ESMC is a non-profit that works to compensate farmers and ranchers who improve the environment through their agricultural practices. Our market program reduces greenhouse gases, improves water quality, and increases other ecosystem services to benefit society.
ESMC was formed in May 2019 and became a stand-alone non-profit in 2021. 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 program 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.
In May of 2022, ESMC launched a voluntary, national market program to sell credits for greenhouse gas reduction as well as water quality and quantity for the agriculture sector.
What is distinct about ESMC?
- 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 will be fundamental to our marketplace, 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 are focused strictly on measurement of outcomes on a farm or ranch. We do not require any specific practices or set of practices, to allow producers flexibility to manage their operations in a systematic way.
What is ESMC doing?
- Developing protocols and a related technology platform for enrolling working agricultural lands and quantifying and verifying the assets they generate
- Working with members and outside organizations to review and certify our protocols.
- Funding research into key scientific and technological aspects of measuring actual environmental impacts of farmers’ and ranchers’ land stewardship practices.
- Collaborating with ESMC members on a series of pilot projects in major agricultural production systems to test and refine our protocols and tools
- ESMC’s research arm, the Ecosystem Services Market Research Consortium – or ESMRC – is working collaboratively to invest in identified research, development, demonstration, and economic gaps to overcome past and current market-based challenges.
- Healthy soils are paramount to the future of the agriculture industry, maintaining ecosystem function, and sustaining plant and animal communities.
- In addition to soil health, agricultural systems create critical ecological and natural resource impacts that benefit society, such as improved water quality, water use conservation, biodiversity, and pollinator and wildlife habitat.
- With approximately 70% of U.S. land in private ownership, America’s farmers and ranchers are key to creating solutions to address our nation’s soil health, natural resource, and ecosystem services challenges.