Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a climate protection project with Tree.ly sustainable?
Our methodology requires forest owners to commit to reducing a certain amount of CO₂ by storing wood biomass in the forest for a period of 30 years, while managing the forest sustainably. By committing to reinvest the proceeds in the forest, the climate protection project ensures the continued existence of the intact forest ecosystem. Our carbon offset project has been audited and certified by TÜV according to the ISO 14064-2:2019 methodology, which is a professional and independent confirmation of our work.
The additional money collected is to be returned to the forest by the forest owner. What am I allowed to invest in as a forest owner?
The reinvestment is exclusively for forestry measures, including material and personnel expenses used in connection with the management of the project area. In particular, the funds are intended to be used for silvicultural measures that verifiably contribute to a better forest structure and thus CO₂ sequestration and promote climate resilience, for example through site-native, climate-adapted tree species (e.g. timber harvesting, replanting, changes to the silvicultural concept, inventory, etc.). Proof of appropriate use must be provided upon request by submitting the appropriate receipts.
What do I have to do as a forest owner when I cooperate with Tree.ly?
The obligation of the forest owner is to maintain or build up a stock of wood determined according to ISO 14064-2:2019 within 30 years. Once a carbon offset project is established, there is annual monitoring, where logging reports must be submitted. There is also an obligation to conduct a forest inventory every 15 years. The proceeds from the sale of CO₂ credits must also be reinvested in the forest.
In which forests can a climate protection project be implemented with Tree.ly?
The ISO 14064-02:2019 methodology currently in use allows a carbon offset project in all temperate and boreal forests. A forest inventory for the relevant forest must be available for implementation.
Is it correct that a client must first show a footprint and reduction plan before they are allowed to offset with Tree.ly? Is this realistic?
We recommend a reduction plan, but the minimum is "just" a balance sheet.
Are Tree.ly and a wood use in conflict?
As part of a carbon offset project, forest owner committed to maintain a certain stock on project lands for 30 years, or to build up a certain stock. This obligation results in the renunciation of a possible utilization quantity, which would have been possible without a climate protection project. The sustainable use of wood as a naturally renewable resource is essential for maintaining the wood value chain. In principle, the forest should continue to be managed within the framework of sustainable principles (Forest law, PEFC guidelines, FSC guidelines, etc.). Depending on the available increment and the chosen commitment of the forest owner, wood can be used and CO₂ credits sold simultaneously as part of a CO₂ forest carbon offset project with Tree.ly.
Who are our business partners (who is trustworthy, collateral, assurance in case of full default)?
Tree.ly GmbH is your contractual partner. We are contracted by the forest owners to develop their forest projects, submit them to the certifier and carry out the certification. We are also exclusively commissioned with the marketing and sale of the projects. We are financed by a share of the CO₂ credits issued each year.
What happens if stock retention or stock buildup cannot be met within the 30 years. What is the risk to the forest owner?
If the annual monitoring shows that the stock has fallen below the committed value or that no stock has been built up in the stock build-up project, the awarding of credits is interrupted. In the stock maintenance project, the stock must be built up again to the committed stock value by the end of the project period. In the stock build-up project, the stock must be built up again to the value for which credit notes have already been issued by the end of the project runtime. If this is not possible, the project duration must be extended or the credit notes already issued must be replaced.
For losses due to loss events, there is a risk pool that is filled by all SILVACONSULT® Forest Carbon Standard projects with 10 % of the annual credits. This risk pool is used to replace the already issued and now invalid credits.
What regulations do we have with our forest owners regarding liability?
The contracting parties are liable for breaches of contract due to gross negligence and intent without limitation for all damages, consequential damages and lost profits. In case of slight negligence and force majeure, they are liable for all damages, but not for loss of profit. In the event of force majeure, liability is limited to the value of the CO₂ credits generated up to that point. Tree.ly's damages are calculated on the basis of the average price of the CO₂ credits sold within one year before the damage occurred.
Why do forest projects make sense in climate protection?
Forests absorb carbon from the atmosphere and bind it in biomass. Deforestation releases the carbon again. Compared to managed forests, the average stock in natural forests is twice as high. Forests enter the national carbon footprint as carbon stores, and the Paris Agreement requires that forest carbon stores be secured and increased. Forest owners can manage the mean stock with timber harvesting. Projects that secure or increase timber stock in the forest contribute directly to meeting national climate goals and generate credits for voluntary climate action.
What projects have been criticized recently?
REDD Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation - The projects are a controversial tool to combat climate change. Especially in the tropics, because they fail due to funding and lack of implementation. Setting the baseline - assuming what will happen to land without a project - also creates problems. Often too many certificates are issued or it is not clear who owns the land. Land is altered - agricultural land becomes residential. The core of REDD projects is to present the prevention of deforestation and degradation as a climate change mitigation project by developing a scenario that outlines how much carbon would be emitted into the atmosphere if there were no REDD project. The goal is to finance the protection of forests through the sale of carbon certificates and thus combat climate change.
What is different about forest carbon projects according to the SILVACONSULT® Forest Carbon Standard?
The "SILVACONSULT® Forest Carbon Standard" is a methodology for the development of forest carbon offset projects in the boreal and temperate forests of Europe and is based on the standard of ISO 14064-2:2019. The methodology itself has been validated and certified for Europe by the independent certifier TUEV NORD in August 2022. In Europe, forest areas are often strongly protected by law and therefore "Additionality" is difficult to prove. Therefore, the methodology in the projects targets the average wood supply per hectare in the existing forest. A comparison is made between a baseline scenario (What would the stockpile be like without the project?) and a project scenario (How will the stockpile develop with the project?) and a thirty-year commitment is demanded from the forest owners accordingly. The options are either to increase the stockpile (carbon removal) or to forego a possible and permitted reduction in the stockpile below the commitment (carbon conservation).
What happens at a forest fire?
First of all, forest fires are very rare in temperate zone forests managed close to nature. They predominantly affect coniferous pure stands that are far from natural. It is important to note: When the forest burns, not all of the biomass burns. One of the largest forest fires in Switzerland occurred in 2011 above Visp in the Valais. Several hectares of pine forest were ablaze. But the tree trunks are still standing today, 11 years later, and a new forest is growing underneath. Less than half of the C reservoir was probably lost.
How do we guarantee the climate effectiveness of our projects?
The durability of our climate projects, is guaranteed by the 30-year project duration. This is in line with internationally recognized standards for nature-based projects. Additionality is applied through the reduced timber use of the forest owner and the 100% reinvestment of revenues for the project area. This guarantees an additional contribution to the climate impact. Leakage is met by considering the entire project area to ensure that reduced use is not circumvented by geographic distance.
How do you recognize "greenwashing practices"?
Greenwashing is a marketing strategy in which companies or organisations make misleading or false claims about the environmental friendliness of their products, services, or business practices. To identify greenwashing practices, one should verify the company's actual efforts to promote sustainability and climate action. At Tree.ly, credits are only awarded to companies that can demonstrate a carbon footprint and, ideally, a reduction path.
What are the ecosystem services of forests?
Preservation of biological diversity
Carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change
Conservation of soil and prevention of soil degradation
Places for recreation and leisure
Function as a water filter and the prevention of flooding
What is the difference between our regional credits and, for example, rainforest projects (REDD+), which have also recently fallen into disrepute?
Tree.ly projects in Vorarlberg or Austria are implemented by local companies and verified by TÜV Austria. The funds are earmarked for forest investments. The Forestry Act requires strict adherence to sustainability. Most importantly, credits are only issued retrospectively and after annual verification. And best of all, anyone can always look in the local forest.
How do Tree.ly's certified credits contribute to the global SDG goals and how is their impact measured?
Tree.ly's certified credits contribute to measurable impact KPIs linked to global SDG targets. The conservation and reforestation of forests funded by the credits are particularly relevant to SDGs 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land). According to the Austrian Forest Act, forests fulfil various functions, including the protective function, the utility function, the recreational function, and the welfare function.
What are carbon credits?
To counter climate change, we must avoid and reduce emissions as a matter of principle. If this is not possible, emissions should be offset with the help of CO₂ credits. A CO₂ credit corresponds to one metric ton equivalent of carbon dioxide (tCO₂e) achieved by avoiding emissions or absorbing CO₂. Companies and individuals can purchase CO₂ credits to offset their own emissions. The use of CO₂ credits is not a substitute for emission reduction measures, such as using renewable energy sources or improving energy efficiency.
Why should I buy carbon credits?
Heat, storms and insect invasions are consequences of climate change and threaten the future of the native forest. To counteract climate change, we must avoid, reduce and compensate for emissions. Investing in CO₂ credits issued through a climate protection project with Tree.ly supports climate protection projects in the regional forest. The purchase of the credits maintains or builds up the forest's CO₂ reservoir, as well as enabling the regional forestry industry to transform the forest in a climate-friendly way and continue to manage it sustainably.
Where are the carbon credits sold?
The credits generated by our projects are currently sold either directly to interested companies or via third-party providers (e.g.: myclimate).