Reforest the Tropics and New England Biolabs®, Inc. enter into agreement to plant 100 hectares of forest to offset carbon emissions
Mystic, CT and Ipswich, MA (August 15, 2019): Reforest The Tropics (RTT), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Mystic, Connecticut and New England Biolabs, Inc. (NEB®), a global leader in the production of reagents for the life science industry, announce that they have entered into an agreement to plant 100 hectares (247 acres) of new tropical forest in Costa Rica. This project will offset the emissions generated by NEB’s headquarters, located in Ipswich, MA, which houses over 450 of NEB’s employees.
The reforestation project will conservatively sequester over 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in the initial 25-year contract period. The forest carries the potential to capture and store an additional 50,000 metric tons of CO2 in a subsequent 25-year contract term. The project will offset approximately 20% of the current emissions generated by NEB’s operations in Ipswich.
In addition to offsetting a significant portion of NEB’s carbon footprint, the project will create an important habitat for countless animals in Costa Rica, including some threatened and endangered species. Local communities in Costa Rica will benefit from improved water quality, job creation, and other economic opportunities as well.
“At NEB, we continuously advocate for and implement ecologically sound practices and environmental sustainability in order to protect our natural resources, both locally and globally,” states Jim Ellard, CEO of New England Biolabs. “We are excited to partner with Reforest the Tropics in an effort to offset emissions generated by our Ipswich, MA facility, as well as promote reforestation efforts worldwide.”
Tropical reforestation represents one of the most effective, yet underappreciated, strategies for climate change mitigation. Indeed, a July 2019 study in Science identified forestry as “By far…the top climate change solution in terms of carbon storage potential.” Using the RTT mixed-species model, the project will achieve double the carbon capture of most common reforestation approaches, while additionally generating competitive income for participating landowners.
RTT Executive Director, Greg Powell, emphatically welcomes NEB’s participation. “New England BioLabs is a world-class business with an incredible team of scientists who carefully vetted every element of our program. Having satisfied NEB’s scrutiny, we are more confident than ever to engage potential partners armed with positive responses to any foreseeable question about the merits of our approach. We are excited to demonstrate the power of our forestry model to NEB and the world.”
This project, which is only part of NEB’s efforts to minimize its environmental impact, should set a powerful example for other businesses who are seeking an effective, efficient, and safe methods to embrace local and global sustainability.
About New England Biolabs
Established in the mid 1970’s, New England Biolabs, Inc. is the industry leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications and now offers the largest selection of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. NEB continues to expand its product offerings into areas related to PCR, gene expression, library preparation for next generation sequencing, cellular analysis, epigenetics and RNA analysis. Additionally, NEB is focused on strengthening alliances that enable new technologies to reach key market sectors. New England Biolabs is a privately held company, headquartered in Ipswich, MA, and has extensive worldwide distribution through a network of exclusive distributors, agents and eight subsidiaries located in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and the UK. For more information about New England Biolabs visit www.neb.com.
NEW ENGLAND BIOLABS® and NEB® are registered trademarks of New England Biolabs, Inc.
About Reforest The Tropics
Reforest The Tropics (RTT) is a 501(c)(3) organization boasting over 50 years of research experience in the development of the world’s most powerful carbon-capturing forests. RTT’s mixed-species forestry program is approved by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and has received formal endorsements from the US Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Costa Rican Ministry of the Environment and Energy (MINAE). RTT plants mixed-species forests which create important habitat, sequester considerably higher quantities of carbon dioxide equivalent than typical models, and encourage long-term participation with partnering farmers through the generation of a competitive income. RTT complements its forestry program with a comprehensive Climate Change Education Initiative offered to students throughout New England.
Deana D. Martin, Ph.D.
Marketing Communications Manager
New England Biolabs
240 County Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
Reforest The Tropics is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Woods Hole Research Center. The Woods Hole Research Center is one of the world’s preeminent climate change research organizations. The Center supports tropical reforestation as an essential climate change mitigation strategy and is collaborating with Reforest The Tropics to advance the RTT reforestation model as a policy prescription for corporations that are looking to engage in responsible sustainability initiatives. RTT is proud to partner with the Woods Hole Research Center and is excited about the possibilities for building on one another’s important work through this relationship.
We are very interested in species of trees that can fill in under our forests as we harvest/thin the larger trees. This is our approach to developing the RTT forest model that can achieve our goals of long-term income for the farmer, and carbon storage. Here are examples from under-plantings of Gavilan in a 2010 forest. They are straight so far.
Gavilan as a species of trees that can fill in under our forests as we harvest/thin the larger trees forest is 2 1/2 years old.
Gradually, the Klinkiis under the Deglupta will expand upwards and to the sides. We
want a forest in which no sunlight reaches the forest floor, all of the solar energy captured
by the trees. These are still very young trees, doing very well.
Because we know the growth characteristics of these tree species, we can design forests that may better meet the stakeholders needs, namely, the sequestation needs of US emitters who sponsor forests, income for farmers on whose pastures we plant the forests, and the others such as wildlife and the rest of the biome..
Deglupta, Klinkii and Cedar growing well together, so far. The trees are 2 years and 1 month old
In 2000, RTT partnered with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) to plant a 15-acre forest in Costa Rica to help offset carbon emissions created through CMEEC’s energy generation activities. CMEEC is a publicly directed joint action supply agency formed by the state’s municipal electric utilities.
CMEEC Forest in Costa Rica, July 2008
CMEEC furnishes low-cost and reliable electric power by financing, acquiring and constructing generating resources and implementing power supply contracts. Connecticut’s municipal utilities supply electric power to over 66,000 customers including some of the largest and most prominent industries in Connecticut.
Shown to the right is the 8-year old CMEEC forest ready to be thinned for farmer income. The remaining forest, after thinning, will continue to sequester and store the CO2 emissions from CMEEC’s office and vehicle emissions. RTT measures most forests annually to calculate the sequestration rate in this applied research program.
RTT Staff Measuring Trees in a Costa Rican Carbon-Offest Forest
Shown left, RTT staff making measurements on some of the 8-year old trees in the CMEEC forest in Costa Rica. The worker in the tree is measuring the upper diameters of the Chancho trees to be able to accurately calculate their form class, volume and carbon content. Thinnings are an important part of the RTT Model of carbon-offset forests. The RTT Model includes thinnings of forests for farmer income as a way to make the forests sustainable. Sustainability is the key to long-term, indefinite carbon storage in forests.
The two photos shown below, depicting the Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offest Forest No. 5, were taken exactly 1 ½ years apart: the first was taken October 2007; the second was taken on May 2009. Lining the road are super-fast growing RTT Deglupta hybrids, planted to facilitate early harvest by felling into the road. Farther to the right and left is a mixture of Klinkii, Deglupta and protected Mahogany, another RTT forest design on 14 acres. The goal of the RTT applied research program is to design and manage improved sustainable carbon-offset forests for efficient carbon capture and farmer income.
Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offset Forest No. 5; Photo taken October 2007
Superior Nut Company Carbon-Offset Forest No. 5; Photo taken May 2009