Scottish Enterprise Awards 2023

Based in Galashiels and Doncaster, Highland Carbon is a science-based organisation that aims to restore nature to its former splendour through world-class climate change mitigation projects, achieving meaningful outcomes for biodiversity and landscape conservation. The company envisions a future in which the world is filled with spectacular biodiverse areas and sustainable communities, and where people can enjoy a liveable climate and good quality of life. Best UK Carbon Credit Supplier 2023 In 2017, Highland Carbon was established by Managing Director Richard Clarke, a skilled Zoologist who has worked on many international conservation projects. Over the years, his experience has spanned across orangutan breeding programmes, the conservation of wolves, marine mammals, and rare freshwater habitats in the Great Lakes region, the establishment of marine protected areas, and the provision of wildlife veterinary medicine in East Africa. Having taken on many roles at well-known organisations across the world, Richard was inspired to apply the principles of biodiversity enhancement and landscape conservation to carbon credit projects in the UK, one of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth. He believes that nature-based carbon projects, when carefully sited and designed appropriately, are the key to rebalancing the UK’s natural environment. Aiming to restore landscapes and wilderness to benefit both local wildlife and ecotourism, Highland Carbon plants forests on behalf of corporate clients within the officially recognised framework, helping them to achieve their carbon credentials. It also offers deeply engaging content for Environmental Social Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) reporting, public relations, investor relations, employee engagement, customer engagement, and digital campaigns. Furthermore, Highland Carbon offers international carbon credit opportunities overseas with the Gold Standard, Verified Carbon Standard, BioCarbon, Universal Carbon, and United Nations (UNFCCC-CDM) quality marks. In this, the company can offer its clients a bespoke, blended solution that meets their specific price point and output requirements, such as a combination of nature-based solutions and renewable energy projects. “Our projects include afforestation initiatives and wetland restoration,” Richard comments. “They are undertaken in the UK Woodland Carbon Code and Peatland Code frameworks, with carbon credits that officially count to the UK’s commitment to the United Nations Paris Agreement.” Whilst ordinary carbon projects may involve planting a few species of trees on arable farmland, Highland Carbon’s projects involve completely restoring areas of the wilderness that have been deforested. It typically plants a dozen or more tree species, each in their preferred soil type, hydrology, and aspect. “We even reintroduce rare species of trees that were once lost from the wilds of Britain,” shares Richard. “Likewise, our peatland projects deliver major benefits to nature and water quality. All projects enhance community quality of life, offer public access, mitigate flooding, enhance water quality, and increase biodiversity.” Currently, companies are looking to work with organisations that deliver higher quality projects. Richard believes that Highland Carbon has spearheaded this trend, with its projects being carefully considered in relation to both where and how they are undertaken. “Others are planting some trees on golf courses and describing such work as having high biodiversity impacts,” Richard comments. “We feel that this is misrepresenting their projects. One needs huge scale and contiguous habitat improvements to achieve big outcomes.” As a result of its excellent work, Highland Carbon has been named Best UK Carbon Credit Supplier in the Scottish Enterprise Awards 2023. Going forward, the company is working on a new project in the Galloway and Dumfries biosphere, as part of which it will plant two million trees on an area the size of 2,000 football pitches. As well as this, it has two new peatland projects underway that will balance more than 750,000 tCO2e. Latterly, Highland Carbon was lauded by the British Chambers of Commerce, in a list of several leading businesses working in the Green Economy, in the lead up to COP28. Moreover, Highland Carbon is proud to have recently launched a new B2C website, TreeWilder, through which it will actively promote a simple, monthly climate subscription for individual carbon credits. Contact Details Contact: Richard Clarke Company: Highland Carbon Web Address: