Carbon Neutral project is first in Australia to receive prestigious Gold Standard certification

Carbon Neutral has achieved global recognition with the first Australian carbon emissions reduction project to receive Gold Standard certification.

Over the past eight years, Carbon Neutral has established innovative large-scale reforestation projects which extend across 10,000 hectares of the Western Australian Wheatbelt – in the process creating Australia’s largest revegetation project based on carbon capture and biodiversity.

Following a lengthy and rigorous process which involved significant investment, Carbon Neutral’s native reforestation project has been awarded prestigious Gold Standard certification by the Geneva-based Gold Standard Foundation.

The recognition comes as Carbon Neutral is experiencing growing demand for reducing carbon emissions from Australian businesses, including some of the nation’s leading corporates.

Carbon Neutral CEO Ray Wilson said: “Australian companies now view environmental responsibility as a critical component of their business, and they are increasingly being measured on their performance by consumers, investors and auditors.

“However, many companies are currently investing in emissions reduction projects overseas, as a result of a shortage of suitable home-grown projects. Carbon Neutral gives Australian businesses the opportunity to do something positive for the environment, as well as assist our regional communities through the creation of jobs and related economic benefits.”

Achieving Gold Standard certification – the premium international standard – recognises the Carbon Neutral project’s environmental, social and economic credentials.

David Shelmerdine, President of The Gold Standard Foundation, said: “Our rigorous process ensures integrity and transparency for any company that purchases credits from Gold Standard projects. For Carbon Neutral’s reforestation project, achieving Gold Standard certification verifies its multi-faceted benefits — from global climate security to restoring habitats for native biodiversity, and even supporting local communities socio-economically.

“We are delighted that these benefits are now being realised in Australia, and that Australian companies can support a Gold Standard-calibre project in our own backyard by purchasing carbon credits.”

Carbon Neutral develops biodiverse reforestation projects on degraded, semi-arid agricultural land that no longer supports viable farming practices.

“In the region where we operate, over 90% of land has already been cleared,” Mr Wilson said. “Carbon Neutral is helping to return the environment to its origins, planting up to 40 native tree and shrub species which are matched to the environment.

“Very importantly, this reforestation program creates a large-scale habitat for over 450 native species, including endangered and declining flora and fauna, in the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor which is one of only 35 biodiversity ‘hotspots’ worldwide, as recognised by Conservation International.”

About Carbon Neutral

Carbon Neutral is a carbon solutions provider and Australia’s major biodiverse reforestation offset developer. We help organisations across Australia, and beyond, minimise their impact on the environment by working with them to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon Neutral has to date planted over 20 million trees and shrubs on properties located in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, which will remove over 1.2 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere.

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About Gold Standard Foundation

Gold Standard works to create a climate secure world where sustainable growth brings life-changing benefits to communities everywhere. Gold Standard was established in 2003 by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other international NGOs as a best practice standard to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions under the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) also delivered on their dual mandate to foster sustainable development. Now with more than 80 NGO supporters and 1100 projects in over 70 countries, Gold Standard projects have delivered billions of dollars in climate and development outcomes in local communities all around the world.

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