Managing our forests
Greenfleet has planted more than 9.4 million trees and restored over 8,500 hectares of native forest across Australia and New Zealand.
Greenfleet has over twenty years’ experience establishing and maintaining native biodiverse forests. Our forests protect our climate by absorbing carbon emissions, restoring habitat for wildlife, boosting land productivity, and improving soil and water quality.
Our passionate team has a strategic, hands -on approach to delivering high quality revegetation projects.
Our policy and standards
Greenfleet has a clear policy and carbon project standards which ensure the quality of our work.
Our Carbon Forestry Policy outlines our processes in line with national and international standards for carbon sequestration from native revegetation.
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.
In addition, we draw upon the methodology outlined by Gold Standard for the Global Goals, an internationally recognised standard designed to accelerate progress toward climate security and sustainable development.
We pride ourselves on six key strengths which inform our project approach: 1. We collaborate – we work closely with landholders and partners, including rangers, native nurseries, tree planting contractors, other not-for-profit organisations, Traditional Owners, local community and government.
2. We choose the right place – we conduct a comprehensive assessment of each potential site to determine whether the land can support the growth of a biodiverse carbon forest.
3. We select the right species – we strive to plant a mix of native species that would have been present prior to land clearing. Our focus is on recreating multi-species ecosystems and we do not plant single species plantations. Our team uses on-site evidence and state and national resources - such as the Australasian Virtual Herbarium, DELWP's Ecological Vegetation Class benchmark and other state and regional vegetation maps and classifications , to establish a list of native species that should be present on the site.
4. We're efficient – as a non-profit organisation, we are committed to delivering our program as cost-effectively as possible without compromising quality.
5. We maximise the co-benefits of our projects – in addition to delivering nature-based climate solutions, we strive to deliver additional social, environmental and economic benefits.
6. We have a long-term vision – because we care about our climate, our environment, our wildlife, our people and the future, we focus on the lasting success of our projects.
How we restore native forests
At Greenfleet, we are committed to establishing resilient, self-sustaining forests which optimise carbon capture and protect our climate.
Each approved project is individually designed to suit landscape, climate and soil conditions. We work in consultation with the landholder and undertake extensive research to select the appropriate mix of native species for the forest.
After conducting site preparation which may include ripping and weed control, we work with professional tree planting contractors to plant or seed our native trees. These experts have a thorough understanding of reforestation methods to ensure the success of a project.
The two most common ways to revegetate large areas of land are by direct seeding or hand planting. We base our selected approach on the site and climate conditions.
Direct seeding involves a purpose-built machine which scalps the soil, drops the seeds and covers them to the appropriate depth based on the species. Over the years, we have worked in partnership with our suppliers to develop this technology. Hand planting involves people planting seedlings by hand. A hole is manually dug, the seedling is placed inside, and the air pockets are removed by gently packing the soil down. While this technique is more intensive, it allows for additional control of planting design.
Scientific data and our considerable experience over the years inform the best planting time for each project based on weather and soil conditions. When the time is right, the seeds are sown, and the trees planted.
How we monitor and protect our forests
When a Greenfleet forest is planted, the landholder retains ownership of the land. We establish agreements with the landholder to secure the forest on the land for up to 100 years. This means the landowner must protect the forest by not damaging or removing trees for the duration of the agreement.
We typically monitor the growth of our forests within six months after seeding or planting and then 12 months after that. Once we are satisfied that the forest is established and resilient (usually five years after seeding or planting), we conduct remote monitoring to ensure the forest is being successfully maintained and on track to achieve projected carbon commitments.
Where an area of planting has failed, we may undertake remedial action, like in-fill planting.
Over thousands of years, Australian forests have evolved to adapt to bushfires. The Australian landscape will often recover naturally from a fire event and Greenfleet only establishes locally native species which aids in forest recovery. Data also shows that when a forest is affected by fire, there is usually little shortfall in carbon sequestration in the medium and long terms.
Measuring the carbon
Greenfleet forests are natural carbon sinks which capture carbon from the atmosphere as they grow.
We use 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. Where FullCAM is not available for a project area, we use the Reforestation Modelling Tool (RMT) (also issued by the Australian Department of the Environment).
Each forest absorbs carbon at different rates based on the landscape, location and vegetation types - this rate is called “carbon yield”. At Greenfleet, we manage our forests through a portfolio approach or “carbon pool”. This means we can undertake our invaluable reforestation work across Australia and New Zealand on sites with both high and low carbon yields.