Grassroots Carbon is a public benefit limited liability company that provides certified soil carbon storage credits for organizations or individuals buying credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Grassroots Carbon sells its credits by working with ranchers and farmers using regenerative farming practices that help the soil capture more carbon.
Soilworks Natural Capital founders Lew Moorman and Ed Byrne, who also launched software company Scaleworks, have been investing in, acquiring, and incubating companies that accelerate the adoption of regenerative land management, a system of farming principles and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and supports agricultural ecosystems.
Moorman raises sheep, cattle, and pigs on his Hill Country ranch called Pure Pastures. He and Byrne launched Soilworks in June 2020 to foster interest in farming and grazing methods to reverse climate change.
“We’ve had the idea for this a long time,” Moorman said.
A public benefit company, Soilworks’ first acquisition, was PastureMap, a software application that helps ranchers and farmers manage grazing lands’ rotation. The PastureMap network already supports ranchers who regeneratively manage over 4 million acres of grasslands and is rapidly expanding.
Soil Value Exchange supports landowners committed to transitioning to regenerative practices and is used by companies like Shopify and Marathon Oil to reach their carbon reduction goals. The environmental services company helps companies remove massive amounts of carbon quickly by fostering healthy soils of U.S. grasslands with independently certified soil carbon storage.
Combining the two companies in the newly launched Grassroots Carbon will enable companies to buy certified carbon offset credits while also helping landowners practice more sustainable land management practices better for our environment.
The new company works with ranchers and farmers, providing them the PastureMap rotational grazing software and a soil carbon mapping data solution. These tech-driven tools help landowners produce the independently certified carbon credits. In turn, Grassroots Carbon pays landowners to capture and store atmospheric carbon in their healthy soils.
Grassroots Carbon strives to unlock the atmospheric carbon capture storage potential of grazed pasture and rangelands, covering over one-third of the U.S. and representing a critically threatened native prairie ecosystem. These grasslands could capture and store as much as 1 billion tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide every year if managed in a sustainable, regenerative way.
Henk Mooiweer, who was vice president at Soil Value Exchange and now is Grassroots Carbon CEO, said the new company would “bring high quality, measured and independently certified nature-based carbon capture and storage solutions at the scale our customers need, based on our large network of ranchers using our PastureMap software. Ranchers and farmers can now be paid for the continuous amazing work they do to atmospheric store carbon.”
Moorman is the board chair for Grassroots Carbon. He said the new company aims to “accelerate the move to regenerative farming, and the addition of certified carbon credits will be a game-changer for ranchers. The opportunity to create the leading carbon marketplace to accelerate this move was a no-brainer. We expect in 20 years we will look back at this as a key moment of change in the food and climate industries.”
Images of empty grocery store shelves and long lines to buy food over the past year reflect the pandemic-induced disruptions to the food supply, which have exposed weaknesses in our food systems. Moorman said, “the good news is that we’re seeing a movement to support more adoption of regenerative practices in our food supply.
“The food system is ripe for disruption. Our goal is to get as many acres managed regeneratively as possible and help our ecosystems come back to life.”
The featured image shows grazing pastures for cattle. Grassroots Carbon will help ranchers use regenerative practices to capture carbon in the soil. Courtesy photo