How do I sell my carbon units?

How and when can I sell my units?

Only verified Forest Carbon Units can be used to compensate for emissions as an offset, but Pending Issuance Units can be used to help a company plan to be Net Zero by a given date, or at some point in the future. See the claims that companies can make.

  • Selling PIUs 'Upfront': Once your project is validated, and your Pending Issuance Units are listed in the registry, you have a 'product' to sell. This will be soon after the trees are planted. The Units have a 'Vintage'/timestamp as to when they will be delivered, and the buyer can only use them to help with their plans to be Net Zero in future. Remember: PIU's are not guaranteed - on verification they could be marked as 'Not Delivered'.
  • Selling FCUs once verified: Once a particular vintage is verified (at year 5, and every 10 years) your PIUs will be converted to FCUs. These can be used by a company to offset their emissions or claim Net Zero straight away. FCU's are guaranteed and protected by the FCC buffer if sold.

Some project developers sell all the carbon up front as PIUs from a project to one buyer, others sell smaller amounts of a particular 'vintage' to different buyers, some wait to sell verified Forest Carbon Units after each verification.

How do I find a buyer?

There are a number of ways to find a corporate buyer:

  • Ask local businesses or those which you have business links with
  • Once your project is validated, we'll add you to the list of project developers with units available to sell. We'll add a case study if you can provide text/pictures.
  • Offer your units 'for sale' on the 'Request for Information' Platform within the ICR Registry
  • Ask one of the retail aggregators listed below. These companies have corporate clients who want to buy PIU to help with their Net Zero plans or FCU to offset their current year's emissions.

In Iceland only, it is also possible to sell your carbon units to Government agencies, as they are verified.

Receive payment for your units

Agree a price with the buyer and receive payment for your units. The price varies, depending upon the costs of creating and managing the forest and the range of benefits that it provides. Within Iceland, companies are paying between 5.000 to 7.500 ISK per tCO2e for purchases of Pending Issuance Units. As only a small number of verified Forest Carbon Units have been sold, we cannot yet say whether the price for these differs.

Voluntary carbon units are a VAT-able commodity, so you need to charge VAT.

Transfer or assign/retire units to your buyer

Larger volumes? – Buyer has own account

Buyers of larger volumes can open an account on the ICR to manage their purchased carbon units - from either the Forest Carbon Code or others. If a buyer has an account on the registry, they have more flexibility to manage their own units and to use/retire them when they are ready or wish to do so, but there is a fee to open an account. Their carbon units will also be visible on the 'Holdings' page of the ICR. Where buyers have accounts, you can transfer units to their account in a similar way to transferring cash through internet banking.

Smaller volumes? Assign or Retire units on your buyer's behalf

If your buyer does not have or want their own account, then you can 'assign' Pending Issuance Units or 'retire' Forest Carbon Units, 'tagged' with the buyer's name and a comment as to the intention. It's less easy for the buyer to see all their purchases in one place, although they can search/find units with their name tagged, but they do not need to manage an account. The units are then effectively taken out of your account/circulation.

‘Assign’ Pending Issuance Units: Your buyer will be able to see their units on the 'Assigned Credits' page of the ICR with their name against them, and these units will be automatically ‘retired’ when verified, assuming the sequestration has occurred.

‘Retire’ verified Forest Carbon Units: Your buyer will be able to see their units on the 'Retired Credits' page of the ICR, with their name against them, and they can refer to this page when they declare their use in an annual GHG emissions report.