In June 2019, Reforest the Tropics and New England Biolabs®, Inc. (NEB®) entered into an agreement to plant 100 hectares (247 acres) of new tropical forest in Costa Rica. NEB, a global leader in the production of reagents for the life science industry, 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.
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.”
Planting of the first 50 hectares began in earnest in October 2019. Over 32,000 seedlings will be planted by a team of workers in the final months of 2019. RTT will plant an additional 50 hectares and another 32,000 trees in 2020 for the project. The pictures above highlight the first phase of the project.
The project will boast more biodiversity than any previous RTT reforestation effort, featuring over 26 different tree species. A number of species produce fruits, nuts, and flowers to support local fauna and expand critical habitat. In fact, the 250-acre NEB-RTT project will complete a biological corridor between the two principle rivers in the region and will contribute to a healthy ecosystem at the base of the Turrialba Volcano national park.