Chestnut Sustainable Restoration Project
Through our Sustainable Restoration Project, we develop new forests on marginal crop and pasture lands across the United States. We designed our project to restore diverse, natural ecosystems—improving air and water quality and supporting wildlife suitable to each site. We work with local foresters, landowners, nurseries, and specialists to plant a biodiverse array of hardwood and pine seedlings, optimized for each region’s soil, drainage, native species, and community land use. We thoughtfully design, plant, and monitor each site to ensure high survivorship.
Chestnut Sustainable Restoration project
These projects back our high-quality, removal-based carbon credits.
After five years of monitoring, we begin measurement of the carbon stocks sequestered within the trees, verifying our measurements with the rigorous verification standards of Gold Standard®. Our proprietary technology allows us to measure carbon sequestration quickly and accurately, requiring far less time and expense than traditional methods.
We’re committed to the durability of our developments. Chestnut Carbon stands behind the durability of our projects in our ownership of afforested lands, and relies on best practices in forestry management to mitigate potential risks from fire, disease and other issues.
Chestnut Restoration Project: Our Planted Land Parcels
Randolph County, Arkansas
Acres purchased: 951
Acreage for afforestation: ~650
Conway County, Arkansas
Acres purchased: 202
Acreage for afforestation: ~190
Jefferson County, Arkansas
Acres purchased: 2,344
Acreage for afforestation: ~1,610
Yell and Scott Counties, Arkansas
Acres purchased: 456
Acreage for afforestation: ~250
Conway County, Arkansas
Acres purchased: 1,518
Acreage for afforestation: 1,386
Scott County, Arkansas
Acres purchased: 642
Acreage for afforestation: ~354
Acres purchased: 1,407
Acreage for afforestation: ~1,204
Sevier County, Arkansas
Acres purchased: 878
Acreage for afforestation: ~520
The Gold Standard Difference
Chestnut has chosen to partner with Gold Standard® for our afforestation crediting process, as we believe they have the most rigorous and comprehensive verification program available today.
Gold Standard® takes a unique approach to land use activities that sequester carbon or avoid GHG emissions, focusing only on mechanisms that can deliver a high level of environmental integrity.
To ensure environmental integrity, Gold Standard® does not issue carbon credits for REDD+ projects because of concerns about environmental integrity, including the ability to control leakage (when deforestation activities simply move to another area) and risks for overestimation of credits due to baseline uncertainty.
Environmental integrity encompasses numerous factors, including conservative accounting, avoiding leakage, and ensuring permanence.
Avoids risks for overestimation of credits due to baseline uncertainty.
Gold Standard® rules for forestry projects explicitly ensure projects don’t cut down trees to make room for new plantations.
Gold Standard® requires a fixed 20% contribution for a pooled compliance buffer, which, unlike other standards, remains untouched even after the crediting period of the project. This further reduces the risk of reversal and impermanence.
Gold Standard® is the only credit issuer to include Safeguarding Principles in its verification process.
These Safeguarding Principles work to protect the community by assesses potential environmental and social impacts and implementing mitigation measures where necessary.
For land use activities, this means following safeguarding principles that protect water resources, soil erosion and degradation, access to food, livestock wellbeing, and areas with a high conservation value.
Forest Stewardship Council®
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) is a global nonprofit leader in sustainable forestry that is trusted by NGOs, businesses, and consumers to protect healthy, resilient forests for all, forever.
FSC® operates the world’s most rigorous, trusted forest certification system. Its “check tree” label, found on millions of products worldwide, verifies sustainable forest land management.
We’re committed to responsible afforestation at scale, certified to the highest standards. Responsibility means creating value for rural communities and native ecosystems alike.
Quality starts with the right project design
We’re committed to responsible afforestation at scale, certified to the highest standards. Responsibility means creating value for rural communities and native ecosystems alike. We work with regional experts to design a custom plan for each land development, ensuring the highest quality of the end product – the forest we’re building.
- Optimizing our seedling planting based on local soil, native species, water availability and other factors.
- Utilizing data models that predict growth patterns and duration by species, ensuring our forests deliver the expected carbon removal credits.
- Mitigating risks based on the local environment and ecosystem, including planting non-contiguous parcels to avoid fire and disease risk, planting biodiverse species, and planning for local wildlife.
