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Frequently asked questions - FAQ's

One thing in advance

When it comes to sustainability, there are many, 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?

Questions about us

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 then that the forest must be "kept up" for future generations. This gave rise to sustainability, i.e. the idea of using only 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. For example, sustainability must not only be ecologically sound, but also economically valuable and socially just. At Planted, we work according to these three pillars to enable sustainability for companies, institutions and individuals.

Our mission is to make the planet sustainable: so that all future generations and many other living beings can live a fulfilled life on this beautiful planet.

With us, companies can make a commitment to the environment. The fact that the companies are primarily engaged in environmental protection is not relevant for the tax office. It sees a service provided by Planted. For this reason, companies are served by our classic company.

The non-profit limited liability company (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 shareholders. As a private person you can make donations to this gGmbH

With Planted, we give your company the opportunity to take a holistic approach to climate protection in various areas:

1. Calculation and analysis of the CO₂ balance
2. Reduction of emissions, local climate protection through tree planting and forest protection, CO₂ compensation of unavoidable emissions
3. Multiplier for climate protection through communication

To what extent does this solve the climate crisis?

Reducing emissions is the most important means of meeting the 1.5 or 2 degree target. "Keeping it up" is no longer an option if we want to leave a livable planet to future generations. And in order to be able to take this reduction step at all, it is necessary to know one's own emissions.

Through CO₂ offsetting through global climate protection projects, we also make it possible to compensate for all previously unavoidable emissions. This is because it is not yet possible to live and do business completely independently without emissions.

Forests are natural CO₂ stores and thus play an important role in climate protection as natural carbon sinks. A study by ETH Zurich found that "restoring forests is currently the best solution to climate change." However, we need to act quickly, "as it takes decades for new forests to reach their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage."

Planted's third and most important pillar is to create greater awareness about the climate crisis. We want to motivate as many people as possible to take action on climate change and show how CO₂ can be reduced.

Transparency is one of our strengths and is firmly anchored in our corporate philosophy. To make this a reality for our Planted partners as well, we provide each company with a personal climate profile. The climate profile shows transparently where and how many trees have been planted, which tree species, which climate protection projects have been supported, and where the company stands in terms of CO₂ reduction. The climate profile can also be easily shared externally.

In addition, we have stored a map of our tree plantations in Germany on our website so that they can be visited and thus made tangible. You can find this map here. You can also find an overview of our plantations and climate protection certificates here.

Tax offices now recognize expenses for climate protection measures as a cost center. The monthly costs should therefore be deductible.

Of course, we'd love to keep you on board, but sometimes we part ways. To do so, send us an email with your name, your company, and a request to cancel your support. You can cancel at any time. If you support us via Paypal, you can also cancel directly in your Paypal account.

In order to improve us continuously, we would appreciate a short indication of the reason for cancellation. Thank you for your support so far.

Questions about
Company offer

With Planted, we offer your company a holistic solution that focuses on CO₂ reduction together with your employees. Our solution is divided into three steps:

1. Climate Insights
Our software enables you to calculate your company's CO₂ balance. Based on the balance, we start the analysis and show you potential savings.

2. Climate Action
Climate Action is the focus of our work: CO₂ reduction. Together with your employees, you can use our software to actively reduce your company's internal emissions and lower your company's CO₂ balance. We also help you offset your unavoidable emissions through global climate protection projects. In addition, you have the opportunity to become active locally and plant your own company forest or protect forests.

3. Climate Communication
As the last step of the climate journey, we support you in communicating your commitment. We provide you with guidelines for communication and a lot of marketing material (see next question).

We provide you with a whole package of marketing material: You receive our Planted logos, icons and badges, photo material, a certificate, guidelines for your communication, social media posts and material for offline communication.

The highlight is your own digital climate profile, which transparently shows your commitment. There you can see where your trees and which tree species were planted, how much CO₂ you have reduced and offset as a team so far, and which climate protection projects are supported. You can share this climate profile and easily use it for communication.

