ESMC was formed in May 2019 and is a subsidiary of the Soil Health Institute. Our mission is to advance ecosystem service markets that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems that benefit society.
We are a non-profit, member-based organization launching a national scale ecosystem services market for agriculture to recognize and reward farmers and ranchers for their environmental services to society. ESMC members represent the spectrum of the agricultural sector supply chain with whom we are scaling sustainable agricultural sector outcomes, including increased soil carbon, reduced net greenhouse gases, and improved water quality and water use conservation.
Our goal is a voluntary, national market to sell credits for greenhouse gas reduction as well as water quality and quantity for the agriculture sector by 2022.
What Makes Us Distinct?
- Non-profit: We want to maximize environmental impact by delivering as much of the market value back to farmers and ranchers as possible and accelerate growth of the market.
- Scientific rigor: We will ensure that our protocols have the strongest scientific basis possible to provide confidence and trust for both sellers and buyers of agricultural ecosystem assets.
- Multiple markets: We are not a carbon credit-only initiative. Greenhouse gas impacts are fundamental, but land stewardship practices can deliver other benefits like water quantity and quality improvements, enhancement of habitat, and protection of biodiversity.
- Outcomes, not practices: Our protocols measure outcomes on farms and ranches. We do not require any specific practices or set of practices but allow producers flexibility to manage their operations in ways that work best for them.
Why Soil Health?
Soil health is paramount to the future agriculture. It maintains ecosystem function, sustains plant and animal communities and creates critical ecological and natural resource impacts that benefit society. Improved water quality, water use conservation, biodiversity, and pollinator and wildlife habitat can all follow when the soil is tended to. With approximately 70% of U.S. land in private ownership, America’s farmers and ranchers are key to creating solutions to address challenges to our nation’s natural resources.