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The Bristol Avon Catchment Market – the right choice for smart businesses

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Luke Grimshaw is Project Manager for the Bristol Avon Catchment Market and has served on various projects for the Avon Wildlife Trust over the previous 3 years. His deep interest in Nature Based Solutions and wealth of experience in delivering complex projects is helping to establish the Bristol Avon Catchment Market as a world-leading solution for investment in nature. In this blog post he gives an overview of the Bristol Avon Catchment Market and the opportunity for businesses. 

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market is providing ethical businesses with a better way to meet their environmental goals.

By purchasing verified credits for carbon, biodiversity and other environmental services, businesses can be confident that they are on a credible path to becoming net-zero and nature-positive.

Market overview

Avon Wildlife Trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and EnTrade have jointly developed a high-integrity way of supplying environmental services from nature.

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market is an online marketplace where:

  • farmers make offers to sell environmental projects such as new wetlands, woodlands and grasslands; and
  • businesses make bids to purchase credits for the environmental services delivered by these projects.

This innovative market is designed so that multiple buyers of different environmental services can meet their needs through a single market process.

Importantly, businesses only buy the type and quantity of environmental services that they need at a fair price.

EnTrade oversees the operation of the market to ensure that the market process is fair and independent for buyers and sellers.

The Avon and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts are using their local knowledge and scientific expertise to work with farmers to develop projects in strategic locations to maximise environmental benefits. The market aims to support the restoration of: 58 hectares of grassland; 85 hectares of new woodland; and 5 hectares of wetland.

A market you can trust

When you have made a decision to make your business more sustainable, you want to know that you are making a real difference.

The high standards, depth of experience and local knowledge of the Avon and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts will ensure that all environmental projects are well designed, independently verified and expertly maintained.

Projects will be accredited against approved standards using up-to-date metrics so that buyers can be confident that the credits will be accepted by relevant authorities.

You also want to be sure that you are participating in an independent and impartial process.

The market settlement process has been designed in collaboration with experts from Exeter University to ensure fair payments for both buyers and sellers, with any surplus shared equitably between participants.

Nature’s recovery takes time. You want to be assured that funding today will be used for projects that deliver benefits for many years to come.

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market establishes legally binding contracts with project suppliers to ensure that the projects will be maintained throughout the lifetime of the project.

An exclusive opportunity

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market provides smart businesses with a credible pathway to make a meaningful contribution to nature’s recovery.

However, the market isn’t open to everyone.  Businesses must meet the required ethical standards in order to participate in the market.  This includes a commitment to use credits purchased through the Bristol Avon Catchment Market to drive genuine environmental improvements.

And there are limited quantities of the environmental services available, so businesses are encouraged to learn more about this opportunity so that they don’t miss out.

Next steps

Ahead of the first market round, there will be an Expression of Interest process for interested buyers to nominate the type and quantity of environmental credits they want. This will be used to inform the development of a Catchment Opportunities Statement so that buyers and sellers have a clearer picture of the supply and demand balance in the catchment.

To find out more about how the market works, please visit bristolavoncatchmentmarket.uk or watch the Partnership’s free webinar that took place on 11 May.

The Bristol Avon Catchment Market team is also available to discuss how the market can help you to meet your environmental goals and can be contacted at contact@bristolavoncatchmentmarket.uk.

The development of the market has been funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm’s-Length Bodies.  It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

 

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