How It Works

A guide to finding and funding Community Carbon Projects.



Urban Offsets Community Carbon Projects implement local and regional tree-planting initiatives for verified carbon credits. Schools, organizations and municipalities committed to carbon neutrality can meet their climate commitments and invest in their surrounding communities through these substantive, innovative offset projects.

Community Carbon Projects are tangible, highly visible exemplifications of your commitment to carbon and climate neutrality. They provide research opportunities for students and faculty and serve as a point of pride to share with prospective students, visitors and alumni, as well as with the media and general public. With a full catalog of Community Carbon Projects, the Urban Offsets Community Carbon Registry provides an inventory of offset projects with truly local benefits. Here’s how it works.

Support Community Carbon Projects and offset emissions.

The Urban Offsets Community Carbon Registry helps universities and other sustainable organizations reach voluntary climate commitments.

  • Get the carbon credits you need now.  Carbon credits are a critical component of your climate action plan (CAP). For every tree planted, our Community Carbon Projects provide 10 certified carbon credits from participating high-quality Climate Action Reserve and Verified Carbon Standard projects. We transfer these credits to you within 30 days of purchase. These credits can offset your Scope 3 emissions from athletics programs, study abroad, and more.
  • Make a local impact.  Your purchase of carbon credits supports community tree planting projects that produce additional benefits to local neighborhoods. In addition to a year’s worth of care for the trees, your purchase strengthens the urban forestry programs of local cities and communities and provides a variety of co-benefits. Planting trees in urban environments has been linked to increases in community engagement, educational opportunities, pollution absorption, property values, and local business.
  • Invest in the future.  The trees planted in Community Carbon Projects require care and maintenance over their lifetime. You can continue your support of a project each year and receive the same benefits, as well as additional credits. Renewing your support for a project grants you the rights to future verified carbon credits created by the project’s trees.

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  • What is a carbon credit?
  • Why do schools need carbon credits?
  • What makes a carbon project “additional”?
  • Is this the same as Cap and Trade?
  • Who can support Community Carbon Projects?
  • Can a Community Carbon Project be funded by more than one organization?
  • When can verified carbon credits be retired?

Easily find Community Carbon Projects that match your goals.

The Urban Offsets Community Carbon Registry provides you with a range of community tree-planting projects in cities across the country.

  • Start by searching.  You can find projects by:
    • Location:  Enter a zip code and a search radius to locate projects by city, region and state.
    • Number of credits available: To find projects with enough credits to meet a need, filter projects within a minimum/maximum range of credits.
    • Special features: Search for noteworthy special features, such as volunteer opportunities, fruit-bearing trees or areas of historical significance.
    • Keyword:  Find projects based on any attribute, including university name, species type and partner organization.
  • Explore project profiles.  The Urban Offsets Community Carbon Registry provides detailed project profiles to help you connect with projects that match your needs. A profile provides planting specifics, including location, tree species selected, a detailed timeline to track a project’s progress. Profiles also highlight project partners and funders.
  • Find a match.  Select the blue “TELL ME MORE” button found on a project profile to notify Urban Offsets of your interest in funding the project or to request more information or suggest a similar project in a community closer to you. We will get back to you quickly with further information.

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  • What do I look for in a Community Carbon Project?
  • What if there are no Community Carbon Projects in my area?
  • How do I support a Community Carbon Project?
  • What is a Planting Partner?
  • When are Community Carbon Projects listed on the Registry?
  • Who plants the trees in Community Carbon Projects?
  • Where are the trees planted in Community Carbon Projects?
  • Who takes care of the trees in Community Carbon Projects?
  • How are trees monitored in Community Carbon Projects?
  • How are Community Carbon Projects verified?
  • How can I stay up to date on the progress of a Community Carbon Project?

Help advance the science of urban forestry.

Urban Offsets Community Carbon Projects support the development of urban forestry and climate science.

  • Our standards are practical and transparent. In partnership with the Duke University Carbon Offsets Initiative, Urban Offsets has developed a new carbon standard based on the U.S. Forest Service’s best science. The standard is practical for community scale tree-planting projects and reasonable for university purposes. The Urban Offsets Community Carbon Registry shares data with funders and provides an easy way for universities to find local carbon initiatives and to support their surrounding communities.
  • Peer Validation maximizes research support.  Projects are verified by universities according to the emerging Peer Validation Standard, a transparent and publicly accessible standard based on ISO 14065 certification. Duke University pioneered peer validation with the city of Wilson, North Carolina. Peer validation ensures academic rigor and supports urban forestry and climate research. This trusted and affordable validation approach prevents the diversion of funds from projects by eliminating the need for costly traditional third-party verification.
  • Access project data for student and faculty engagement. Every planted tree presents an opportunity for university students and research faculty to advance urban forestry and climate science. Urban Offsets makes all collected project data available to ensure transparency and inform research. Funders are able to view, download, and share data from Community Carbon Projects with faculty and students.

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  • What protocol does Urban Offsets use for Community Carbon Projects?
  • How does transparency in Community Carbon Projects reduce exposure to risk?
  • How does Urban Offsets use my money?
  • What if a Community Carbon Project isn’t fully funded by its planting date?

Ready to get started?