Report suggests nearly $14 billion market for ‘ecosystem credits’

-The Hagstrom Report

American farmers and ranchers may be able to generate $13.9 billion in income through conservation practices and selling “ecosystem credits” to corporations, industrial or municipal operations interested in meeting environmental impact goals, shareholder and stakeholder expectations, or environmental regulatory obligations, according to a report released today at a Farm Foundation event in Washington.

The report was prepared for the Noble Institute by Informa Economics was released by the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, a subsidiary of the Soil Health Institute, founded in May with a mission to advance ecosystem service markets that incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health systems that benefit society.

ESMC’s founding members include ADM; Bunge; Cargill; Corteva Agriscience; Danone North America; General Mills; Land O’Lakes; McDonald’s USA; National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Nestle; Noble Research Institute, LLC; Nutrien; The Nature Conservancy and the Soil Health Institute.

“The Informa assessment confirms ESMC’s conviction that there is substantial demand for ecosystem services from farmers and ranchers. ESMC is building a voluntary market to monetize those outcomes for producers, using science-based approaches to increase and measure soil organic carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality and water use efficiency,” said ESMC Executive Director Debbie Reed.

“This study demonstrates conclusively the demand for the ecosystems services marketplace ESMC will launch in 2022,” she said.