New methodology for use in soil carbon offset projects

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SCS Global Services has evaluated a new modular methodology for measuring the carbon sequestration ability of soil under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), a greenhouse gas accounting system. The methodology, developed by The Earth Partners, will allow land managers who sequester GHGs in grasslands, rangelands and farmlands to generate carbon credits for sale in the voluntary market.

Managers of grasslands, rangelands and farmlands can increase carbon sequestration in soil by practices such as limiting erosion, changing grazing practices and implementing treatments designed to improve the diversity and productivity of plant communities. The Earth Partners is currently piloting this methodology with farmers across seven million acres of the Palouse River and Columbia Plateau regions in the Pacific Northwest.

"The VCS program has achieved an important milestone in now incorporating grassland and rangeland carbon offset projects within its scope," said Dr. Robert J. Hrubes, Executive Vice President of SCS. "SCS looks forward to validating and verifying agricultural carbon offset projects that use this very robust new methodology."

The VM0021 Soil Carbon Quantification Methodology is based on decades of soil carbon research and testing conducted by top soil scientists. The methodology was developed by The Earth Partners and validated by Environmental Services Inc., as well as SCS Global Services. It is the first soil carbon methodology to be approved for use under the VCS.

"This extensively tested methodology is the first to exclusively address soils within a marketplace framework, facilitating the rebuilding of soil carbon levels at meaningfully large landscape scales of natural and agricultural ecosystems," said Steven I. Apfelbaum, Chairman of Applied Ecological Services, Inc. and Director of Science with The Earth Partners. According to Apfelbaum, soils represent the second largest living sink of carbon on the planet.

SCS (formerly Scientific Certification Systems) has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for nearly 30 years. Its programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retail, and more. SCS provides accredited services under a wide range of internationally recognized certification programs. SCS is a chartered benefit corporation and Certified B Corp, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. www.scsglobalservices.com.


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