One thing in advance

When it comes to sustainability, there are many different opinions, approaches and values. And that's a good thing. We're just trying to do our best here and we're not perfect. But who is?

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Questions about Planted

What does sustainability mean for Planted?

Sustainability was invented by a forester in 1713, who described for the first time that a natural resource (wood) soon disappears if more is used than can grow back. He wrote at the time that the forest must be "maintained" for future generations. This led to the development of sustainability, i.e. the idea of only using as much of a natural resource as can grow back in the same period of time. In the meantime, the idea of sustainability has grown further and is based on three pillars. Sustainability must not only be ecologically sensible, but also economically valuable and socially just. At Planted, we work according to these three pillars to make sustainability possible for companies, institutions and private individuals. Our mission is to make the planet enkelfähig: so that all future generations and many other living beings can lead a fulfilled life on this beautiful planet.

How are companies using Planted to help solve the climate crisis?

With Planted, we enable companies to implement their holistic sustainability strategy in just one platform:

  1. 1. ESG assessment, carbon footprint and double materiality analysis
  2. Objectives and reduction of internal emissions
  3. Promotion of the Handprint through environmental protection measures such as local tree planting and forest protection or the promotion of global climate protection projects by offsetting unavoidable emissions
  4. CSRD-compliant reporting and sustainability communication
Can companies claim the expenses for tax purposes?

Tax offices now recognize expenses for climate protection measures as a cost centre. The costs of planting trees should therefore be deductible.

There is a classical society and a non-profit organisation. Why?

With us, companies can make a commitment to the environment. The fact that the companies are primarily involved in environmental protection is not relevant for the tax office. It sees a service provided by Planted. For this reason, companies are supported by our traditional company. The non-profit GmbH (gGmbH) pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes. Planted primarily pursues the promotion of environmental protection, international understanding and development aid. The donated funds may only be used for the statutory purposes. No salaries or profits are paid to the partners. As a private individual, you can make donations to this gGmbH.

Questions about the sustainability platform

How does the sustainability platform help companies with their sustainability strategy?

With the sustainability platform, companies can implement their sustainability strategy holistically, from an initial ESG check and carbon footprinting through to reporting. Planted provides support in four steps:1. ESG assessment, carbon footprint and double materiality analysis2. Target setting and reduction of internal emissions2. Promotion of the handprint through environmental protection measures such as local tree planting and forest protection or the promotion of global climate protection projects by offsetting unavoidable emissions3. CSRD-compliant reporting and sustainability communicationCompanies can also implement individual steps as required. You can find the options and our packages here.

What advantages does the sustainability platform offer?

Your company can expect the following benefits from using Planted:- No expert knowledge required- Employee involvement- 70% time saving compared to Excel- High-quality marketing and communication material- TÜV-certified CO2 balancing- Data export for reporting- Individualized emission reduction- Anti-greenwashing guarantee- Local environmental protection- Knowledge transfer through Climate Academy- CO2 balance sheet can be imported

What reporting guidelines does the platform fulfill?

The Planted sustainability platform is compliant with NFRD, CSRD, CSDD and TCFD and enables holistic ESG management.

How much CO2 can be saved with the platform?

We offer savings measures at company and employee level. The measures are compliant with the Science Based Targets (SBTi) which are compliant with SBTi. Across the scopes, up to 93 percent of a company's emissions can be reduced.

Can the platform cover multiple locations?

Yes, the software naturally also works for companies with several locations and also for groups of companies. This is displayed across the board in the sustainability platform and can be accessed and edited individually. The whole thing works from one account.

How does Planted take the new Green Claims Directive into account?

By offering a holistic sustainability strategy and focusing on internal CO<sub wg-1="">2</sub> reduction, companies can implement their sustainability activities honestly and transparently. The CO<sub wg-1="">2</sub> calculator is TÜV-certified and based on the GHG Protocol. The core element of the strategy is reduction - the best measure against greenwashing. With Planted, companies go one step further than "climate neutral" and become holistically "climate active". You can find out more here.

Questions about environmental protection

Why should companies become active in environmental protection?

Currently, over 80 percent of European ecosystems are in a poor or very poor condition. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 30 to 50 percent of carbon-rich ecosystems such as forests and peatlands need to be restored in order to limit global warming to two degrees. This is incredibly important, because without intact ecosystems and the associated biodiversity, our livelihoods are threatened. Half of the world's economic power depends on the services provided by nature, so protecting and promoting ecosystems is in everyone's interest in order to preserve the basis of our existence.

