Written by Dr Sean Weaver – CEO of Ekos:
At Ekos we facilitate connections between businesses going zero carbon and reforestation projects that look after our erodible hillsides, streams and biodiversity. We do this by facilitating the sale of forest conservation carbon credits to carbon offset buyers. Going net zero carbon means measuring and reducing your carbon emissions and then taking responsibility for any residual emissions that could not be reduced by offsetting them through the purchase and cancellation of carbon credits.
But we are not interested in just any kind of carbon credits. For Ekos it is all about maximising the good we can cause with how forest carbon projects are developed and delivered.
We are particularly interested in facilitating local demand and local supply of carbon credits. This can enable these zero carbon businesses to know that their offsets are looking after their own region and creating a circular economy between businesses and landowners locally. This helps to strengthen a sense of community in a region that is challenged by climate-related risks now and into the future. After all, the Nelson/Tasman region has plenty of erosion-prone lands to look after and we want to help Nelson businesses be part of the solution.
How does it work? Landowners who want to retire erosion lands and waterways have the option to sell carbon credits instead of beef/lamb/timber from those areas. This involves a permanent change in land use and Ekos requires these projects to be placed into a conservation covenant.
We entered the carbon market arena looking for a way to finance conservation and climate resilience through markets. This is because we know that there is simply not enough grant money around to fund all of the conservation and sustainable land management work to be done. A commercial approach to conservation enables the scale of conservation to be limited only by the demand for carbon offsets (there is lots and it is growing), and the appetite of impact investors for an investment opportunity in looking after our common future.
There are hundreds of thousands of hectares of erosion lands in New Zealand in need of permanent reforestation and transition into native forests. The task is big but together we have the will and the means. Let’s get on with it”
To read more about the local regenerative project in our area, click on these links: