There are many benefits to offsetting carbon through this crowdfunding website, because we consider carbon alongside water quality improvements, biodiversity and habitat restoration and community action to catalyse change along our stream banks.
Measuring annual rates of carbon sequestration is an inexact science as rates depend on the species of tree, climate, geography and the age and health of the tree among many other factors. As a guideline, information from Carbon4Good suggests seven small NZ native trees absorb one tonne CO2 equivalent, assuming a planting distance of one every two metres and a lifespan of 200 years. It is, however difficult to convert these rates to Million Metres plantings as planting distances and tree numbers are different.
The offsetting is voluntary and not accredited but it is traceable down to the land owner and stream, and we can even share the GPS coordinates! We work directly with field partners (regional councils, QEII Trust etc) so we know the projects are verifiable and accountable.
The New Zealand context for carbon offsetting is undergoing some changes that are neither clear nor easy to navigate. The Sustainable Business Network (SBN, our parent) is working with businesses to understand the best way to offset and trade carbon, given the lack of national guidance and certainty on the issue. We are happy to discuss this in more detail with you, please just ask.
Jon Brett, co-founder of TetraMap and SBN member, recently offset the carbon emissions for his 2015 overseas flights with us. His own research to calculate his carbon footprint and a value for it yielded a plethora of different calculators, so he came up with his own formula. Find out more.
Step 1: Calculate your carbon emissions.
Calculate your carbon footprint by downloading the free Annual Carbon Emissions Calculator from the SBN website. Designed by Catalyst Ltd, it’s a simple tool to help individuals, households and businesses estimate their carbon emissions.
Step 2: Decide a value for your carbon.
There are different ways to value your carbon, so decide a value that makes sense to you.
You could base it on the market price of carbon*, or alternatively the sequestration rate of native trees in which case we suggest using the Carbon4Good rate of $35 per tonne of CO2. **
Step 3: Offset your carbon emissions.
Offset your emissions simply by purchasing metres of stream planting on this website. Remember, your donation will be eligible for a tax credit.
* Carbon tax prices can range from as little as US$1 – 4/tonne CO2 in Mexico to as much as USD168/tonne CO2 in Sweden (1). For the record at the time of writing a New Zealand Unit (NZU) is NZ$5.95 – 6.05 (2).
1: State and Trends of Carbon Pricing. May, 2014. World Bank Group Climate Change, Washington DC.
2: 28 January 2014 from https://www.commtrade.co.nz/
** Our information suggests seven NZ native trees absorb one tonne CO2 equivalent, assuming a planting distance of one every two metres and a lifespan of 200 years. With trees priced at around $5 each, that makes $35 per tonne of CO2. This is the rate used by Carbon4Good until December 2014. However, there is a caveat on applying that formula to MM plantings, as every metre (1 m long x 6 m wide) of MM planting has four woody trees planted at a distance of one a metre***. So direct comparisons are difficult to make, which is why $35 a tonne of CO2 is only a suggestion. From our updated calculations we know riparian planting is likely to be more costly than this and we are continuing to look into the most up to date cost of riparian sequestration.
*** The exact number of trees planted in MMS plantings will vary slightly depending on factors such as terrain and planting corridor width.