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American Carbon Registry announces new conservation fellowship and presents Carbon Market Awards at annual gala

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 22, 2023 – The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, has announced the co-creation with Green Assets of a new conservation fellowship, in remembrance of the late Hunter Parks, to expand the technical knowledge base for harnessing the power of carbon markets for conservation finance. The announcement was made at ACR’s annual gala reception yesterday, where awards were also presented to Tradewater, the National Indian Carbon Coalition and Therm in recognition of their outstanding environmental achievements. 


The Hunter Parks Conservation Fellowship at ACR has been established jointly with Green Assets in remembrance of the organizations’ business colleague, founder and dear friend. The two-year Fellowship will be awarded to a recent forestry graduate on a competitive basis. The Fellow will engage on a day-to-day basis with forestry and carbon market experts in the evaluation of forest carbon project design and implementation to support the ongoing work to harness the power of carbon markets to conserve, sustainably manage and restore forestlands across the U.S.

“Hunter’s absolute passion for conservation was evident in everything he did. As a landowner himself, he learned by doing and aimed to ensure that other landowners interested in tapping carbon markets for conservation finance had a trustworthy partner. The honesty and integrity that he brought to all his relationships – personal and professional – was as refreshing as his cowboy boots at a carbon conference. We are proud to honor his legacy through an ACR Fellowship in his name that advances his conservation vision,” said Mary Grady, Executive Director of ACR.

Hunter founded Green Assets Inc., a forest carbon project development firm, in 2009 with the goal of providing landowners the opportunity to bring environmental and economic value to their property through conservation projects. The company’s mission is summed up by its motto of ‘Landowners working with Landowners.’ Following Hunter’s vision, the organization guides the development of projects, programs, and methodologies to meet the goals of landowners, while establishing a foundation of integrity in the marketplace.

Green Assets CEO Bailey Evans said, “Hunter would be honored to know this Fellowship will continue to provide opportunity for growth in the forest carbon space. The idea is that the candidate will embody Hunter’s passion of exploring the unknown and ensuring landowners get a fair, sustainable deal when participating in the carbon market, while promoting quality and integrity. We look forward to our continued collaboration with ACR, and support of their endeavors to create a high-quality marketplace for landowners to participate in the forest carbon arena.”


ACR’s organizational awards are based on its guiding principles of innovation, quality and excellence.

Tradewater was honored with the ACR Innovation Award for the co-development of ACR’s International ODS Destruction methodology. The methodology combines two key innovations. The first is allowing for the collection of CFCs – for which production and consumption are banned under the Montreal Protocol – from stockpiles in developing countries, most of which don’t have in-country eligible destruction facilities. The second is the ability to export the CFCs to another country for destruction at a TEAP compliant facility. Combined, these innovations provide access to carbon finance to fund this costly ODS collection and destruction process, which delivers very high climate impact.

In spite of Montreal Protocol’s global ban on virgin production and consumption of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), tens of billions of metric tons of CO2 equivalent of CFCs continue to be recycled and reused in old leaking equipment or indefinitely stockpiled in rusting tanks around the world. Destruction of ODS is costly and there is no mandate to collect and destroy these gases. By enabling carbon credits as an innovative (and the only) sustainable mechanism to finance destruction of CFCs, even more critical in developing countries, this methodology helps prevent further global warming and ozone depletion from the reuse and stockpiling of remaining CFCs.

“We are thrilled to receive the ACR Innovation Award and are particularly pleased to work with ACR on tackling these extremely potent greenhouse gases,” said Tim Brown, CEO of Tradewater.  “The International ODS Destruction Methodology validates the importance of the global nature of the work and will result in additional and permanent climate benefits.  Our aim is to go after these gases all over the world to have the greatest impact we can in the fight against climate change.”

The National Indian Carbon Coalition, a nonprofit program of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) and the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), received this year’s ACR Commitment to Quality Award for their work helping tribal nations and individual Indian landowners access carbon market finance by developing high quality carbon projects on their lands. NICC has supported four tribes to register projects with ACR, including Blackfeet Nation, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Keeweenaw Bay Indian Community.   

The carbon market provides tribes with unique opportunities to preserve tribal land ownership, protect the land for future generations, and earn income for their communities. Despite this potential, the carbon market is complex and difficult to navigate. Through its work with Native Nations, NICC creates new opportunities to reap the benefits of carbon projects on their lands, while preserving that land for future generations.

“The work we do is important for the future of tribal communities and the well-being of the planet. We’re pleased with what has been accomplished so far but there is so much more to be done,” said Bryan Van Stippen, Program Director of the National Indian Carbon Coalition.

Therm was presented the ACR Corporate Excellence Award for the company’s work as a frontrunner in facilitating supermarkets’ and grocery stores’ transition to low-GWP refrigerants using carbon market finance based on ACR’s Advanced Refrigeration Systems (ARS) methodology.

In only a year, Therm has worked with dozens of organizations to reduce more than half a million metric tons of CO2e, issued by ACR as verified carbon credits and marketed by Therm as Refrigeration Carbon Credits™ (RCCs). For these facilities, carbon markets have provided crucial additional financing for the transition to low-GWP refrigeration, which can traditionally cost upwards of a million dollars per store for complete system replacement. Therm is working with hundreds of more stores and food distributors to help them access carbon market finance to lower the financial costs of and accelerate the transition to low-GWP refrigeration systems. With less than 2% of the 45,000+ supermarket and grocery stores in the U.S. using refrigerants with GWP less than 150 (EPA Greenchill), the potential for these stores to contribute to emission reductions in this critical decade is immense.  

“ACR’s proven track record of integrity and excellence has been crucial to the success of Refrigerant Carbon Credits™,” said Fritz Troller, CEO of Therm. “Partnering with an established and distinguished registry is the first step in creating high-value credits. The unique nature of our program empowers smaller, local grocery stores to take part in large-scale, permanent, and immediate environmental action. RCCs’ undisputed permanence and quality drive a premium carbon credit price, further accelerating the transition to climate friendly refrigerants.”

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Winrock has long recognized the threat posed by climate change. ACR, founded in 1996 and operated by Winrock, is dedicated to the belief that markets are the most effective tools to tackle climate change. As such, ACR has developed transparent and science-based methodologies to incentivize carbon reductions in agriculture, transportation and other industries. ACR is also a partner in assuring that California’s landmark Cap-and-Trade Program can manage, verify and credit carbon offsets effectively.