SilviaTerra is now NCX. The NCX name stands for Natural Capital Exchange and connotes our bold focus on the future. Our product and our company name are now one and the same.
In this critical decade for the climate, we believe that every landowner should have the opportunity to be a part of the climate solution—and that’s exactly what NCX achieves. With help from Microsoft AI for Earth, we built technology that allows all landowners to participate in a forest carbon market with unprecedented quality, transparency, and scale.
Our commercial launch, included nearly 100 landowners across 10 states across an area of 1.17 million acres, deferring the harvest of 3 million tons of timber, containing over 135,000 tons of carbon. Thus making the first enrollment cycle in the Natural Capital Exchange the largest forest carbon project ever in the continental U.S. by acreage.
This deferral is expected to have a climate impact equivalent to taking nearly 30,000 cars off the road for one year. Microsoft, South Pole, and Shell Environmental Products are among the initial participating buyers purchasing carbon credits from NCX, upon listing in the Verra offset registry.
While we are proud of the success of our first enrollment period in the Natural Capital Exchange, it wasn’t always an easy journey.
Where it all began
Max and I met at the Yale School of Forestry in 2009. With our combined skills in forestry and computer science, we built a team of foresters, data scientists, and changemakers dedicated to expanding our understanding of forests and strengthening our ability to manage these complex and vital ecosystems. While the team has grown and evolved over the years, from SilviaTerrans to NCXrs, we are still dedicated to driving positive impact through understanding and valuing our natural resources.
We set out on our journey developing cutting-edge tools for precision forest management, utilizing a collection of thousands of field inventory measurements. Later, we partnered with Microsoft through their AI for Earth program to create Basemap, the first high-resolution forest inventory of the U.S. The Basemap dataset is the culmination of years of effort from our Data Science team, combining advances in remote sensing, forest biometrics, and statistical and machine learning techniques.
We came to realize all of this data and technology could be used to solve a major issue in many forest carbon marketplaces–lack of opportunity to participate by small landowners. Thus, the Natural Capital Exchange was created, enabling all forests and all landowners to be part of the climate solution.
The Natural Capital Exchange was revolutionary not only in enabling participation for every size landowner but in its ton-year accounting approach. The IPCC and other climate science institutions have for a long time promoted frameworks that recognize the climate impact of short-term carbon storage, but those climate science tenants had not yet been translated into forest carbon protocols.
We also needed to write new legal contracts to underpin the program. Drawing from the best practices from legal precedents and existing forest carbon credit programs, we were able to make a program simple for landowners and legally sound under environmental asset law.
Our first major step in taking the Natural Capital Exchange from idea to practice was our 2019 pilot program with Microsoft. Working with more than 20 small landowners in Western Pennsylvania, timber harvests on their land were deferred resulting in 6,861 tons of CO2e removed from the atmosphere.
With the proven success of our pilot, we were ready to commercially launch NCX to scale and fundamentally change forest carbon markets.
A special thanks to landowners
All of the success of our Spring 2021 cycle wouldn’t have been possible without the participation of landowners—big and small.
Landowners like the McDaniel family from Mississippi and Molpus Woodlands Group LLC, one of the country’s largest timberland investment-management organizations, were two mentioned in our recent feature in the Wall Street Journal. Their support helped unlock over a million acres of forested land for companies to purchase carbon offsets.
Investing In NCX’s Future
NCX recently raised $20 million in Series A financing led by TIME Ventures, the venture fund of Marc Benioff. Mr. Benioff will be joining the Board of Directors of NCX.
The Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund also invested, deepening NCX’s partnership with Microsoft. Previously, NCX worked with Microsoft AI for Earth to create the first-ever annually updated forest inventory of the United States, covering every acre of the US and accounting for almost 92 billion trees. NCX’s seed investors, Union Square Ventures and Version One Ventures, also participated in the round.
If you’re interested in the program, reach out to us today.