1. What is a carbon offset?
A carbon offset is a project or activity that reduces greenhouse gas emissions or sequesters (captures) carbon from the atmosphere to compensate for the emissions created by your own activities.
Remember that carbon offsets are only part of the solution for tackling climate change - you also need to avoid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions wherever possible.
Greenfleet offsets carbon emissions by planting native forests, which capture carbon dioxide from the environment as they grow.
2. How can I offset my emissions with Greenfleet?
It's very simple to offset emissions with Greenfleet.
If you are an individual
Select the source of emissions you would like to offset (car, flights, scooter, household, etc.). Once you have added all you want to offset today, simply click on "Checkout" to proceed with the payment of your contribution.
The offset donations for cars, households, scooters and motorcycles are based on the average annual emissions for the source of emissions selected. Therefore, the donation covers 12 months' worth of emissions and Greenfleet will send you a renewal reminder at the 12-month anniversary, to make sure you don't forget to renew again.
If you are an organisation
Organisations have two options:
- Select the source of emissions you would like to offset (car, flights, scooter, utilities, etc.). Once you have added all you want to offset today, simply click on "Checkout" to proceed with the payment of your contribution. Note: that the offset donations for cars, households, scooters and motorcycles are based on the average annual emissions for the source of emissions selected. Therefore, the donation covers 12 months' worth of emissions and Greenfleet will send you a renewal reminder at the 12-month anniversary, to make sure you don't forget to renew again; unless otherwise agreed with our team.
- If you would like to discuss a more complicated business offset please call our team on 1800 032 999 (toll free) or contact us.
3. Where does Greenfleet plant the native forests?
Greenfleet works with private landholders, local and state governments to restore our unique landscapes by revegetating cleared land with biodiverse, native forests. To date we have planted over 500 native forests in every state and territory of Australia (except Tasmania and Northern Territory) and in New Zealand. The forests are located on our own properties, private farms, National Parks, private blocks, Councils' parks and reserves.
Many of our projects were established to help connect parks and reserves to create wildlife corridors and preserve biodiversity. Although mostly located in rural regions, a number of our forests are also in the fringe of urban environments providing health and recreational values to the local communities.
When a Greenfleet forest is planted on a site, the ownership of the land does not change hands, but we establish agreement with landholders to secure the forest on the land for up to 100 years, with a preference for 'forever' plantings.
4. Why does Greenfleet plant biodiverse forests?
At Greenfleet we believe in providing Australians with the most socially and environmentally responsible way to offset carbon emissions.
Greenfleet establishes self-sustaining, multi-species forests. It means that as well as planting trees native to the local area, we also plant a mix of native trees to restore the native vegetation present prior to settlement and land clearing.
Planting a biodiverse mix of native species is the only way to ensure that the resulting forest meet the highest standards of ecological sustainability.
On top of capturing carbon, this approach has a number of extra environmental benefits:
- Biological diversity is improved;
- Habitat for native animals is increased and migratory routes extended
- Salinity can be reduced
- Water quality in catchments can be improved
- Tree roots can bind the soil to reduce erosion.
5. What happens if there is a catastrophic event?
Greenfleet plants its forests across many different locations as an intentional measure to reduce the risk of relatively localised events significantly affecting our overall carbon stocks.
However, in the event of a catastrophic fire event, if financial resources allow we will take action to accelerate the recovery of the carbon - if that is not possible, then we aim to recover any shortfall in carbon within 10 years.
It is worth noting that Greenfleet monitors the survival and growth of our forests six months after planting and then every year for five years. After that we inspect sites every five years to ensure the forests are being maintained and are on track to achieve projected carbon commitments.
6. How does Greenfleet work out how much carbon each forest stores?
Greenfleet currently uses the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) issued by the Australian Department of the Environment to model the carbon uptake of our forest at each planting site.
Greenfleet has been part of a CSIRO project to update the FullCAM models by providing in-field carbon measurements from our established forests.
7. How are Greenfleet certified? What standards standards does Greenfleet meet?
Greenfleet uses the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM) developed by CSIRO and approved by the Australian Department of the Environment to measure the carbon uptake of our forest at each planting site.
Where FullCAM is not available for a project area, we use the Reforestation Modelling Tool (RMT) which is also issued by the Department of the Environment
We use the methodology developed by the Australian Government for the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) for mixed-species environmental plantings and observe the Forest Practice Codes in each Australian state and territory. Our Carbon Forestry Policy outlines our processes are in line with national and international standards for carbon sequestration from native revegetation, however we do not pay for the certification. This has been reviewed and approved via an audit with Ernst and Young.
Greenfleet is also independently audited by Pitcher Partners and governed by the voluntary Greenfleet Board.
In addition, Greenfleet enters into a legal on title agreement with all landholders to ensure that the rights to count the carbon are secured by Greenfleet, ensuring the longevity of the forest and its environmental benefits. Our Forestry team also regularly visits our planting sites to monitor and maintain tree growth. Drones are also being used for measuring the success of plantings and for monitoring the state of our forests.
Relevant methodologies are available on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website.
8. How much does it cost to offset with Greenfleet?
It costs $15 to offset one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). This offset price applies from 1 May 2017. Click here to view available offsets.
9. Is my contribution to Greenfleet tax-deductible?
Yes - if you are an individual
Your Greenfleet contribution is an income tax-deductible gift or tax-deductible donation. Greenfleet is a registered environmental charity with DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status. To confirm this status please visit the Federal Government's Register of Environmental Organisations.
