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Construction-stored carbon monetisation

A Built by Nature and Good Energies co-funded cluster of projects exploring carbon monetisation of biobased construction materials

Julien Vincelot

Fund Manager

This Built by Nature initiative, in collaboration with Good Energies Foundation, part of Porticus, addresses the cost disadvantages of bio-based construction materials compared to traditional options through funding of four projects designed to investigate and potentially realise the market value of construction-stored carbon.

The construction-stored carbon monetisation initiative explores how carbon stored in biobased construction materials such as mass timber could be monetised as removable carbon credits on existing carbon markets. Currently, voluntary carbon markets or government-regulated emissions trading schemes do not allow for construction-stored carbon to be traded at scale. Enabling the monetisation of construction-stored carbon, if done effectively, fairly and transparently, could help overcome the green premium associated with biobased construction materials.

The cluster of grants aims to collectively address key elements that have been identified as fundamental to promoting the emergence of effective construction-stored carbon monetisation schemes, and ensure that a range of safeguards are in place to limit any risks associated with such financial instruments, namely:

  • Traceability of the timber supply – necessary for verification, certification, commercial and legal compliance;
  • Verification and certification – to safeguard the reliability and credibility of construction-stored carbon credits, and
  • Fair allocation of the credits and their ownership, with monetary gains fairly distributed to incentivise actions with the lowest carbon footprint.

Four organisations are leading projects under this initiative, each representing a larger consortium of experts, researchers and industry players:

  • In the United States, Topl – an impact technology firm – will focus on traceability by developing a blockchain registry for construction-stored carbon.
  • Easy Housing, working in Uganda, Ghana and Mozambique, will identify ownership models of stored carbon and the applicability of construction-stored carbon monetisation in the global south.
  • Swiss-based Timber Finance Initiative and Dutch foundation Climate Clean Up are both developing methodologies and verification/certification processes and standards for construction-stored carbon monetisation.

 

Built by Nature is expecting in-depth reporting of the verification, financial, legal, and impact aspects of these methodologies relating to biobased materials and will fully evaluate all research findings once completed. To remain fair and transparent, Built by Nature will not comment on or endorse individual transactions or any specific offset programmes.