Growing Carbon

Growing Carbon is a three-year pilot project (2020-23) exploring the potential to utilise local revegetation projects to generate carbon offsets that also provide environmental and social benefits.

The project is working with local landholders to deliver up to 50 hectares of revegetation that will be registered as a carbon sequestration project with the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund. This will generate carbon credits that will support water corporations to meet their emissions reduction targets.

The project will also be designed to deliver co-benefits that support water corporations’ commitments to a sustainable future for customers as well as supporting priorities set out in the Regional Catchment Strategy.

This project was originally led by the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA. The Port Phillip & Westernport CMA is integrating into Melbourne Water on 1 January 2022 and from this date Melbourne Water will be the delivery agency. 

Why this project is important 

Victoria’s water industry acknowledges that providing clean drinking water and disposing of sewage results in significant greenhouse gas emissions. The Growing Carbon project aims to support Victoria’s water industry to take actions on climate change and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible. Achieving net zero emissions requires a variety of actions including: 

  • Increasing energy efficiency to directly reduce emissions, by minimising the amount of energy used in water supply and sewage treatment 
  • Increasing the use of renewable energy to reduce indirect grid emissions and 
  • Using ‘carbon offsets’ such as planting trees to store carbon to offset any remaining emissions. 

These actions will provide other benefits including:

  • Improved water quality through reduced sediment and nutrient input into waterways 
  • Improved biodiversity through the creation of new habitat corridors including supporting habitat for threatened species 
  • Local employment opportunities
  • Supporting Traditional Owners to implement revegetation projects 
  • Improved amenity of public spaces 
  • Improved community health and wellbeing through the creation of new green spaces.

Project partners 

  • Melbourne Water
  • Yarra Valley Water 
  • Greater Western Water

Timeline 

2022-23Site preparations and plantings to commence.
2021-22Governance arrangements confirmed and in place.
Landholder will be selected for the pilot, with sites covering a total of 50 hectares.
2020-21First year of the project Project working group formed and Project Management Plan and Terms of Reference developed.
Initial expressions of interest sought from local landholders.

Landholder expression of interest 

Expressions of interest are currently being accepted from landowners in the region who are interested in supporting carbon planting projects on their properties. 

Landowners will need to be willing to consent to a long-term agreement involving a significant revegetation project on their property. Revegetation projects will be seeking to restore native vegetation and will use a range of indigenous species specific to the local area and each site. 

The costs of establishing the vegetation will be covered by the PPWCMA and participating landowners will also be eligible for a regular maintenance payment to maintain and protect the plantings for 25 years. 

For more information download the Growing Carbon Landowner Information Sheet.

If you are interested in learning more, please complete the expression of interest form. You will be contacted by the project coordinator to arrange an initial meeting. In this meeting, you will provide detailed information about what is involved and have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss potential options. This may also involve a site visit to areas of the property being considered for revegetation. 

If you are interested in proceeding with the project, a further meeting will be arranged. This will be an opportunity to discuss and negotiate contractual arrangements and develop a basic property plan and detailed site revegetation plan. 

Expression of interest form