A SCOTTISH business offering fancy getaways has launched a new reforestation programme which it says will help other companies offset their carbon emissions.
Holiday-rental specialist ClearWater Retreats are looking to sell off recently acquired land in Stirlingshire to small and medium sized businesses that hope to bolster their eco-friendly contributions.
Alongside creating a net zero rural retreat, 50 acres of non-arable land will be replanted with trees and divided into small holding to be purchased by other firms.
ClearWater proudly states that the new initiative lines up with the expectations of the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC),
They estimate that 20% of agricultural land will need to be released before 2050 to support worldwide green objectives such as carbon emissions.
The retreat business has also partnered with Scottish Woodlands, who will help to ensure that carbon capture on this site will be indepdently registered, validated and verified under the UK Wooodland Carbon Code.
The target market of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are being offered a minimum of 2500 sqaure feet of land, for which they are granted legal ownership.
However, the Deed of Conditions means that owners must continue to use the land as forestry, safeguarding it from the potential of future commercial developments.
ADP, a global architecture firm with an Edinburgh studio, has become one of the first businesses to sign up for the scheme.
Their managing director Stephen Miles said: “We were struck by this innovative carbon offsetting programme and its credentials, which aligned with our wider framework of establishing a tangible ESG strategy across our business.
“It reflects an acknowledgement of the need to address carbon emissions across the UK construction sector.”
One issue that may arise from both prospective investing companies and members of the public is the growing concern over greenwashing.
First coined in the 1980s, the term describes when a company creates an ecologically responsible image in order to boost public opinion without that image being entirely representative of their green practices.
Last month, Joana Setzer, research fellow on Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, told BBC Future: “Greenwashing is not new. What is new is the amount of sustainability commitments [from companies] and the unfortunate likelihood that many of these are quite empty and won’t be delivered.”
But ClearWater CEO Andrew Montague explained why he feels his company are legitimate in their green credentials: “Our alignment with IPCC goals to return once intensively farmed lands back to native woodland is key in addressing ‘greenwashing’ concerns as it reassures purchasers that the carbon offset from their holding is making a difference exactly where it is needed.”