When it comes to sustainability, there are many, many different opinions, approaches and values. And that is also a good thing.
We're just trying to do our best here, and we're not perfect. But who is?
Questions about us
There is a classical society and a non-profit organisation. Why?
The regulations regarding non-profit status and services are extensively regulated in Germany. This means that non-profit organisations do not pay VAT, for example, but are not allowed to offer a classic service in return.
We offer companies to actively work with us for the environment. In doing so, the tax office does not care that the companies primarily do environmental protection with Planted and rather see a service through Planted. Therefore, companies are looked after by our classic company.
The non-profit limited liability company (gGmbH) pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes. 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. Planted's main objectives are the promotion of environmental protection, international understanding and development aid.
With the different companies, Planted can achieve the optimal result in environmental and climate protection with all parties.
How does my company contribute to solving the climate crisis with Planted?
We are working in three areas of climate protection: 1. planting trees, 2. CO₂ offsetting, and 3. CO₂ reduction. To what extent does this solve the climate crisis? The reforestation of dead forest areas in Germany is a start and starts locally in environmental protection, which should have a global effect.
A study by ETH Zurich found that "forest restoration is currently the best solution to climate change." However, the study's co-author, Thomas Crowther, professor of global ecosystem ecology, says, "We need to act quickly, as it takes decades for new forests to reach their full potential as a source of natural carbon storage."
That's why our project relies on a second pillar: CO₂ offsetting. Through global climate protection projects, we offset CO₂ that cannot currently be avoided completely. One example: CO₂ that cannot be avoided is produced when you rent office space or an apartment and a gas heating system is installed for this apartment. Here, CO₂ is emitted, which we can offset via climate protection projects until the conversion to emission-free heating has taken place. The third and most important pillar of Planted is to create greater awareness of the climate crisis. We want to motivate as many people as possible to get involved in climate protection and show how CO₂ can be reduced.
How do I know that Planted's promised activities will really be implemented?
Transparency is one of our strengths. We provide your company with a "Climate Action Page". There you can see all the activities that we have implemented for your company and employees, updated monthly. You can share this with your employees and customers to communicate all your company's activities to them as well.
In addition, we have a map on our site with our tree plantations in Germany, so that they are visitable and therefore tangible. You can find this map here . And to go even further, we have two tables for proof of climate protection certificates and tree plantations available online here.
Is my footprint really that high?
According to the CO₂ calculator of the German Federal Environment Agency, just under six tons of CO₂ are already consumed per year if you live in a perfectly insulated 10 m² apartment, use green electricity, don't have a car, don't travel at all, and eat a vegan diet.
We calculate an average CO₂ footprint of 9.16 tons per person per year for our packages. For one footprint, we already offset 10 tons of CO₂ to still have a buffer. This buffer is so extensive that it corresponds to a CO₂ quantity of two flights within Europe. We're not encouraging people to fly, but ensuring that we make your team climate-positive.
What does sustainability mean for Planted?
Sustainability was invented by a forester in 1713, who at that time 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. From this, sustainability developed, 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 now based on three pillars. Sustainability must not only be ecologically sound, but also economically valuable and socially just. Planted works according to these three pillars to enable sustainability for companies, institutions and private individuals.
Is CO₂ compensation greenwashing?
No, it's not greenwashing, but it's a good question. First, we need to clarify what greenwashing even is. Most simply explained, greenwashing exists when a company knows it is doing something "bad" for the environment and then does something "green" in another area to distract 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, this is different. Private individuals or companies themselves draw attention to the fact that their actions have a negative impact on nature. However, active action is taken to reduce this negative impact and create a positive impact. For companies, the CO₂ balance sheet alone is enough to make them aware of their emissions. Presenting these transparently is the first step away from greenwashing. If these emissions are also actively reduced through changes and avoidance in the company and the unavoidable emissions are offset, there is no danger of greenwashing.
Can I claim the expenses against tax?
Tax offices now recognize expenses for climate protection measures as a cost center. The monthly costs should therefore be deductible.
How do I cancel my support?
We would love to keep you on board as a climate protector. But sometimes we part ways.
Send us an email with your name, your package and the request to cancel your support. You can cancel at any time.
If you support us via Paypal, you can also cancel the subscription directly in your Paypal account. In order to improve us and to be able to offer future climate protectors* a better deal, we would appreciate a short indication of the reason for cancellation.
Thank you for your actions!
Questions about Planting trees
Why are you planting trees?
By planting trees, we support the forest here in Germany, which is doing very well, as we can all see. But because the forest does so much good for us humans and animals, we have to preserve it. To do this, we choose tree species that are perfectly adapted to the respective location and form the most stable forest for the future. This ensures that the forest remains healthy and nature is preserved. Our vision is always to plant climate-stable mixed forest.
