Carbon Farming in 2023: Reflections with the CFF Team

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

What a year it has been! We reflect back on the biggest learnings, projects and wins of 2023.


It’s been a year of growth and change here at the Carbon Farming Foundation. We said goodbye to a few of the friendly faces on our team who have moved on to new opportunities in the climate sector and welcomed a few new people who have brought fresh energy to our flock.  


As we round out 2023 and reflect on what we’ve accomplished, there is plenty to celebrate! Below are a few highlights from the past year, alongside an interview with each of our services team members. You may enjoy their reflections on the things learned, projects of note and what they’re looking forward to in 2024. 


The Year in Stats & Movements:  

In 2023, we assessed the feasibility of 13,000 hectares of land across Australia for several soil, environmental planting and plantation projects. Of these 13,000 hectares, projects were registered across 5,000 of them. We now have active projects in WA, VIC, NSW, QLD and TAS! We hosted nine webinars throughout the year, featuring some amazing guests from a wide cross section of the carbon industry. Our Carbon Farming News platform continues to crank out timely, helpful and educational articles that are shared in our monthly newsletter. The most popular article was our interpretation of The Chubb Review & Safeguard Mechanism Reform, with a close second the breakdown of Compliance Frameworks for Australian Agriculture. Looks like you all like nerding out as much as we do! 


Our team was out and about this year, attending and speaking at several events in WA. Our Methodology Lead, Sam Bean, spoke on the Comm Bank panel at Dowerin Field Day. Helena Bowler, our Project Lead, presented on plantation forestry at two events this year. First, at the Carbon & Farming Conference in Perth and then at the Manjimup Conference, focusing on “The Triple Scoop” – increasing on farm productivity, wood production and carbon mitigation. Lachy Richie presented at the Regen Ag Conference in Margaret River this September on Carbon Farming 101 for a regenerative agriculture context. Toby Anderson presented the Carbon Scout tool at South West NRM’s Managing your Carbon Footprint Conference. And the team attended the Boyup Brook Field Day – – Rehydrating Your Farm Landscape – Introductory Workshop. Thankfully, all travel was close to home. 


We’ve had a huge year of learnings on our projects, particularly in the realm of the plantation forestry method. With various method Schedules and every plantation bringing a unique context, there is a steep learning curve to registering Plantation Forestry projects (but we love a challenge!). This year we successfully registered projects under Schedules 1, 2 and 3 of the methodology across multiple States.  


We have continued to develop our processes and systems to efficiently and effectively establish environmental planting projects with partners across Australia and look forward to the projects we already have planned for planting in 2024. This year, a big milestone was the issuance of 4,173 credits at the Canna property. The successful issuance provided us with continued affirmation of our project delivery approach, which we’ve been able to apply to our other projects and confidently stand behind our Services.  


Looking forward to what 2024 has in store, we have been deep diving into some of the new opportunities likely to present themselves such as the Integrated Farm and Land Management (IFLM) Method and Biodiversity markets. As we grow and evolve, we expect to see exciting developments in these spaces in the future. We’re looking forward to continuing our upskilling and sharing with you future accreditations that allow us to provide a wider range of services to assist in developing high-quality, biodiversity-focused projects.  


Now, let’s turn it over to the team to hear about their reflections on 2023, and what they’re looking forward to in the year to come.  


Helena Bowler, Delivery Team Leader 


What has been the most interesting project that you have worked on this year and why? 

I have been lucky enough to work on many interesting projects this year, but my standout would have to be our project with Heartwood Plantations. Their different approach to plantations is very admirable in the way they weave together farming, timber production and ecological restoration. Their mix of eucalypt species is encouraging native fauna to return to the area and they’re protecting areas of significance on their land. Layering a carbon project into their approach seemed like a natural fit, however it wasn’t without its challenges! As Heartwood were using a different approach to plantations, we had to gather significant additional evidence to support their project application. Thankfully, our hard work paid off and the CER successfully approved the project, which will see significant benefits to the landowners of the plantations.  


Key learning of 2023 in one sentence? 

Start planning as early as possible and provide as much detail as possible, to save you headaches down the line! 


What has been the most insightful podcast or article that you’ve read throughout the year? 

All The Dirt – Gardening Sustainability & Food. This is one of my favourite podcasts and is a combination of relaxing whilst learning. I really like to be able to apply sustainability values in my own backyard. 


What are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2024? 

I’d love to see some more biodiverse reforestation projects across Australia! The Nature Repair Market is an exciting opportunity for us all and I’m looking forward to collaborating further with a lot of our delivery partners on bringing some of these projects to life. It would also be exciting to start projects in some states we haven’t explored yet, such as SA.   



Sam Bean, Methodology Lead


What has been the most interesting project that you have worked on this year and why? 

Producing the Canna Offsets Report was really exciting. The CFF was engaged in 2020 – after the first round of plantings – which added an interesting layer of complexity. The combination of multiple planting years across multiple farms was fun to navigate, and it was great putting our processes to the test and seeing them shine! Seeing this project demonstrate the viability of environmental plantings in a low rainfall zone was really encouraging.  


Key learning of 2023 in one sentence?  

There’s no such thing as too many geotagged photos! 


What has been the most insightful podcast or article that you’ve read throughout the year?  

This one by Rachel Standish really resonated with me: 


What are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2024?  

I’m really excited to see more of an emphasis on highly-biodiverse plantings that are targeting specific ecological outcomes. This is something we have started to tap into over the last few years, and I think 2024 could be the year that this really takes off! 


Scarlet Roxby, Project Facilitator 


What has been the most interesting project that you have worked on this year and why?  

 As a newbie Facilitator every project has something new and exciting for me to learn. My favourite has been a recently kicked-off aggregated environmental planting pilot in Victoria. We can’t share much news yet but just wait! 


Key learning of 2023 in one sentence?  

Triple the time you set yourself to map a project! But for our clients, don’t expect quick turn arounds when it comes to projects that involve a coalescence of so many parties. Be patient please! 


What has been the most insightful podcast or article that you’ve read throughout the year?  

All of CFF’s educational content! Shameless plug. You can find it on the Education Hub. 


Is there a carbon project that you’ve seen in the past 12 months that has done something really innovative?  

Any projects that are taking steps to undertake a natural capital account, or baseline biodiversity survey are a big tick in my book. 


What are you looking forward to seeing more of in 2024?  

Biodiversity! I am excited to see biodiversity and other co-benefits be a staple to all carbon projects. With big moves into the development of the biodiversity market, it’s exciting to start preparing for the next wave of biodiverse projects with nuances and stories that shows how the project goes above and beyond. 


That’s a wrap folks on 2023. We wish you and your family a festive season and look forward to connecting back in 2024. 

Sign up for our newsletter

© 2024. The Carbon Farming Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

The Carbon Farming Foundation (ABN 67 645 498 004) is a Corporate Authorised Representative (AFS Representative No.001298535) of True Oak Investments Ltd (ABN 81 002 558 956, AFSL 238184).

The information on this website is general financial product advice only. It does not take your personal financial objectives, situation or needs into consideration. We recommend that you read our Financial Services Guide and consider seeking independent advice before making a financial decision.