markets,” notes Van Voorhis. 

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