March Acronym of the Month – FullCAM

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If you’ve been looking into tree planting for carbon credits, chances are you’ve heard of FullCAM, or the ‘Full Carbon Accounting Model’.


What exactly is it?! 

FullCAM is an amazing modelling tool which incorporates over 50 years of climate, soil carbon, plant productivity, land cover change and land management data. It was developed by CSIRO for landholders who are registering with the Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) Scheme. It estimates how much carbon your carbon farming project is likely to absorb from the atmosphere and how many carbon credits you’ll earn.


What are the benefits of using FullCAM? 

FullCAM is used in six different carbon project methodologies, as well as Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Accounts, so it’s highly robust and credible. Being able to model carbon sequestration means we don’t have to rely on field sampling alone, which saves time and money. It also means we can compare different project options with relative ease, so you can make sure your carbon project is going to work for you. 


So how does it work? 

We input a range of information into FullCAM to simulate what will happen across the lifetime of your project (which can be either 25 or 100 years). We call this ‘running a simulation’.  


FullCAM crunches the numbers to tell us how many tonnes of CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) your project will sequester over a 25 year crediting period if you follow all the same steps as the simulation.


Each tonne of CO2e you sequester earns you one carbon credit, which you can either keep, retire or trade.  


What information does FullCAM need? 

The information we enter into FullCAM varies depending on which method your project will be registered under, but will include as a minimum:  

  • Project location 
  • Start and end dates for your project  
  • The tree species you’ll be planting 
  • Events that will take place during the project, such as tree planting, seeding, fertilising and weed control.  

For some methods, e.g. Plantation Forestry projects that are converting from short rotation to long rotations, we need to run baseline simulations and compare them against project simulations to understand how much extra carbon will be sequestered as a result of the change.  


How accurate are the results? 

FullCAM results are based on a single point within your project area and the results are calculated to a resolution of less than 250sqm. Given the complexity of the data sets involved, carbon yield can vary quite substantially across your property. The more points we model, the more accurate the results will be.


To simplify this process, CFF produces property heatmaps for projects registering under the Reforestation by Environmental and Mallee Plantings FullCAM method. They provide a colour scale overlay showing carbon yield across your entire property so you can easily locate the sweet spots for optimising carbon yields (and profits!) without having to run lots of separate FullCAM simulations.  



When is FullCAM used?  

We’ll run FullCAM models several times during your project:  

  • During feasibility assessment, to estimate how many carbon credits your project is likely to earn. 
  • During project design, to ensure you’re not missing out on any available credits for your project. This can include by modelling plantings as blocks vs belts and ensuring your carbon estimation areas are stratified for maximum yields.  
  • On project registration, to produce your Forward Abatement Estimate.  
  • During offset reporting, to model your actual carbon sequestration for that reporting period. When your Offset Report is approved, you’re issued with the ACCUs you earned for that period.   


How do I find out how much carbon my project might sequester?  


Reforestation by Environmental and Mallee Planting projects 

Contact us to order a heatmap for $250+5c per hectare or book in a feasibility presentation for $1,500 which will include a heatmap, as well as eligibility assessment, cashflow modelling and risk analysis.  


Plantation Forestry 

Contact us to run one or more FullCAM simulations across your property for $150+$50 per simulation. These will be based on species, rotation and management assumptions. We’ll let you know how many simulations we think you’ll need to get a good estimate of the total carbon yield of your property.  


Alternatively, order a feasibility presentation which will be bespoke to your project plan and include financial modelling and eligibility assessment.  


For more information, download our Service Brochures (PDF, 866KB). All prices quoted exclude GST. 


Ready to find out more?

Explore our range of educational resources in our Carbon Farming Education Hub where we frequently publish educational articles, webinars, and guidebooks. 


When you’re ready to explore the feasibility of undertaking a carbon project on your property, email us at or give us a bell at (08) 6835 1140 to be connected with one of our project facilitators.

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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).

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