FAQs

Earth9 FAQs

How is Earth9 different to other carbon mitigation platforms?

Earth9 is a social enterprise with people and the environment at the heart of what we do. We never offer our customers carbon credits from unverified projects and always make sure these have been rated and audited by third party organisations.

We’re so passionate about doing good for the planet, we even invest at least 51% of our profits back into nature-based projects and early-stage climate technology. We know that supporting nature-based projects plays a huge role in combatting climate change but helping early-stage technologies scale to permanently remove CO2 is even more important.

We’re accredited by the Social Enterprise Mark CIC and are proud to put people and planet before the interests of shareholders.

Earth9 is a social enterprise. What does this mean?

Being a social enterprise means that Earth9’s primary purpose is addressing a social or environmental challenge rather than creating profit for owners or shareholders. We prove our social enterprise credentials by submitting to the scrutiny of a rigorous external assessment process. With annual checks against criteria, we can assure our customers and partners that we’re operating ethically, commercially, and upholding sector-agreed standards.

How do you work out my carbon footprint?

Using reputable sources such as Our World In Data and Oxford University, we’ve calculated the average annual footprint in the UK to be 7.7 tonnes. We will update this every year as our average footprint hopefully decreases.

How much of my money goes into nature-based projects?

At least 80% of your money goes back into nature-based projects. It’s so important to us that these projects receive as much funding as possible, that we even invest at least 51% of our profits back into nature-based projects ourselves.

How can you prove I’ve made an impact?

We provide a Verra certificate for carbon credits that have been purchased and retired, which show how many tonnes of CO2 have been mitigated from going into the atmosphere. Verra is the world's leading voluntary GHG programme and ensures carbon credits cannot be sold more than once by using a public registry system.

For tree planting donations, we can share invoice receipts from our tree planting partners.

How do you ensure projects are doing what they say they are doing?

We only use projects that have been certified by Verra, the world's leading voluntary greenhouse gas programme. Projects developed under Verra’s VCS Program must follow a rigorous assessment process in order to be certified. They use a public registry system to ensure that a carbon credit is real, permanent, additional and cannot be sold more than once.

How do you ensure your carbon credits are high quality?

All our projects are rated and audited by independent bodies BeZero or Sylvera, ensuring only the best quality credits are purchased and there’s no risk of the following:

Additionality

The risk that a credit purchased and retired does not lead to a tonne of CO 2 e being avoided or removed that would not have otherwise happened.

Over-crediting

Unrealistic baseline assumptions that risk more credits than tonnes of CO 2 e achieved are issued by a project.

Non-permanence

Carbon being avoided or removed by the project will not remain so for the time committed.

Leakage

Emissions avoided or removed by a project are pushed outside the project boundary.

Perverse incentives

Benefits from a project, such as revenues from carbon credits, incentivise behaviour that reduces the effectiveness.

Policy and political environment

The policy environment undermines the project’s carbon effectiveness.

In your Planet Positive Workforce, how do you work out the tonnes of carbon emitted for different workers?

Using government-backed data, we average annual emissions based on average commute time, mileage and hours spent flying to short, medium and long-haul destinations. We’ve even factored in flying economy or business class.

As carbon credits must equate to whole numbers, we round up where needed to make sure you’re definitely covering your total footprint.

Tree Planting FAQs

Where are the trees planted?

With our partner Eden Reforestation Projects, we plant 50% of trees across the world in Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar and Mozambique.

The other 50% will be planted in Nepal which is one of the least developed countries in the world with many communities depending on the natural environment for food, shelter, and income.

How do we know trees have definitely been planted?

In our partnership agreement with Eden Reforestation, it specifically states that all trees will be planted within 18 months of receiving donations. They provide access to a photo album, which will have new images every month from all of their general planting sites. They can also provide us with GPS coordinates to each general planting site in every project nation. As millions of trees are planted daily, it is difficult for Eden to determine the exact location of each tree planted by every donor. To do so would require increased monitoring, which in turn would increase our current planting prices.

In addition to the above, Eden is currently working with Preferred By Nature, a third- party verification organization that will provide more transparency to all of our sites. They have already completed reports for a few sites, which you can review here.

They are also in the process of implementing a sophisticated forest monitoring and reporting system.

What happens if there’s a forest fire?