The situation is not as clear cut. Offset purchases for businesses and other organisations may be subject to GST, but be deductible as a business expense - please seek your own taxation advice to determine taxation status for your offsets.
10. Can I volunteer for Greenfleet?
At this stage, as we continue to focus on large scale reforestation projects, most of our planting is done by professional tree contractors in order to enable the successful establishment of our forests.
Greenfleet does not have any volunteering opportunities available at this stage. We will update this section if this changes.
11. Does Greenfleet work with fundraising agencies?
The Greenfleet team manages most of our fundraising activity. Greenfleet uses online platforms to collect donations on our behalf (such as Everyday Hero); however these organisations do not undertake phone calls, face-to-face street fundraising, door knocking or other similar activities on our behalf.
12. Does Greenfleet sell trees?
Greenfleet plant trees to restore forests on a large scale. Greenfleet does not sell trees.
We encourage you to plant indigenous trees in your garden. Talk to your local nursery about buying locally native plants for your property.
13. How long does it take a forest to sequester carbon?
In terms of capturing carbon emissions and protecting our climate, trees absorb more carbon as they grow. While this rate is dependent on the species, the forest location and a range of environmental factors, carbon capture generally reaches optimum levels from around the 20 to 30-year mark. From 100 years, the trees continue to capture additional carbon but at a much slower rate.
A mature forest will of course survive beyond the 100-year mark and provide a whole range of other environmental benefits including reducing soil erosion, improving water quality and providing habitat for native wildlife.
Greenfleet therefore partners with landowners who are interested in protecting our climate and environment and will continue to do. We also hope and anticipate that, moving forward, legislation is likely to be strengthened to avoid the rate of deforestation that we have previously experienced in Australia.
14. How do I become Carbon Neutral?
For organisations seeking or maintaining Carbon Neutral accreditation, Greenfleet offers a unique package of Greenfleet offsets bundled with the Standard approved credits.
This joint approach to your carbon offsetting program ensures you receive:
- the Standard approved credits that can be used to meet your Climate Active carbon neutral certification from an existing international project
- Greenfleet carbon offsets which invest in the Australian environment, build climate change resilience and strong biodiversity outcomes.
Learn more about Becoming Carbon Neutral
15. Is my property suitable for Greenfleet to revegetate?
We are looking for landowners keen to see native trees planted on their property from 2022 onwards.
The potential planting area should be:
- a minimum of 10 hectares
- clear, or mostly clear, of native vegetation
- suitable for protecting the trees over time on title
Please note that these are guidelines only. Greenfleet may also consider particular projects, geographic locations, or land adjacent to wildlife corridors. Contact us if you would like us to consider revegetating your land.
Biodiversity is the shortened form of two words - "biological" and "diversity." It refers to all the variety of life that can be found on Earth (plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms) as well as to the communities that they form and the habitats in which they live.
Biosequestration is the process of capturing and storing carbon in living organisms such as plants and algae. This occurs through the natural process of photosynthesis, explained below.
Through the process of photosynthesis, trees convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars (and fibre) for growth and release oxygen back into the atmosphere.
Carbon abatement means:
- The removal of one or more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere; or
- The avoidance of emissions of one or more greenhouse gases.
Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2-e)
Carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2-e is a term for describing different greenhouse gases in a common unit. For any quantity and type of greenhouse gas, CO2-e signifies the amount of CO2 which would have the equivalent global warming impact.
Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference.
Carbon neutral is a term that implies that there are no net emissions from the activity or product. Use of this term has come under increasing scrutiny by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Organisations should consider the entire life cycle of a product when making claims about carbon neutrality.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, all businesses should ensure they are not misleading their customers with any claims they make. As per the ACCC Green Marketing Guidelines, any claims made by an organisation about carbon neutrality should be factually based and not overstated.
Offsetting carbon emissions with Greenfleet alone does not make a business carbon neutral. To claim 'carbon neutrality', an independently verified audit of the organisation needs to be carried out, taking into account all sources of carbon emissions in producing and distributing products, delivering services, etc.
A carbon right, or Carbon Abatement Interest, is a type of land interest that confers the right or ownership associated with the carbon on a piece of land to another.
For every new reforestation project, Greenfleet enters into an agreement with the landholder which is registered on title (like a covenant) to protect the forest. This assigns the carbon of the forest to Greenfleet.
Carbon sequestration is the general term used for the capture and long-term storage of carbon dioxide.
Climate change refers to changes in the Earth's climate, including changes which are the result of human activities.
Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF)
The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is a Government-led voluntary scheme that aims to provide incentives for a range of organisations and individuals to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce their emissions. It is enacted through the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011, the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011 and the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Rule 2015.
A number of activities are eligible under the scheme and participants can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) for emissions reductions.
One ACCU is earned for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) stored or avoided by a project. ACCUs can be sold either to the government through a carbon abatement contract, or in the secondary market.
Greenhouse Gas (GhG)
A greenhouse gas is any gaseous compound in the atmosphere that is capable of absorbing infrared radiation, thereby trapping and holding heat in the atmosphere. By increasing the heat in the atmosphere, greenhouse gases are responsible for the greenhouse effect, which ultimately leads to global warming.
The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, water vapor and fluorinated gases.