Soil is one of the largest stores of carbon on earth, and soil carbon is one of the most important factors in determining soil fertility and health. The Earth Partners believes that soil carbon should play a vital role in agricultural policy and markets. The Earth Partners developed a comprehensive Soil Carbon Quantification Methodology, which has been tested and refined on-the-ground on over twenty sites across several countries. The method has completed a thorough technical peer-review process and has been validated by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). Because the method is measurement-based, it is more accurate than model-based default methods. The Earth Partners has developed a streamlined process to screen, stratify, sample, and calculate carbon levels at a high confidence level. Combined with its land aggregation ability, The Earth Partners is able to create low cost environmental assets at a landscape scale through its restoration work.
The Earth Partners and Applied Ecological Services received a competitive USDA Conservation Innovation Grant to implement the method and develop a large-scale agricultural carbon project in the loess hills of the Palouse region of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Intensive farming in the Palouse has resulted in the exhaustion of the soil and hydrological resources. The introduction and widespread application of sustainable, low-carbon farming practices have the potential to restore the fertility and ensure the longevity of one of the most important breadbaskets in the US. In partnership with Shepherd’s Grain, a sustainable wheat marketing co-op, The Earth Partners is demonstrating both the importance of large-scale, low-carbon farming practices to greenhouse gas reduction policies and the role of quantitative soil carbon methodologies in creating high-quality offset credits. Already one of largest land-based carbon projects in the world, this program represents a transformative and replicable model that will produce low-cost rights to a significant amount of carbon.