About Us

Like trees and other vegetation in general, grass sequesters and stores carbon. The same is true for managed turfgrass, like golf fairways and mown rough. These are unique among turf areas, since they are generally cut frequently enough to avoid the removal of the small, hardly visible, grass clippings. Instead, they are left in the sward, where they break down as organic material or nutrition and seemingly contribute to the buildup of carbon.

This applies to drylands or mineral soils. On the other hand, the drainage of wetlands or organic soils can emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Therefore, a golf course can be a carbon sink on drylands and a source of emissions on drained wetlands or organic soil.

Carbon Par started in 2019, as a scientific research project focusing on these soil carbon dynamics, or land use carbon status, on all sixty golf courses in our home country of Iceland, in collaboration with The Agricultural University of Iceland. The project is largely self-funded, with partial funders including STERF, The Golf Union of Iceland, The Icelandic Football Association, KPMG Iceland, the Icelandic state government and the City of Reykjavík.

Since then, we have embarked on increasingly detailed, partly self-funded, scientific research internationally. These include Le Golf National in France, the site of the 2018 Ryder Cup and the 2024 Olympic Games golf competition, in partnership with the FFGreen fund of the French Golf Federation.

Before we started 2019, documented scientific research on carbon sequestration in golf fairways and mown rough was limited to the top 15 cm of soil and four U.S. states. We have since responded by literally digging deeper for results, in multiple countries, and noted interesting trends in golf turf soil carbon depth distribution. This information provides a foundation for continued research and support to golf course owners worldwide.

Company and Founder

Carbon Par is an Icelandic private limited company, ID 580102-2120, founded and led by Edwin Roald, a golf course architect with twenty years of international experience from both sides of the Atlantic. Throughout this time, Edwin has advocated environmentally driven concepts in golf course planning, alongside his work as an accredited verifier for The GEO Foundation, sustainability committee chairman and council member for The European Institute of Golf Course Architects and board member of The Scandinavian Turfgrass and Research Foundation.

Seeking to combine his architectural and scientific background with his passion for golf's potential contribution to nature and man, Edwin launched Carbon Par in 2019, first as a scientific research initiative. As interest in similar research has grown, the company has built a large database of research results and other insights that are now used to help golf course owners in their climate action.