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We are planting trees together with our partners Eden Reforestation Projects and WeForest in Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia. Our tree planting partners plants native species trees only. They never plant or introduce any invasive species at any of their project sites. Our projects in these countries include various species.
In Kenya and Mozambique, the main focus is on mangrove trees for now. Research indicates that mangroves sequester carbon at a rate two to four times greater than mature tropical forests. Mangroves also contain the highest carbon density of all terrestrial ecosystems. Furthermore, it is known that mangroves play an important role in coastal ecosystems, and are renowned for an array of ecosystem services, including fisheries and fibre production, sediment regulation, and storm/tsunami protection.
In Zambia, the main restoration approach here is Assisted Natural Regeneration. This involves protecting and nurturing wild tree seedlings. This process is carried out all year round and serves to promote the natural succession of the forest.
‘Trees are the lungs of the earth’, you’ve probably heard that before – and for a reason. That’s because trees help the planet breathe by turning carbon dioxide into clean, pure oxygen. In addition to that trees and forests around the world also act like the planet’s air conditioning system and keep the planet cool. Global tree restoration is considered as one of the most effective carbon drawdown solutions to date.
The main species we plant through our partner, Eden Reforestation Projects, are mangroves. The name ‘mangroves’ refers to approximately 110 tree species that are able to survive in saline or brackish water and are found in intertidal zones along tropical and subtropical coasts around the world. Each mangrove tree planted removes over 308kg of CO2 over its 25-year lifespan, or 12 kg of CO2 per tree per year. Importantly, investment in mangrove protection and restoration is key to helping developing countries meeting their National Determined Contributions of the Paris Agreement.
We value the importance and impact of tree planting but are nonetheless conservative in the amount of CO2 sequestration that we attribute to our trees. Although 300 kilograms of CO2 per tree is scientifically defendable, we calculate 125 kilograms per tree. This is related due to the fact that trees first new to fully grow before to become truely effective and because our tree planting projects are not verified. Certification of carbon compensation is important as it creates a measurable impact, but we feel that the actual impact of a project is what matters most. Although these planting projects are not certified for now, the impact of these projects is huge. Next to the fact that trees do capture big amounts of CO2, the tree planting projects also present a great benefit to local communities. Our planting partners utilize an “Employ to Plant” methodology to benefit the members in these local communities. Through steady employment, impoverished villagers can begin to afford daily necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and medicine.
Our partners hire local villagers to grow, plant, and guard to maturity native species forest on a massive scale. Their “employ to plant methodology” results in a multiplication of positive socio-economic and environment measures. In this way, they alleviate extreme poverty within the impacted community. This also ensures that the villagers have an economic incentive to ensure the wellbeing of the reforestation project. They also have a sense of “ownership” over the trees and restored forest and they protect it with great care.
If a project is certified this means that voluntary carbon credits have been issued. A carbon credit is a certificate representing one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent that is either prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere (emissions avoidance/reduction) or removed from the atmosphere as the result of a carbon-reduction project. For a carbon-reduction project to generate carbon credits, it needs to demonstrate that the achieved emission reductions or carbon dioxide removals are real, measurable, permanent, additional, independently verified, and unique. Additionally, it is important that appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure projects comprehensively address and mitigate all potential environmental and social risks.
If a project meets these criteria—as specified by independent standards such as Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)—credits can be issued. The impact of a carbon credit can only be claimed—that is, counted toward a climate commitment—once the credit has been retired (cancelled in a registry), after which it can no longer be sold.1 In the case of our users, Regreener retires the credits their behalf.
For example, in case of a renewable energy project, the amount calculated is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that the climate protection project reduces or avoids. If the renewable energy project avoids the emission of 100.000 metric tonnes of CO2, 100.000 credits are issued for this project. Once issued, these certificates can be traded on carbon markets. Once certificates are bought, these can be retired. A retired credit can never be traded again. Retiring a credit means taking it off the market. Therefore, the party that retires a certificate can claim the amount of CO2 (in metric tonnes) compensated through these certificates.