Eden hire forest guards as part of the labour force to protect the forests. They make every effort to ensure the forest they plant becomes permanent and sustainable and have implemented the following steps:

  • They work carefully with all levels of government to secure written agreements designating the restoration sites as protected in perpetuity.
  • They hire people from local communities to plant trees. In this way, they alleviate extreme poverty within the impacted community. Fair and consistent employment provides an economic incentive to ensure the well-being of the restoration project. Additionally, those who plant the trees have a sense of “ownership” over the restored forests so they protect them with great care.
  • A percentage of the trees planted are agroforestry species (fruit, fodder, and construction species designed to provide food security and benefit legitimate human needs). Over time these trees become a source of sustainable income.
  • They do everything possible to supply the local communities with alternative fuel sources (e.g., fuel-efficient dry wood stoves and solar parabolic stoves), reducing and or eliminating the dependence on charcoal.
  • They also set funds aside for re-planting in the case of natural disasters.
  • Most significantly, they have seen the local communities fall in love with their forest. They benefit from the restored forest through an increase in fisheries, improved farming, cleaner water, and the formation of micro-enterprises. As Eden’s employees work to restore their land, their lives are transformed as well.
Are you planting the right tree species in the right environments?

Both Earth9 and Eden’s goal is to plant native species that belonged in an area initially. To select their trees, they take an in-depth look at the region itself. They research, conduct field surveys, and speak with the local community to determine what types of native trees existed.

As a result, they plant a variety of different native trees at their project sites, and never introduce any invasive species. Having different tree species in an area increases biodiversity and encourages natural regeneration, where the forest begins to grow new trees without any help.

There are a couple more factors that influence what types of trees will grow that they do not control. At many of the planting sites, there is a small percentage of trees that the project did not plant. This happens because as the trees grow into an emerging forest, wildlife that once thrived in the area returns. These animals carry seeds on them or in their digestive system and release them into the reforested area. The dispersed seeds begin to sprout and grow alongside the restored forest. Eden have also discovered that many of the planting areas contain dormant seeds or root systems in the soil. As the planted trees grow and wildlife returns, these seeds, and root systems become active and start to grow.

Although reforestation remains the main focus, a percentage of agroforestry species is also planted (i.e., wood, food, fodder, etc) for the community to use. This provides greater community benefit and ensures that the village is involved in protecting newly reforested areas.

How do we know the community is being treated and paid fairly?

Poverty and deforestation are directly linked. Therefore, Eden’s reforestation efforts begin with the dignity of employment. They developed the “Employ to Plant” methodology whereby people living in the communities surrounding the planting sites are hired to restore their land. Through steady employment, people who have been living in poverty can quickly begin to provide food, shelter, and resources for their families.

Eden provides fair wage employment that surpasses the minimum wage requirements of each nation. The wages provided have proven to be transformational for those who work for them. Employee wages vary based on the wage requirements of each project nation and the position being filled. While salaries in developing countries are much lower than many of us are accustomed to, all employees receive fair and consistent income to lift them out of extreme poverty and enable them to care for their families. Employees are paid a fixed daily salary and receive the same amount even if the day is short or if poor weather conditions prohibit them from working. During COVID 19 restrictions, their teams received their regular salaries and were amazed and pleased with the continuance of their employment while so many around them had lost their income source.

Eden begins each restoration project by prioritising the needs of the local community first. Before being hired by Eden, most people working at Eden Reforestation Projects’ nurseries and planting sites never had a cash-paying job. As the land is restored, it begins to provide for them through improved soil for farming, improved fishing due to decreased erosion, and restored and refilled aquifers. Additionally, food security and income increase as Eden’s employees further benefit from agroforestry projects and their ability to begin micro-enterprises. Many of their employees report that their income from Eden has enabled them to purchase their freedom from debt slavery. They can buy boats, fishing equipment, and many now own land. They can afford medication and get medical care when it is needed. They no longer live day-to-day, and thousands of children who used to have to work to help their parents make ends meet are now attending school. Eden have even built two schools in Madagascar to enable children in remote villages to go to school.

You can learn more about Eden’s socio-economic impact through their Youtube videos. Here are two that are really inspiring: Shaffi’s story and Maman’i Kambina.

Eden also has a profile on Candid, a platform that rates nonprofits, where they have achieved a Platinum Seal of Transparency EDEN REFORESTATION PROJECTS – GuideStar Profile.

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