What is a climate-stable mixed forest?
A climate-stable mixed forest consists of different tree species that are optimally adapted to the respective forest soil and can cope with the changes of climate change. These are primarily deep-rooted tree species that can reach water in deep soil layers in summer and are so firmly rooted in winter that they can withstand storms.
Achieving such a climate-stable mixed forest usually means not planting just one tree species. In most cases, trees already grow on their own in the dead forest areas, but these are tree species that grow quite quickly and are particularly climate-sensitive. In addition to these tree species, other climate-stable tree species are planted. In this way, other tree species grow between the planted trees, the seeds of which have been 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.
Are the trees counted as an offset in the CO₂ balance?
Trees store CO₂ in their wood. Since they grow relatively slowly, they also store CO₂ slowly. On the other hand, they can store the climate gas for decades or even centuries. Our tree plantations should therefore be seen as additive. It is also your contribution to actively doing something for the forest in Germany. The CO₂ that our trees will 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, you will be even more climate-positive!
Which trees do you plant?
We plant different trees depending on which trees grow best in the selected forest areas. Our climate forester Jan knows which trees are optimal for each location. In Germany, the rule on most land is that a mixed forest is more stable than a pure stand. 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 already planted the following tree species: oak, hornbeam, alder, lime, 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.
Who plants and cares for the trees?
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 accompanied by tree nurseries. For this purpose, we have concluded sponsorship agreements with federal states, municipalities and private forest owners. Employees of committed companies can also participate.
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.
Do you pay attention to biodiversity?
Biodiversity means many species in one ecosystem and is very important for us. Since we promise to plant climate-stable mixed forests, we have by definition always planned for several tree species. Mostly different deciduous and coniferous trees grow together on our areas. In addition, small hedges are sometimes created at the edge of the forest. Perfect habitat for big, small and smallest creatures. From deer to bunnies and from large to small insects now swarm on the planted areas. It's partly easy to make a difference in nature when you know what's optimal for the site.
Why is planting necessary at all, can't we just leave the dead forest to itself?
On the areas we plant, the planting of trees is very important for 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 seeds are also only dispersed over very short distances, the surrounding trees and the trees that used to live there always colonise an open area in the forest. This is because the seeds from the former trees are still scattered over the entire area. It is a vicious circle.
Our climate forester Jan likes to illustrate this with a 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 is 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 by planting mixed forests consisting of different climate-stable tree species.
Who owns the land on which planting takes place?
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. The important functions such as water reservoir, air filter, habitat for animals, recreational space for people and CO₂ reservoir are always fulfilled by forests - no matter 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.
Will the trees be used as timber or similar in the future?
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 then? Our children and their children, because trees grow incredibly slowly. In the next decades so much new technology will be invented that we don't know what the following generations will do with the forest. Maybe they can 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 is 100% sustainability.
Questions about CO₂ compensation
How does CO₂ compensation work?
There is general agreement that it does not matter where in the world CO₂ is emitted for the climate crisis. Conversely, it is only important for combating the climate crisis that CO₂ is avoided, no matter where in the world. Climate protection projects make use of precisely this realization, because the projects effectively save CO₂. This saving can be used to offset the emissions that cannot be avoided. The purchase of CO₂ certificates finances the projects so that they can continue to save CO₂. The purchaser of the CO₂ certificates is therefore responsible for the savings and may also take credit for them.
Climate protection projects are measures through which the emission of climate-relevant gases is avoided or reduced, for example through the construction of wind power or plants to avoid methane. Such climate protection projects can be supported by the purchase of certificates. The proceeds from certificate trading benefit them 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.
How can I make sure that CO₂ is saved?
To save CO₂, international climate protection projects work together with independent 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 captured from the atmosphere must be quantifiable. 2. Additionality - The project must demonstrate (certified by an independent body) that it would not take place without the allowance trading money. 3. permanence - the project must grant that emissions will be or have been mitigated 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.
In Germany, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Gold Standard (GS) and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) are the most widely recognized. We only promote projects that comply with these certifications. This way you can be sure that the amount of CO₂ is really saved.
Subscribing to Planted helps solve climate change. How exactly does it work?
Mankind's goal is a CO₂-free life. Governments, companies and private individuals are working toward this goal. Currently, it is not yet possible to live CO₂ free. We are still in a transition phase. During this time, we are using a compensation mechanism. Generally, climate protection works in three steps:
1. Basically, it makes sense that we all start avoiding fossil fuels if possible. 2. if it is not avoidable, CO₂ intensive things should be replaced, such as with green energy. 3. what cannot be avoided or replaced is offset by Planted through carbon offset projects.
These three steps contribute to solving climate change. Then, to remove more CO₂ that is still in the atmosphere, we plant trees.