Energy company bp announced today that it has acquired a majority stake in Finite Carbon, the largest US forest carbon offset developer. According to bp, Finite Carbon will be integrated into the energy giant’s in-house business accelerator, bp Launchpad.

Launchpad was established by bp in 2018 as a team of in-house business builders to turn breakthrough technologies and digitally-led business models, from both inside and outside bp, into high potential businesses that can help re-imagine energy. To date, Launchpad has invested in four companies (other than Finite Carbon), with plans to invest in a further five companies by the end of 2021.

Finite Carbon is North America’s leading developer of forest carbon offsets. The company identifies and develops projects that enable landowners to generate revenue from the protection, restoration, and sustainable management of forests, enabling increased carbon stored in forests, and generating carbon offsets that are verified against industry-recognized standards and can be traded on markets. The company has generated over one-third of all California compliance offset supply and delivered more than $500 million to landowners.

According to bp, the investment is expected to bolster Finite Carbon’s expansion, including into new geographical markets. The company stated that the increased investment will aid the delivery of a further $1 billion to landowners by 2030 from its existing business lines and its new web-based CORE Carbon platform.

Sean Carney, founder of Finite Carbon said:

“Putting a price on carbon can make it possible for anyone with the ability to protect, plant, or improve forests to generate revenue from their efforts. However, there is currently limited infrastructure to quantify, monitor, and verify these actions at scale. Thanks to this unique partnership with bp, Finite Carbon now has the resources of a global energy company behind it to help address this enormous environmental challenge and help small landowners access this market.”

Bp has taken several actions this year to boost its sustainability profile and align itself with the transition to a low carbon economy. Early this year, the energy company introduced a target to become a net zero emissions company by 2050, and in August, bp announced its energy transition strategy, with the intention to transform  from an international oil company into an integrated energy company, with plans to reduce oil and gas production over the next several years, offset by substantial growth in low carbon energy investment and production.

David Eyton, bp’s Executive Vice President of Innovation and Engineering, said:

“Finite Carbon has the potential to build a global platform for managing and financing natural climate solutions (NCS). Deepening our partnership will allow them to accelerate their development and expansion. Finite Carbon’s progression through bp – from venturing investment to majority ownership and introduction to Launchpad – is a great example of how we are applying our unique innovation ecosystem to foster innovation and build material energy businesses in support of our net zero ambition.”