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Minnesota’s first urban tree carbon offset project sells offsets

Green Minneapolis announced an initial sale from Minnesota’s first urban tree carbon offset project. Winslow Capital Management, LLC, an affiliate of Nuveen, LLC, purchased 750 Carbon+ Credits issued by City Forest Credits, a non-profit carbon registry that manages carbon and impact standards for metropolitan areas in the United States. The sale closed in December 2022.  This is the first of three annual sales to Winslow Capital, which entered into an agreement with Green Minneapolis to offset a portion of its carbon emissions with Carbon+ Credits over a three year period, as well as providing philanthropic support to Green Minneapolis’ Twin Cities Climate Resiliency Initiative. 

The offsets purchased by Winslow Capital were generated from an urban tree planting project completed in partnership between Green Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). The project includes 23,755 trees planted on public land in the City of Minneapolis and is estimated to generate 48,865 Carbon+ Credits over its 25-year project duration. Registered with City Forest Credits, it’s the first urban tree carbon offset project in the State of Minnesota and the largest to date in the United States.

“We are excited to announce the first sale of urban tree carbon offsets generated in Minnesota” said Green Minneapolis Board Chair David Wilson. “Winslow Capital has supported our program from the very beginning, and their commitment to reducing their company’s carbon footprint and investing in local carbon sequestration projects to offset their remaining emissions is a model for our Twin Cities business community.”

Starting in 2018, Winslow Capital analyzed its internal carbon footprint, calculated in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard, and has taken action to track and reduce emissions. For unavoidable emissions, Winslow Capital sought out local carbon sequestration projects for their carbon offset portfolio.

“Winslow Capital is thrilled to partner with Green Minneapolis as a founding corporate partner of its Twin Cities Climate Resiliency Initiative” said Managing Director & Chief Risk Officer Jill Fuller. “In addition to sequestering carbon, the many other co-benefits, locality, and positive impacts on Minneapolis residents that these Carbon+ Credits represent really resonated with us. There is great alignment between Green Minneapolis’ vision and Winslow’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and sustainability efforts.”

Green Minneapolis has compensated the MPRB a total of $19,000 from this sale. Proceeds from the sale of the remaining carbon offsets generated by this project are projected to grow to $1.3 million dollars over the 25-year life of the project. The MPRB is committed to using these proceeds to plant and maintain an estimated 10,000 additional trees in Minneapolis neighborhoods.

The urban tree carbon offset program is part of Green Minneapolis’ Twin Cities Climate Resiliency Initiative, a public/private partnership focused on reversing the decline of the urban tree canopy across Minneapolis and the seven county Twin Cities metropolitan area. Designed to address the most harmful impacts of climate change on Twin Cities residents, it is a 20-year program to increase the metro area’s tree canopy through planting and maintaining five million trees on public and private lands. The initiative includes identifying new funding sources for tree planting and maintenance, which to date has resulted in $1 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and the recent sales proceeds from urban tree carbon offsets.

Green Minneapolis has additional Carbon+ Credits available for purchase. A Request for Proposals is seeking corporate partners interested in offsetting their carbon footprint with Carbon+ Credits as part of a larger effort to reduce their carbon emissions.

Learn more about Green Minneapolis’ carbon offset program.

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