ESMC’s protocol sets a monetary value on four environmental benefits farmers and rancher can generate on their land: added soil carbon, reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions, and increases in water quality and quantity. All of these benefits flow from good soil health.
ESMC’s market will sell assets and credits for soil carbon and net greenhouse gas offsets as well as water quality and water quantity assets generated through a scientifically rigorous, standards-based, and cost-effective framework that meets corporate sustainability and reporting standards.
ESMC’s protocol includes numerous adaptations that cover regional differences throughout the United States. Progress to date includes coverage of all agricultural production systems in the Southern Great Plains and in the Midwestern corn and soy region. The protocol describes how ranchers and farmers can quantify, monitor, report, verify and register credits and assets generated on their working lands.
ESMC is developing the Northern and Western Great Plains protocol adaptation now and will soon address the Great Lakes/New England Region as well as California/Western Region. Pilot projects planned or underway will allow ESMC to operate in at least six major regions in time for the 2022 launch. The nationwide expansion will continue beyond 2022. A map outlining the ESMC protocol expansion plan is here.
ESMC will add new attributes such as biodiversity and habitat conservation to the protocol in the near future.
The technical brief summarizing the assessment of quantification tools and models, protocols, and methodologies, which preceded the development of ESMC Protocol, may be found here.