Our Approach to Planting
The woodlands that we plant are all native, meaning we plant only species that are native to Ireland such as oak, ash, birch, and alder, from seeds that have been sourced and cultivated in Ireland. We primarily plant native broadleaf species and follow the highest international standards for planting and managing our forests.
- All woodland projects are approved by the Department of Agriculture Forest Service as GPC 9 or GPC 10 native woodland projects.
- We follow strict Forest Service manual guidelines for all planting, while going beyond the minimum planting and layout standards for commercial woodland planting in order to create forests that closely resemble naturally occurring woodlands.
- We work with only the most experienced foresters and forestry companies in Ireland, all of whom are Forest Service approved.
- We consult other relevant national experts in areas such as biodiversity, carbon sequestration and environmental science.
- The woodlands that we plant are placed in a trust to ensure they will never be clear-felled (cut down), and where the primary mandate is to oversee the protection of the woodlands in perpetuity.
- We employ a forest management methodology called Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) to protect and foster the woodlands to become healthy and established as quickly as possible.
- Our woodlands are subject to regular third-party audits by Department of Agriculture Forest Service-approved foresters to ensure compliance with stated commitments under national guidelines.
- The details of our woodlands are included in our annual report to ensure additions, changes and progress can be independently monitored and reviewed.
Certification & Carbon Offsetting
Ireland does not currently have a national standard to govern the sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions from forestry.
However, we are actively working with the Forest Service to develop such a standard and based on discussions expect it to be in place in 2021. In the meantime, we follow the highest international standards for such activity, and actively follow UK Woodland Carbon Code (WCC) standards and guidance for our projects. All our projects will be certified under relevant Irish national standards once available.
We provide access to calculators that can be used by companies or individuals to establish what greenhouse gas emissions have been released from their activity. We use the highest international standards in the development of our calculation methodologies, and supplement international data with Irish-source data wherever possible.
We have used emissions factors which take all greenhouse gases that are generated by the stated activity into account, including CO2, N2O and methane. This results in a higher overall emissions figure than if we just used CO2 but it also gives a more accurate view of overall emissions impact from the particular activity. All emissions data and results are presented in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).
Emissions are broken down into three buckets - Scope 1, 2 and 3:
- Scope 1 covers the direct emissions from owned or controlled sources (company vehicles emissions and direct emissions from company facilities)
- Scope 2 covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling that is consumed (detailed on electricity and gas bills)
- Scope 3 covers all other indirect emissions across the value chain (commuting and travel, purchased goods and services, waste generated)
Our baseline methodology is built on UK Government Greenhouse Gas Reporting: Conversion Factors 2019. We supplement this data with data and information from the IEA electricity factors, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Environmental Protection Agency, Atmosfair, Eurostat, Association of Issuing Bodies, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Central Statistics Office, and Eurocontrol.
We certify all the woodland planting that we do and the impact that it has, based on the methodologies we have built with leading national experts and in conjunction with Department of Agriculture Forest Service guidelines.
The certification we provide details:
- The participant / offsetting organisation
- The total GHG emissions that have been offset in metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e)
- The location of the project including GPS coordinates
- Details of that site including land area, tree species and other relevant site-specific information
Upon request from organisations for whom we are providing certified offsetting, we can also provide further information about our sites including:
- Forest Service planting approval documentation
- Planting schedules and reports
- Updated summary of specific project audits and compliance reports
We are audited annually and release an annual report which details all our activity and what we have achieved, along with the assumptions used.