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  • CarbonCrop Team

CarbonCrop calculates and monitors your carbon removals. Here’s how.

CarbonCrop carbon stock imagery on a computer screen with cropped with some people

CarbonCrop monitors and verifies carbon removals at scale. It’s complicated technology, and many of our customers — typically large primary-sector businesses like meat and dairy organisations — have questions about how it works.

So here, we’re taking a peek under the hood and answering your questions.

How we measure carbon stocks

CarbonCrop calculates carbon stock data primarily through remote sensing — mostly through aerial imagery (taken by aeroplanes), but also with a little help from data from Sentinel-2, a satellite launched by the European Space Agency. We also input data from digital elevation maps that show terrain and altitude, and measure tree height through LiDAR.

This combination of data inputs allows us to make the most of the current data available. Aerial imagery gives us a reliable measurement of above-ground biomass (trees), including species type. Satellite imagery keeps us updated with forest loss in near-real time. Information from elevation maps and LiDAR help us refine and customise our calculations even further.

Our machine learning models stitch together these data inputs to calculate forest carbon stocks and sequestration, taking into account a number of factors, including forest species mix, stage of regeneration, and environmental conditions. A typical farm may track thousands of data points or millions of ‘pixels’ to give a comprehensive picture of carbon stock and ongoing carbon removals across each square metre of land. It’s no small feat! 

How precise is precise?

CarbonCrop uses high-resolution aerial imagery inputs, which gives us a resolution of around 0.5m pixels across most of New Zealand. Contrast this with satellite imagery, which is 3m-10m per pixel. A lot can grow in a 3m-10m plot of land — the power of the high-resolution imagery is in improved accuracy. Determining forest species composition and maturity is hard to do at the satellite level because the resolution is too low to recognise image texture.

We don’t rely on hand-drawn maps or unmonitored project planting plans - we use remote sensing data and up-to-date literature. We estimate carbon stocks and sequestration at a square metre resolution level by deducing species and age from the most recent available imagery. We then use the most up-to-date literature on New Zealand native forest growth [Kimberley, Bergin, & Beets][RJ Holdaway] to make our calculations.

How we monitor

Carbon removals aren’t a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of asset. They need to be continuously monitored to ensure that accidental reversals, like forest loss, landslides, or fire, are accurately accounted for and compensated for.

Our forest loss model, Flossy, keeps track of changes or reversals in forest mass. Flossy’s job is complicated, because keeping track of multi-input carbon stock and sequestration data is complicated — especially when you need to constantly check for flows in the wrong direction (reversals).

If you’re looking at carbon removals in your supply chain, think twice about managing removals data DIY-style in a spreadsheet. Simple tools are great, but they simply can’t monitor and compute removals data in real time the way purpose-built tools can. (Removals data is not something anyone wants to get wrong!)

How we verify

CarbonCrop supports projects for both voluntary and mandatory carbon markets, each with their own compliance requirements. Whether you’re registered in the NZ ETS, or auditing your footprint under GHGP or ISO 14064-1, we help lift the compliance burden. Our full reporting, monitoring, and compliance framework ensures that our customers stay up to date on their paperwork and the data collection required to support the programs they’re running.

Traceability: How we ensure credits aren’t double-counted

Many of the farmers in our system register their carbon  in New Zealand’s ETS, the voluntary market, and/or allocate to the primary sector processors they supply. CarbonCrop manages and accounts for each of these types and ensures that the carbon units are separated both spatially and temporally, which is a key constraint for accurate carbon accounting.

Our ability to separate credits also gives our customers the unique ability to easily link removals to particular products. Using CarbonCrop, it’s easy to distinguish between the units used to back up a net-zero meat claim, and those underpinning a carbon-negative wool claim, for example, and ensure there’s no double-counting.

How we help to ensure durability

Durability is a cornerstone of integrity for carbon removals. CarbonCrop helps our customers ensure the durability of their removals by having farmers contractually commit to keeping trees standing for 100 years. Those contracts are legally enforceable both by us, and by any future owner of the carbon credits. 

Many units of carbon aren't easily traceable. Where exactly does your carbon come from? Is the forest still there? How can you be sure? CarbonTracer is a public-facing portal that lets you trace your carbon units back to the exact blocks of forest that they came from through a unique ID, and check back whenever you like.

Why leverage technology to measure and manage carbon removals?

We’re big believers in the power of technology to bring greater transparency and accountability to carbon markets. And we’re truly passionate about leveraging this technology to incentivise New Zealand farmers to preserve our beautiful native forests.

We make it easy for primary sector companies to capitalise on in-supply-chain carbon removals. Here’s how.

CarbonCrop helps you see what’s going on

You’ll be able to see the full sequestration picture of your supply chain and identify available carbon removals on producers’ properties. They may be sitting on uncapitalised carbon removal potential that nobody knew about!

CarbonCrop gives you access to high-integrity removals

You can decarbonise by vertically integrating removals from behind the farm gate and investing in local, biodiverse native forests to keep your climate efforts close to home.

CarbonCrop helps you monetise your removals

Precise carbon removal tracking makes it easy to create value-added, verifiable, low-carbon products, and tell your removals story in your marketing. You’ll also ensure compliance with domestic and international requirements, allowing you to maintain market access with reduced net emissions.

CarbonCrop makes it easy to prove your climate action

It’s never been easier to validate carbon removals data, thanks to our transparent and traceable unit tracking. Our platform makes it easy to give third-party access for audits and verification.

Get measuring with CarbonCrop

At CarbonCrop, we don’t want carbon removals to give anyone a headache. Our MRV software helps sustainability teams measure, track, and monetise their supply chain carbon removals in near real-time.

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