The digital climate profile is individually adapted to each company and transparently illustrates its commitment. It shows where and which trees have been planted, how much CO₂ has been reduced, which climate protection projects for CO₂ offsetting have been supported and how much CO₂ has been offset, and which measures the companies are already implementing. Here you can find the climate profile of one of our Planted partners.

With the Climate Action Team, companies offset the average CO₂ footprint of individual employees each month via global climate protection projects and also plant climate-stable trees in Germany.

How does this solution help mitigate the climate crisis?

In general, climate protection works in three steps:

1. In principle, it makes sense for us all to start avoiding and actively reducing fossil fuels.
2. If it can't be avoided, CO₂-intensive things should be replaced, such as with green energy.
3. what cannot be avoided or replaced will be offset by Planted through carbon offset projects.

These three steps contribute to the solution of climate change. In doing so, CO₂ offsetting is a solution that we currently need, but hope to be able to do without in the future. Planting the trees is additional and promotes local environmental protection. Thus, we preserve the German forest as an important habitat for many different animals and species, drinking water reservoir and filter, noise protection, air filter and recreational space for us humans. And what's more, the trees remove even more CO₂ from the atmosphere.

Questions about
Planting trees

In recent years, it has become increasingly visible to all of us how badly the German forest is doing: many forests are dying due to extreme weather events as a result of climate change. Yet forests do so much good for us humans and all other living creatures that it is urgently necessary to preserve them. Moreover, they support us in climate change, because trees store a lot of CO₂.

To preserve the forest, we plant tree species that are perfectly adapted to their respective locations and form the most stable forest for the future. This ensures that the forest remains healthy and nature is preserved. Our vision here is always to plant climate-stable mixed forest.

A climate-stable mixed forest consists of different tree species that are adapted to the respective forest soil and cope well with the changes of climate change. These are primarily deep-rooted tree species that can reach 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 in one area. Often, trees are already growing in the dead forest areas, but these are often tree species that grow quite quickly and are particularly vulnerable to climate change. In addition to these tree species, other climate-stable tree species are planted.

In addition, other tree species are planted whose seeds were carried to the area by birds, squirrels or the wind, for example. So we don't force anything on nature, but give it an impulse with which it can work and stabilize itself. This creates healthy mixed forests in which different insects, amphibians, mammals and birds settle.

By the way, one tree species stands out particularly well as 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.

We plant the trees all over Germany and near every major city. You can find a detailed overview here.

Right up front: No, unfortunately that's not possible.

Trees store CO₂ in their wood, but since they grow relatively slowly, they also store CO₂ slowly. In addition, trees are a part of nature over which we have no control. We cannot guarantee 100 percent that every single tree will survive - even if we do our best. Therefore, our tree planting efforts are additive. It's your contribution to actively doing something for the forest in Germany, too. The CO₂ that our trees bind in the future is therefore not included in the calculation as compensation. But if our trees grow vigorously and robustly in the coming decades, even more CO₂ will of course be bound naturally.

Which tree species we plant depends on the site and is decided individually for each area. Our climate forester Jan knows which trees are optimally suited for each site. In Germany, the rule for most areas is that a mixed forest is more stable than a pure stand, because monocultures are particularly vulnerable to heat, wind, drought and insects. For this reason, forests in Germany have been converted to mixed forests for many years. Jan follows this conviction and always plans mixed forests for us.

So far, we have planted the following tree species, among others: oak, hornbeam, alder, linden, sweet chestnut, cherry and fir. They are all robust and have deep roots. As a result, they have good access to water in the summer and are not blown over by the wind in the fall. The tree species cope well with future conditions caused by the climate crisis, which is why we call them climate-stable tree species.

We have our own forester on board, under whose guidance our Planted Team also regularly plants trees. Thus, the entire Planted team knows how to plant trees. For projects with a larger number of trees, the planting is supervised by professional subcontractors. For this purpose, we have concluded sponsoring agreements with federal states, municipalities and private forest owners. Employees of committed companies can also participate.

