Urban Forestry and Carbon Offsets Pilot Program

Project Description and Co-Benefits: 

In 2017, the University Sustainability Practices (USP) office at Arizona State University (ASU) piloted a new urban forestry program to explore the viability of generating carbon offsets through local tree planting projects.

The pilot utilized the Urban Forestry 2.0 protocol from Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative (DCOI). ASU partnered with the cities of Phoenix and Tempe to install trees in parks and community gardens. Urban Offsets (UO), a privately held company from North Carolina, manages the data and will eventually certify the offsets generated by this pilot. The initial project period planted 359 trees at 15 sites, which are expected to sequester around 1,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by the time that the project reaches full maturity.

The pilot implementation included three major components: 1) improving urban tree canopy by planting 350 trees through partnerships with municipalities and volunteer events; 2) catalyzing a local carbon offsets industry by hosting technical trainings and mobilizing municipalities; 3) Educating youth by developing and piloting curriculum around urban forestry and carbon cycle.


Student Involvement: 

Students and the greater community engaged with the new program by participating in volunteer planting events, attending technical trainings and a panel discussion, and conducting inventory data collection on the planted trees.


Project Organizer Contact Info: 

Corey Hawkey, Assistant Director, University Sustainability Practices


Project Status:

The project is near completion; it was started February 2017 and is expected to conclude by the end of 2018. The pilot program will proceed with additional future tree plantings and research on the urban heat mitigation impacts of ASU’s trees.

Offset Registry or Program:

Urban Offsets

Protocol Applied:

Urban Forestry 2.0 protocol from Duke Carbon Offsets Initiative

Cost per Offset ($ per mtCO2e):


# of Total Offsets:

666 offsets for ASU

666 offsets for Duke

1332 offsets total

WEBSITE: ASU University Sustainability Practices