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What is Land Management?

Talking With Soterra: Ep 4 | Carbon

In this session, Andy Callahan, director of business development at Soterra, discusses carbon sequestration and the voluntary carbon market. The conversation touches on Soterra’s role in this market and how it is contributing to its growth.

What’s covered

The main topics discussed in the session were:

  • Understanding carbon sequestration and the voluntary carbon market
  • The role of Soterra in the voluntary carbon market
  • The benefits of Soterra’s involvement in the carbon market for its partner company
  • Soterra’s goal to diversify its revenue streams and its non-timber revenue targets
  • The challenges and opportunities in the voluntary carbon market

Takeaway 1: Carbon sequestration is part of Soterra’s sustainability strategy

In this segment, Soterra’s Director of Business Development, Andy Callahan, explained the company’s innovative move into carbon sequestration, a process that captures and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This initiative is part of Soterra’s diverse sustainability strategy and aligns with the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

“We grow trees every day at Soterra, which makes us a natural fit for the voluntary carbon market,” said Callahan. He further explained that the company is setting aside specific areas of its land where it has committed not to harvest the trees. The outcome of doing so allows these trees to continue absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Callahan also noted that Soterra’s move into carbon sequestration is not just beneficial for the environment but also provides an opportunity for the company to diversify its revenue streams. He mentioned a goal for Soterra’s non-timber revenue streams to make up more than 50 percent of their net income by 2023 – a target that Soterra exceeded. 


Takeaway 2: Soterra provides leases for solar farms as part of their renewable energy commitment

The program also shed light on Soterra’s initiative to lease land for solar farms. This move is an extension of Soterra’s commitment to sustainable and renewable energy sources.

“We were approached by a solar developer back in 2015. We optioned a property, and since then, we have 24 properties that are optioned or leased for utility solar farms,” stated Callahan.

However, Callahan also explained that while the company has optioned around 60,000 acres of land, only a small percentage would be suitable for building due to various constraints such as wetlands and sloping areas. Despite these challenges, this initiative is a part of Soterra’s diversification strategy.


Takeaway 3: Soterra prioritizes innovation and forward-thinking strategies

Soterra’s innovative strategies, such as their involvement in carbon sequestration and solar farm leases, are part of a larger ethos of the company to be forward-thinking and adaptive. This mindset has helped the company grow and diversify over the years.

“There’s not one single answer. It’s in our wheelhouse. Soterra has been sustainable since before sustainable was cool. It just fits right into what we do,” said Callahan.

He also highlighted the company’s openness to new ideas and its commitment to continuous improvement. This mindset, according to Callahan, is indicative of Soterra’s future trajectory, suggesting that the company will continue to explore and implement innovative strategies in the years to come.

Insights surfaced

  • Soterra is involved in carbon sequestration, setting aside specific areas of land where trees are not harvested to absorb carbon dioxide.
  • Soterra leases land for solar farms. This is part of Soterra’s commitment to renewable energy.
  • Non-timber revenue streams are expected to exceed 50 percent of net income going forward.
  • Soterra prioritizes innovation and forward-thinking strategies, exploring opportunities in carbon sequestration and solar farm leases.
  • The voluntary carbon market is relatively new and faces challenges such as credit validity and auditing processes.
  • Corporations’ focus on ESG targets creates demand for carbon sequestration, benefiting Soterra and its partner company Greif in achieving emission goals.


  • “Most of what they’re talking about is trying to plant more trees… we grow trees, and so it’s a natural fit.”
  • “It’s really just about trying to diversify.”
  • “Soterra has been sustainable since before sustainable was cool.”
  • “The voluntary carbon Market… it’ll be negative next month; it’ll be the greatest thing since sliced bread… It’s back and forth.”
  • “One of the goals that we have… to have our non-timber revenue streams be more than 50% of our net income.”
  • “We have these strategy meetings where we get together, and we brainstorm some crazy ideas… that stuff is motivating for me.”
  • “I think there are still some exciting things that are coming, and I’m looking forward to the next couple of years at least.”

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