Before we invest in a certain project by buying and retiring carbon credits, we discuss the relevant project with one of our Climate Science Advisors, which are experts with a background in climate and environmental science.
Gold Standard was established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs to ensure projects that reduced carbon emissions featured the highest levels of environmental integrity and also contributed to sustainable development. Gold Standard is a standard and logo certification mark program for non-governmental emission reductions projects in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the Voluntary Carbon Market and other climate and development interventions. It is published and administered by the Gold Standard Foundation, a non-profit foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It was designed with an intent to ensure that carbon credits are real and verifiable and that projects make measurable contributions to sustainable development.
Gold Standard is considered the most rigorous climate standard by many NGOs, including WWF and the David Suzuki Foundation. Gold Standard verified projects provide additional social and community benefits in addition to high quality carbon offsetting. Gold Standard-certified projects have created over $20.5 billion in shared value for climate action and sustainable development.
Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) was founded in 2005 by environmental and business leaders who saw the need for greater quality assurance in voluntary carbon markets. VCS now serves as a secretariat for the various standards they develop and programs they manage, as well as an incubator of new ideas that can generate meaningful environmental and social value at scale. VCS is a global leader helping to tackle the world’s most intractable environmental and social challenges by developing and managing standards that help the private sector, countries, and civil society achieve ambitious sustainable development and climate action goals. The VCS Program is the world’s most widely used voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) program. Over 1,600 certified Verra VCS projects have collectively reduced or removed more than 500 million tonnes of carbon and other GHG emissions from the atmosphere.
The impact and quality of a carbon-reducing project is measured by a third-party that certifies the project to international standards. These standards ensure that the projects are what we say they are: real, permanent and truely green. The third-party will monitor the project to ensure it delivers to its promises.
Additionally, these certification bodies also employ third parties to audit the projects to completely remove any conflict of interest in the reporting. The are different standards, but we have choosen to pick the best projects out there through Gold Standard and Verra Carbon Standard (VCS).
Based on the data from Eden Reforestation Projects (our tree planting partner), the survival rate of the trees we plant is well over 80 percent.
The great thing about mangrove trees is that between years three and five these trees begin to produce their own propagules (baby mangrove trees). This results in a proliferation of natural regeneration. Multiple studies demonstrate the initial survival rate combined with natural regeneration results in a luxuriant impact ranging between 150-500 percent.
On a personal or business level, you can keep track of your impact in your profile. In here you can find detailed information about the projects you have supported.
On community level we publish monthly updates on our Financials page. We believe transparency is key and believe leaving a full paper trail of what we do and why we do it is the way to is the right thing to do.
We publish certificates of how many tonnes of CO2 (‘carbon credits’) were prevented from entering the atmosphere or removed from it. The standards of these projects are certified by Gold Standard and Verra Carbon Standard. Additionally we publish donations receipts related to our rainforest protection program that we have established with our partner Rainforest Partnership. As for the trees planted, you can see the corresponding proofs of purchase from our tree planting partners, Eden Projects Projec and WeForest.
If our community grows big enough: yes! In the fight against climate change, every step in the right direction is important. Human behavior has a huge impact on climate change. We don’t say this to point a finger here, but it is up to us as mankind to undo the damage that was done by us. Billions of people across the world are worried about the direction we are heading. If lots of people join our platform to compensate their carbon footprint, whilst becoming more conscious of their footprints’ impact, this will make a huge difference. As a matter of fact: this will alter the course we’re on. It is important to say that even a gigantic Regreener community alone won’t cut it though. This initiative will not stop climate change or undo all damage that has been done. However, we do sincerely believe that our community will make a difference. We need joint action, and all green initiatives are helpful. If you want to do your part, please sign up now!