To ensure that our trees grow up safely, we visit our projects several times a year and regularly exchange information with our partner forests.

Biodiversity means many species in one ecosystem and is very important for us. Since we promise to plant climate-stable mixed forest, by definition we have always planned for several tree species. Usually, different deciduous and coniferous trees grow together in our areas. In addition, small hedges are sometimes created at the edge of the forest, making our areas the perfect habitat for large, small and tiny creatures. From deer to bunnies and from large to small insects now swarm on the planted areas.

In the areas we plant, tree planting is very important to the goal of a climate-stable mixed forest. The forests that have died in climate change were often monocultures, mostly exclusively spruce. Since trees cannot move and even the seeds are only dispersed over very short distances, the surrounding trees and the trees that used to live there always colonize an open area in the forest. This is because from the former trees the seeds are still scattered all over the area. It is a vicious circle.

Our climate forester Jan likes to illustrate this with the comparison to an oil spill: "If a tanker spills and causes an oil spill, don't we agree that this cannot be left to nature? Nature needs at least some help to regenerate." 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 give this impulse with the planting of mixed forest consisting of different climate-stable tree species.

We plant climate-stable mixed forests in Germany. The areas are owned by federal states, municipalities and private individuals. We do not exclude any areas, because our aim is to preserve the forest of the future. Forests always fulfill the important functions such as water reservoir, 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 takes care of this with every tree planting.

First and foremost, we plant the trees with our team or the forestry offices. However, corporate clients also have the option of planting their own company forest in the form of a team event under the guidance of our forester Jan. Please contact us for this.

We are often asked this question and the honest answer from Jan, our climate forester, is: "I don't know, we don't decide that".

Who decides that then? Our children and their children, because trees grow incredibly slowly. So much new technology will be invented in the next few decades that we don't know what the following generations will do with the forest. Maybe they will be able to build houses from algae and leave the forest to itself. But maybe in the future they will be able to "melt" wood and use it in a 3D printer. Then the people of the future will use the forest.

No matter what our descendants decide - we must guarantee them the opportunity to make a decision today. And that means planting climate-stable trees in a mixed forest and keeping the forest for future generations - that's 100% sustainability.

Questions about CO₂ compensation

For the climate crisis, it doesn't matter where in the world CO₂ is emitted. Conversely, to combat the climate crisis, it is only important that CO₂ is avoided, no matter where in the world.

CO₂ certificates make use of precisely this knowledge, because their purchase finances climate protection projects worldwide that actively save CO₂. These projects are only possible through the sale of the certificates. The buyer is therefore responsible for the savings and is also allowed to take credit for them.

Climate protection projects avoid or reduce the emission of climate-relevant gases, for example by building wind power or plants to avoid methane. The proceeds from certificate trading benefit these projects and make them possible in the future. In this way, projects can be supported anywhere in the world. The advantage: Emissions can be offset where construction measures can be implemented cost-effectively. For example, we are currently supporting a wind farm in India.

Greenwashing means that a company knows 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 but then offering to recycle clothes 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 conversion and avoidance, and only the previously unavoidable emissions are offset, there is no danger of greenwashing.

However, the long-term goal should always be that CO₂ offsetting is no longer necessary. Until that is possible, CO₂ offsetting is a sensible interim solution.

In order to save CO₂, international climate protection projects work together with independent testing bodies. These bodies, such as TÜV, test the effectiveness of the projects. There are internationally valid ISO standards for this purpose. A project can only release CO₂ savings as offsets for purchase if the following points are successfully met:

‍1. Measurability - The amount of CO₂ saved or CO₂ sequestered 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 reduced or have been reduced in the long term.
‍4. Verifiability - Regular audits by external companies must be possible.
‍5. Verifiability - Traceability of emission reductions must be guaranteed.
‍6. Uniqueness - The certificates may only be sold once.

With Planted, we only support standards that the German government also recommends. These include Moor Futures, the Gold Standard, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) or the Verified Carbon Standard. This way you can be sure that the amount of CO₂ is really saved.

Still have questions? Contact us.

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