How to buy woodland carbon units

1. Decide how you'd like to receive your units

2. Discuss with a project developer

3. Pay for your units

4. Receive your carbon units

Companies can compensate for their UK-based emissions using verified carbon units from WCC projects, but not for their emissions overseas or emissions from international aviation or shipping.  Units can be purchased from Project Developers, this page sets out what you need to do to make a purchase.  Units are housed in the UK Land Carbon Registry.

0. Decide whether you want PIUs or WCUs

Look at 'What are PIUs and WCUs' - remembering that PIUs are an 'advance' purchase and are not guaranteed.


1. Decide how you'd like to receive your units

Larger volumes?  Open your own account

Buyers of larger volumes can open an account on the UK Land Carbon Registry to manage their purchased carbon units.  With this account you can buy both Woodland Carbon Units and Peatland Carbon Units.  If you have an account on the registry, you have more flexibility to manage your own units and to use/retire them when you are ready or wish to do so, but there is a fee to open an account (£400 for private companies and £200 for government/ charities), this option is useful for buyers purchasing larger volumes of credits.

Smaller volumes? Ask a project developer to 'assign' or 'retire' units in your name

For buyers smaller volumes, the project developer can ‘tag’ units with your name to confirm the purchase, without you needing to have your own account, but it’s less easy to see all your purchases in one place.  Any units purchased upfront as Pending Issuance Units will automatically be 'retired' once verified, assuming the sequestration has occurred.

2. Discuss with a project developer 

Find the units you would like to buy in one of these ways:

3. Pay for your units

Once you've found carbon units you'd like to buy, you need to agree a price with the project developer and pay for your units. The price varies, depending upon the costs of creating and managing the woodland and the range of benefits that it provides.  Within the UK, companies are paying between £10 and £20 /tCO2e for purchases of Pending Issuance Units.  As only a small number of verified Woodland Carbon Units have been sold, we cannot yet say whether the price for these differs.

4.  Receive your carbon units

The project developer will confirm your purchase in one of two ways: 

  • If you have an account on the UK Land Carbon Registry, the project developer will transfer the carbon units purchased to your account.  You can see all the units you purchased (both from the Woodland Carbon Code and Peatland Code) in one place, and can retire verified Woodland Carbon Units when you are ready to use them against your GHG emissions.
  • If you don’t want to setup an account, the project developer can: 
    • Assign’ Pending Issuance Units to you (You will be able to see your units on the 'Assigned Credits' page with your name against them, and these units will be automatically ‘retired’ if and when they are verified) 
    • Retire’ verified Woodland Carbon Units on your behalf (You will be able to see your units on the 'Retired Credits' page, and you can refer to this page when you declare their use in your annual GHG emissions report)

Next:  Find out where to buy carbon units


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