So far, our Help Build™ carbon projects are performing collectively at 110%. But we understand that purchasing a share of a project’s long-term carbon offset entails some risk – any given project may not perform as expected. So like the Climate Action Reserve and the Verified Carbon Standard, which require forestry projects to contribute offsets to a “buffer pool” that can be used to make up for projects whose carbon sequestration is “reversed” by forest fire, we created a buffer pool to make up for any given project’s potential underperformance.
For each of our Help Build™ projects, we have a third party validate the project’s expected carbon offset production over the term of our purchase, which is typically 10 years. We don’t sell all of the expected carbon offset production. Instead, we reserve a portion in a separate “buffer pool.” The buffer pool is typically the expected generation during the last year or two of our contract with the project (the buffer period). So, for example, we would purchase all of the offsets to be generated over the project’s first ten years, but sell only the amount expected to be produced over its first nine years, leaving the last year as the buffer period. We conduct a rigorous risk analysis on each project to determine the appropriate length of the buffer period.
Then, if your project produces more than the amount we sold before that buffer period begins, we will retire that excess production for you, and you’ll have offset more carbon than you purchased. If your project doesn’t produce the amount we sold by the time that buffer period begins, we will retire carbon offsets generated during your project’s buffer period for you. If your project’s buffer isn’t enough to provide all the carbon offsets we sold from your project, we will draw from other projects’ buffers and retire them for you. We will manage this overall portfolio of project buffers so that there is a 99% probability that more carbon offsets are produced and available to you than we originally estimated.
Customers of our Help Build™ projects want to make a new project happen and understand there is a vanishingly small risk they won’t receive all their tons. For those who cannot tolerate the risk, we offer offsets than have already been generated and verified.