What exactly is a company's handprint?

A company's handprint comprises its positive impact on the environment. The handprint thus counteracts the footprint, which describes the negative environmental impact of a company in the form of resource consumption and the associated greenhouse gas emissions, and the handprint can do even more good for our planet because it refers to the measures taken to protect our environment. This includes all active efforts for nature with a focus on protecting biodiversity, for example by planting trees, renaturalizing moors, flowering meadows or protecting forests. However, a company's handprint also includes promoting social projects and supporting climate protection projects to reduce CO2 emissions. With Planted, we offer various projects that can be used to actively promote the handprint - both at a local and global level.

What is a climate-stable mixed forest?

A climate-stable mixed forest consists of different tree species that are adapted to the respective forest soil and can cope well with climate change. These are primarily deep-rooted tree species that reach the water in deep soil layers in summer, are firmly rooted in winter and can withstand storms.To achieve such a climate-stable mixed forest, at least three different tree species are usually planted on one area. Trees often already grow on the dead forest areas, but these are often tree species that grow quite quickly and are particularly susceptible to climate change. Further climate-stable tree species are planted alongside these tree species. In addition, other tree species are planted whose seeds were carried to the area by birds, squirrels or the wind, for example. So we are not forcing anything on nature, but rather giving it an impulse with which it can work and stabilize itself. This creates healthy mixed forests in which different insects, amphibians, mammals and birds can colonize. Incidentally, one tree species stands out as particularly climate-stable: the oak. It has very deep roots and can therefore reach deeper water. In addition, oaks take up to 200 years to reach maturity and therefore bind CO2 over a particularly long period of time.

Why should trees be planted in Germany?

German forests are suffering greatly from climate change. Storms, droughts and the bark beetle as a result of the climate crisis have taken their toll on our forests. Three out of four trees have sparse crowns and a tenth of our forests have died in recent years. The need for new, climate-stable forests is therefore massive. 

By planting trees in Germany, companies promote the forest ecosystem locally in their region and contribute to the preservation of native flora and fauna. Furthermore, local tree planting promotes the transparency and credibility of a company's environmental commitment. The results of the efforts are visible and comprehensible for stakeholders, employees and customers. Planted provides the coordinates and tree species for the planting areas, making them easy to visit.

Is planting trees even necessary or can we just leave the dead forest to its own devices?

Planting trees on the areas we plant is very important for the goal of a climate-stable mixed forest. The forests that have died as a result of climate change were often monocultures, mostly exclusively spruce. As trees cannot move and the seeds are only dispersed over very short distances, the surrounding trees and the trees that once lived there always colonize an open area in the forest. This is because the seeds from the former trees are still scattered over the entire area. Our climate forester Jan likes to illustrate this with the comparison to an oil spill: "If a tanker leaks and causes an oil spill, don't we agree that this cannot be left to nature? Nature needs at least some help to regenerate itself." And it's the same in the forest, with the monocultures. These have been put there by humans. And without human help (just an impulse), nature will not regenerate so easily - or it will take centuries. We provide this impulse by planting mixed forests consisting of different climate-stable tree species.

It has to be reforested anyway. Why should I take the forester's work and give money to the forest owners or the state?

In Germany, reforestation is the responsibility of forest owners. This includes not only the federal states, but also local authorities and private individuals. However, forest dieback has been worse in recent years than ever before. There is a lack of financial resources everywhere to plant climate-stable forests as close to nature as possible. This is where Planted and the sponsor come into play. We support the forest owners in restoring the forests, which is a positive sign for the future, especially for our children and grandchildren. And forests always fulfill important functions such as water reservoirs, air filters, habitats for animals, recreational areas for people and CO₂ reservoirs - regardless of who owns them. That's why we make no distinction in our support as to who owns the forest.

Who plants and cares for the trees?

We have our own forester on board, under whose guidance our Planted team also regularly plants trees. This means that the entire Planted team knows how to plant trees. For projects with a large number of trees, the planting is supervised by professional subcontractors. To this end, we have concluded sponsorship agreements with federal states, municipalities and private forest owners. To ensure that our trees grow up in a protected environment, we visit our projects several times a year and regularly exchange information with our partner forests.

