It's not just about carbon 

Acorn is Rabobank's response to climate change, a threat that affects us all, but that disproportionately disadvantages smallholder farmers in developing countries. Like everything we do, our solution is rooted in common sense, in down-to-earth practicality. Our collective actions have created an excess of carbon in our atmosphere. Planting biomass, such as trees, can recapture that carbon. Agroforestry also improves soil quality and crop yield. The only thing holding back smallholder farmers is perceived risk and delayed reward. So we're mitigating those factors and paving the way for a greener, cooler, more sustainable planet. 

Why agroforestry? 

Agroforestry is nothing new, but it's an art to perfect like any other. Simply using farmland to grow crops will eventually exhaust the soil, deplete associated nutrients and natural resources, and can even put communities at greater risk of destructive mudslides, drought, and decreased crop yields. That's why we help smallholder farmers to transform their agricultural practices into more sustainable ones through agroforestry. Agroforestry provides a solution to all of these gloomy scenarios. Promoting biodiversity makes ecosystems more resilient, more sustainable, and even more productive. Getting the exact formula right depends on geographical factors and agricultural focus and expertise. That's why we partner with local project coordinators, such as Solidaridad, ReNature and Kaderes. 

No empty promises 

We don't sell credits that aren't real yet. Every credit you purchase represents actual biomass. Not future biomass, not the promise of biomass. It's not a guarantee: it's a statement of fact. At the end of the day, our heritage is down-to-earth and clogs-in-the-clay. Our carbon registry details every carbon removal unit we've ever issued: where it comes from, whether it's still around (or retired), the whole yarn. All thanks to technological advances. 

Nothing at face value 

We don't take anyone's word for increased biomass. Our concept works by the grace of remote sensing technology. It's what makes our mission possible, our activities scalable, and the carbon credits we issue trackable. A combination of LiDAR, satellite tracking, local inspections, machine learning, and more provides us with a data set that informs us whether trees are being planted, whether deforestation is (or was) taking place, and just how much carbon has been sequestered on smallholder farmers' land. So the carbon removal units we sell are transparent and verifiable, making offsetting your organization's carbon footprint a piece of cake—with ease of mind. 

Co-benefits for a co-future

A healthier planet benefits all of us, but we've got a special commitment to improving the lives of smallholder farmers. That goal has been with us since Rabobank's rural beginnings. So we've always got an eye on the co-benefits provided by the Acorn approach. Data and insight empower smallholder farmers, keeping their businesses competitive. The improved yield and increased income make a difference to them, to their families, and to their communities. 

We've set the minimum price of our CRUs at €20. We keep 10% of the money paid for each CRU, with 10% going to local coordinators such as Solidaridad, and the remaining 80% going to the farmers, and not a penny less. This allows farmers to invest in their companies as well as their environment, growing a more sustainable farming business one step at a time: from a solar-powered stove to a more efficient irrigation system, and from advanced crop rotation to crop cohabitation. Let's leave the place nicer than we found it, right? 

Independently certified and verified 

Don't just take our word for it. We collaborate with Plan Vivo to ensure our credits are trustworthy, our projects reliable, and our farmers supported. Together with Plan Vivo, we have defined a proprietary framework and methodology that makes it much easier for project coordinators to get projects certified. Doing the right thing should be easy, for everyone involved. So we've streamlined the process, and rely on sampling and scalability to make things transparent and reliable for all. 

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