In addition to directly funding CO2-reducing projects such as tree planting and green energy projects, we feel that innovation has a big role to play in accelerating the process of reaching our goals. More efficient ways to plant trees and a data-driven approach to (common) progress are examples of what can make a huge positive impact. Therefore our aim is to be an innovative company that works on solving the challenges we face by doing research, developing new tools and supporting innovation throughout the ecosystem services sector.
No, Regreener is not a non-profit organisation but a sustainable commercial company. Being a non-profit organisation comes with certain (financial) limitations. Although Regreener is a sustainable commercial company, we are otherwise operating like a charity, by picking the best elements that serve our cause: publicly publishing financial information, customer revenue data, and impact data. Also, our margin of 25% is up there with the best charities. As it is our mission to have as big as an impact as possible, having a self-sustaining business model is the most efficient way of running our business. We want to be as streamlined and efficient as possible, being able to scale and attract top talent to reach our goals: regreen the world and fight climate change.
We are not a charity, but a sustainable commercial company. So, you might wonder what our business model looks like. This is what happens to your money after you subscribe to our platform:
Step 1: After receiving your money, we pay VAT (value-added tax) to the government. On your invoice, you can see that 21% VAT is added to the purchase price. This 21% is paid to the tax authorities immediately. What’s left after paying the VAT is our revenue.
Step 2: 75% of our revenue goes into our climate change fighting projects and relevant transaction costs. This part of our revenue is called the Regreener Climate Fund. Through this fund we support some of the best climate change fighting projects out there. We plant trees, support anti-deforestation groups and invest in green energy and renewables. These projects compensate your carbon footprint. In your profile, you can see how much impact you have had so far by supporting these climate change solutions. Your profile shows the amount of trees planted and the CO2 that is compensated on your behalf. Your impact is visible and measurable, and the way your money is spent is transparent. We also publish proof of our tree planting, our carbon certificates and the donations that were made on behalf of the Regreener community. Therefore, the impact of the entire Regreener Community is transparent as well.
Step 3:The other 25% of our revenue is used to to run Regreener and to grow our platform. This part is used for things like transaction fees, team member compensation, hosting, licenses, marketing, IT & software, accounting, office rent and office costs. As it is our goal to create a big Regreener community, it is unavoidable that we make these costs. We want to create a community that has the power to really make a change. That’s why we need to spread the word. For that, just like any other company, we need people and resources.
You can spread the word by telling everyone around you about your experience with Regreener, and you can help up by leaving a (positive) review on Trustpilot. Furthermore, feel free to share your profile on your social media using the sharing options in your profile.
To calculate a baseline footprint, which we use for our monthly plans and one-time contributions we use multiple data sets:
- Data from the World Bank which reports CO2 and other greenhouse emissions that occur in your country.
- Data from the Global Carbon Project which reports emissions embedded in imports from overseas. We combine these imported emissions with the country of residence emissions.
On top of that we add an extra 10% to ensure that each member is becoming climate positive by offsetting more than their footprint.
At the moment, we are busy creating a personalized footprint calculator, which will provide our users with a precize estimate or their actual footprint. However, creating and optimizing a good and reliable calculator takes time. If you wish to receive updates on the footprint calculator and the geolocation, please sign up to our newsletter by using the sign-up function at the bottom of this page. If you already wish to calculate your carbon footprint now, we recommend the WWF Footprint Calculator.
The two factors responsible for this difference in prices are VAT (value-added tax) and commuter traffic.
Prices for personal plans are including 21% VAT. The VAT is paid to the tax authorities in whole. The prices voor business are exluding VAT, because businesses can reclaim the VAT they pay at the relevant tax authority. Therefore, VAT is irrelevant for businesses.
So, when we compare the personal and business prices including VAT, the prices for businesses are in fact higher than the prices for personal plans. These prices differ because of commuter traffic. We feel that carbon emissions as a result of commuter traffic should be compensated by the employer, not the employee. That’s why, for businesses, commuter traffic is included in the average carbon footprint calculations, and prices are a bit higher.