About the Project

The objective of our work is to bring clarity, consistency and integrity to the UK farm soil carbon marketplace through research, stakeholder engagement and the development of critical pieces of market infrastructure, including the following:

Our review and analysis of all the major soil carbon standards operating internationally, including the lessons to be learned for the development of a high-integrity soil carbon market in the UK.

An evaluation framework/minimum standards that can be used to appraise existing soil carbon codes, standards and schemes according to a set of criteria – the rigour of their measurement, permanence, additionality, leakage etc.

A Route map to an open access, community code that will be aligned with the minimum standards we are creating and can be used by new entrants and small-scale projects that are not served by the existing codes and/or marketplace because of technical barriers/high up-front cost.


Our work will address all the ‘principles’ needed to ensure that the soil carbon market-place delivers for farmers, investors and the environment. This will reflect obligations for both the sequestered carbon, and the marketplace in general.

Credible

Sequestered carbon must be scientifically measurable according to robust, high-integrity methodologies

Additional

Paid for activities must be over and above what would have occurred under business-as-usual conditions

Permanent

Regenerative practices must be maintained to ensure that any sequestered carbon is retained in the soil over an agreed period of time

Verifiable

The approach used, and the changes in carbon stocks claimed must be verified by a trusted, third party organization

Transparent

Rules need to be established to avoid double-counting - separate market players claiming the same carbon increase

Holistic

A UK Soil Carbon market-place must not lead to CO2 or GHG increases elsewhere or have a negative impact upon food production

Scalable

The market-place must be deliver carbon sequestration at sufficient scale to generate value for money and low overheads for farmers and investors

Fair

Projects should not reward historic or deliberate soil carbon loss or land managers who are not making adequate carbon reductions efforts elsewhere

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The SSA is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. We decided not to set up a charity because that would limit some activities such as campaigning on government policies. With a not-for-profit company the directors don’t benefit from profits and money raised is spent on company aims.

SUSTAINABLE SOILS ALLIANCE NON-PROFIT COMMUNITY INTEREST COMPANY NO. 10802764