Press Release: Forestry and Finance Experts Establish Finite Carbon to Facilitate U.S. Landowners’ Participation in Carbon Offset Markets

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By Finite Carbon

"We are exclusively focused on forest carbon and offer the most comprehensive forest carbon project development and commercialization service in the United States,” said Finite Carbon President Scott Nissenbaum, a venture capitalist who co-founded the company.

 “We have assembled a highly experienced and skilled team of pioneers,” he said, noting that the team is led by Sean Carney, vice president of carbon finance; Sterling Griffin, vice president of project development; and Matt Delaney, senior forester.

 “Team members have had a hand in more than a dozen forest carbon projects, including all three projects registered and approved under The Climate Action Reserve’s [CAR] protocol. You won’t find more forest carbon expertise under one roof,” he said.

Nissenbaum, who for three years has been chairman of the board of directors of ImageTree Corp., a forestry industry technology-solutions company based in West Va., said that keeping forest carbon sequestered has been recognized as a necessity to meet global emission reductions.

“Forest carbon is likely to be among the most cost-effective climate solutions,” he continued. “So, putting a system in place to compensate landowners for protecting their forests makes economic sense; it also can result in increased sustainable forest management, with such benefits as soil protection, water purification, habitat management and community enhancement.”

Robert Verratti, a fellow venture capitalist, company co-founder, and Finite Carbon’s chief executive officer, explained that Finite Carbon manages the process and accepts the financial risk, paying for all steps of project development, including implementation of forest carbon inventories, pre-assessment carbon modeling, protocol selection, project design, verification management, and marketing and selling of carbon offsets.

Verratti said that Finite Carbon receives a percentage of the forest carbon offsets once a project is successfully registered and approved, with the percentage dependent on a variety of factors, including the number of acres involved, the carbon stocks, the geographic locations, the type of ownership and number of owners.

Single-source, end-to-end solution

While landowners and forestry consultants are increasingly aware of the financial potential of their forest assets in emerging carbon markets, they remain uncertain of the process for accessing those markets and do not readily have the funds to support monetizing those assets, said Nissenbaum.

“The technologies, protocols and process for monetization of forest carbon assets are not well understood and the process is costly and time-consuming without the guarantee of a successful outcome, which is why many landowners are reluctant to risk the capital required to generate verified carbon inventories for approval and registration,” he continued.

Noting that Finite Carbon’s projects are expected to be for landowners with properties of more than 5,000 acres, not necessarily contiguous, Nissenbaum said that it would not be cost-effective below 1,000 acres.

Each project includes the following steps performed by Finite Carbon:

  • Complete forest carbon inventory
  • Select appropriate registry/protocol (e.g., CAR or CCX)
  • Translate inventory into carbon model and management plan
  • Prepare and submit project plan to chosen carbon registry
  • Once plan is accepted and registered, hire third-party project verifier
  • Submit project verification to registry and receive allocation of carbon offsets
  • Market and sell carbon offsets in Finite Carbon proprietary network or engage top brokers to broaden sales process

 Buyers, said Nissenbaum, can be major corporations and utilities, hedge funds and investment banks.

“We have established a new financial model that shifts the risk from landowners to Finite Carbon,” said Nissenbaum. “In other words, we put our money behind our expertise.”

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