Acorn – Agroforestry CRUs for the Organic Restoration of Nature – is a program being developed by Rabobank to unlock the international carbon market for smallholder farmers in the developing world.
To do this, Rabobank is introducing a scalable agroforestry and carbon sequestration monitoring system. Using remote sensing technology and AI, we are bringing down the costs of biomass measuring and ground truthing, making sequestration monitoring and monetization cost-effective and scalable. This is what sets Acorn apart. Smallholder farmers will not only reap the benefits of agroforestry, but also the profits of the carbon market.
Unlike other programs, Rabobank is also developing Acorn into a fully traceable, ex-post solution. The source of each and every Acorn carbon removal unit (CRU) is linked to an actual plot of land and the carbon the trees there have removed from the atmosphere.
This is Rabobank’s moonshot: to enable hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of smallholder farmers to transition to agroforestry by compensating them for their contribution to our planet. We are partnering with dozens of local organizations around the globe, from NGOs to farmers’ co-ops, processors to governments.
Benefits for farmers
Smallholder farmers supply a great deal of our world’s food, especially in developing regions across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. As such regions increasingly feel the impact of climate change, smallholder farmers require additional resources to safeguard their lands, livelihoods and the well-being of their communities. Rabobank’s Acorn program aims to contribute to farmer income in the form of new revenue streams through carbon removal and agroforestry yields (e.g. fruit or nuts). Agroforestry practices can also improve soil quality, biodiversity, and the microclimate around the farm itself. This can lead to a domino effect of benefits: as overall farm health improves, so too the livelihood of the farmer and the farmer’s entire community.
Benefits for corporates
Many efforts are already underway to reduce carbon emissions in the business world. But to reduce the rate and peak of global warming, emissions trading is not enough. We also need to invest in carbon-negative initiatives
Agroforestry can lead to real carbon removal, which is why Rabobank is developing a carbon removal and trading system based on introducing and expanding agroforestry practices around the world. Acorn’s CRUs equal carbon sequestered – already realized, ex-post credits, not promises of future removal (ex-ante) or credits for avoidance or allowance. Acorn’s CRUs are also more traceable and verifiable than credits from most other programs.
Corporations will benefit from this clear and transparent system. By buying Acorn’s CRUs, they will not only finance the sequestration of carbon, but also support the growth and prosperity of local communities worldwide.
Benefits for the planet
Stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in our atmosphere is the great challenge of our time. Emissions reductions are just the tip of the iceberg. In truth, we have to get rid of what’s out there.
Agroforestry can help. Trees absorb, or sequester, more carbon than crops or pastures. Planting trees improves soil quality and increases local biodiversity, and produces food, as well. Agroforestry practices are therefore an effective tool in the fight against climate change and the protection of our food supply
Rabobank’s Acorn program is developing a system that expands agroforestry and therefore carbon sequestration across the smallholder farmers that help feed our planet. We aim to do this by ensuring that carbon is taken out of the atmosphere by real trees, and by scaling the technology to affordable and accessible levels for the farmers who make it possible.
Acorn founding team
“In order to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, it is essential that businesses operate in a more sustainable way to reduce carbon emissions to zero”
Wiebe DraijerChairman Managing Board at Robobank
Rabobank has formalized its protocol for a scalable and accessible carbon certification system for smallholder agroforestry. The Acorn framework is now publicly available. Soon also the Agroforestry Methodology will be made available here.
The document can be downloaded by clicking on the button on the right. The download should start immediately.
Acorn in the news
Source : Financial Times
Rabobank and Microsoft have joined forces to create an online, carbon removal unit marketplace that connects large corporations with smallholder farmers who can sequester carbon through agroforestry.
Source : Microsoft
One year ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, President Brad Smith and CFO Amy Hood announced Microsoft’s bold commitment to be carbon negative by 2030 and to remove our historic emissions by 2050.
Source : NRC
Rabobank en Microsoft komen met grote plannen voor carbon banking: via massale boomaanplant CO2 uit de lucht halen en die financieren via ‘carbon credits’."Bijna iedereen moet dit gaan doen om de vraag te kunnen bijbenen”, stelt Rabobank-topman Wiebe Draijer.
Source : Solidaridad South America
El piloto es una iniciativa de Rabobank en alianza con la organización Solidaridad y la Iniciativa Noruega por los Bosques y el Clima (NICFI), incorpora a los productores
Source : Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce
The NBCC Sustainability Award 2021 recognizes and celebrates companies that have produced a substantial and meaningful approach