- Engaging local stakeholders: We engage local experts and communities to inform them of our development plans and seek their input and partnership. We ensure co-benefits to the community that only nature-based solutions enable.
Climate action is only part of the story.
Our projects will benefit rural communities, increase biodiversity, and support regional economies. We measure these outcomes against the standards set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the planet.
Life on Land
Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Clean Water and Sanitation
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Good Jobs and Economic Growth
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
Good Health and Well Being
Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all, at all ages
Forest restoration across the United States, starting in the Southeast
In our first annual cycle, we planted on more than 6,000 acres of marginal land in Arkansas and Alabama. We plan to reach 500,000 acres of restored forest by 2030, constituting more than 250 million new trees.
Beyond Planting Trees
We augment our projects with special activities to improve long-term outcomes.
We work closely with the local communities and forestry experts to create the healthiest and most ecologically sound planting strategy. Beyond that, we look to deliver a variety of benefits to the community and environment.
Activities designed to help control fire, pests, and invasive species through sustainable plantation design, quality growing stock, and matching tree species to soil conditions. Each project establishes an advisory committee to inform planting decisions and encourage ecological resilience.
Activities support nursery operations and the production of native seeds and seedlings, which will benefit local suppliers and third-party buyers.
Activities include workshops, public partnerships, and signage related to community experiences in forest establishment/management. Sales proceeds will help to subsidize regional educational outreach on sustainable grazing and agricultural practices.
Activities help to enact restrictive easements on the land, prohibiting illegal uses and protecting water quality. Project lands are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC-C180518) to assure environmental protection.
Activities help to create access to certain sections of planted lands for public enjoyment–hiking, hunting, fishing. Working with public partners, the project plans to establish trail systems and help finance the long-term costs of trail maintenance.
Activities help to promote traditional, cultural, and native uses through the identification and protection of designated areas. The project will map and maintain these critical sites for the benefit of local people and threatened species, following the requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council®.
The project includes additional activities that promote the highest and best use of lands through capital investments in otherwise unproductive systems. Further, Chestnut Carbon is committed to employment activities that benefit local works and local economies.
- Land values may rise, driven by competition for acreage and the reforesting project’s value creation
- May affect lands that could be used for grazing or farming
- Converting pastureland or farmland to new forests for carbon sequestration may come to be the considered the highest and best use for acreage
- May further affect prices for agricultural land
- Chestnut’s policies limit acquisitions to marginal and unproductive lands
- We pay no more than market price, based on comparable sales data
- We avoid concentrating acquisitions in a single area
- Chestnut buys some land from third parties that have historically limited public access
- Existing restrictions may continue to exclude the public
- Chestnut is committed to working with public agencies to transfer ownership of lands for permanent public benefit
- We seek to leverage Clean Water State Revolving Funds (CWSRF) and public conservation easement programs to ensure public access
- Wildfires can post an ongoing risk to forests and the communities that live within them
- Newly planted lands and adjacent forestlands may face exacerbated fire intensity
- Chestnut designs and maintains healthy forests through careful planting of diverse tree species appropriate to each area
- We avoid monoculture pine in favor of diverse, fire-resilient hardwood species
- We use FSC-certified management plans, which incorporate thinning, treatment for fuel reduction, and establishment of fire breaks
- Transitioning lands to forest carbon sequestration may threaten local livelihoods in ranching and agriculture
- Chestnut restricts purchases to unproductive acreage to minimize any economic effects on ranching and agriculture
- We’re committed to employing local workers to support each project
- We plan to deliver up to 5 percent of net sales in grants to support the sustainable production of livestock and crops in the region
- Funds earmarked for outreach and technical assistance
- Converting lands from bucolic pastures and farmland to forests may be highly visible, contributing to a communal sense of identity loss as ranchers and farmers
- Chestnut’s projects are designed to support community well-being and inclusiveness
- We plan to disburse forestlands across the Southeast and across the U.S. to avoid concentrating activities in any one community
- We’re committed to being good stewards, good citizens, and responsive partners
Contribute to the project as a key stakeholder.
We seek stakeholder input in project design and other areas, and offer several ways to get involved.