When will the trees be planted in the ground?

We only plant the trees in the cold season, from November to March depending on the weather. This is because the seedlings are dormant and don't mind being planted.

What types of trees does Planted plant and who owns the land?

The type of tree we plant depends on the location and is decided individually for each area. Our climate forester Jan knows which trees are best suited to each location. With Planted, we plant mixed forest, as this is more stable than monocultures. Monocultures are particularly susceptible to heat, wind, drought and insects. So far, we have planted the following tree species, among others: oak, hornbeam, alder, lime, sweet chestnut, cherry and fir. They are all robust and have deep roots. As a result, they can easily reach water in the summer and are not blown over by the wind in the fall. The tree species can cope well with the future conditions caused by the climate crisis, which is why we call them climate-stable tree species.

The areas are owned by federal states, local authorities and private individuals. We do not exclude any areas, because our aim is to preserve the forest of the future. Forests always fulfill important functions such as water storage, air filter, habitat for animals, recreational space for people and CO₂ storage - regardless of who owns them. When planting, it is important that a sustainable - i.e. a climate-stable mixed forest - is planted. Our climate forester ensures this with every tree planting.

How successful are the tree planting campaigns?

Our climate forester Jan selects the right tree species for each specific area based on the conditions of the land. He always makes sure that the tree species are as climate-stable as possible, for example that they have deep roots so that they can access water easily in summer. For these reasons alone, our trees have a very good chance of survival. The planted areas are regularly checked by us and foresters on site to ensure that the planned forest is actually being created.

Is offsetting CO2 greenwashing?

Greenwashing means that a company knows that it is doing something "bad" for the environment and does something "greener" in another area to divert attention from the bad area. For example, using child labor in the Far East and then offering to recycle clothing in the store in Germany. With CO2 offsetting, companies (or private individuals) themselves draw attention to the fact that their actions have a negative impact on nature. The mere fact that a company takes the step of drawing up a CO2 balance sheet makes people aware of the company's emissions. Making these transparent is the first step away from greenwashing. If these emissions are then actively reduced through conversions and avoidance and only the previously unavoidable emissions are offset, there is no risk of greenwashing. However, the long-term goal should always be that carbon offsetting is no longer necessary. Until this is possible, carbon offsetting is a sensible interim solution.

How can I be sure that CO2 is saved by the climate protection projects?

In order to save CO2, international climate protection projects work together with independent inspection bodies. These bodies, such as TÜV, check the effectiveness of the projects. There are internationally valid ISO standards for this. A project can only release CO2 savings as compensation for purchase if the following points are successfully fulfilled:‍1. Measurability - The amount of CO2 saved or CO2 removed from the atmosphere must be quantifiable.‍2. Additionality - The project must prove (certified by an independent body) that it would not take place without the money from certificate trading.‍3. Permanence - The project must guarantee that emissions will be or have been reduced in the long term.‍4. Verifiability - Regular audits by external companies must be possible.‍5. Traceability - Traceability of the emission reductions must be guaranteed.‍6. Uniqueness - The certificates may only be sold once.‍With Planted, we only support standards that are also recommended by the German government. These include Moor Futures, the Gold Standard, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or the Verified Carbon Standard. So you can be sure that the amount of CO2 is actually saved.

Questions for private individuals

How can I get involved as a private individual?

In 2021, we launched a subscription model that makes private individuals climate-positive. Every month, climate-friendly trees were planted for them and CO₂ was offset via global climate protection projects. For our active existing customers, nothing else has changed since 2022 despite the focus on companies: we continue to plant trees for them and offset their emissions. If you want to get active with us as a private individual, you still have the option of donating to our non-profit limited company. The money will of course go directly towards planting climate-stable mixed forests in Germany. Just send us an e-mail. We look forward to hearing from you.

How can I view my impact?

Your personal climate profile shows you transparently how many trees you have already planted and where they are growing. You can also see the tons of CO₂ you have offset and the climate protection projects you have supported. Click here to go to the login area of your climate profile.

How do I cancel my contribution to climate protection?

In the event of termination, we require an e-mail with your name, company and a request to cancel your support. It can be canceled at any time. In the case of support via PayPal, you can cancel directly in the account itself. In order to constantly improve, we would appreciate a brief indication of the reason for termination. Thank you for your support so far.

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