A new native tree carbon calculator has made it easy for carbon-conscious Kiwis to work out how many planted native trees are needed to mitigate their carbon emissions from everyday activities.
Backed by environmental charity Trees That Count, and developed by fellow not-for-profit and native forestry experts Tāne’s Tree Trust, the calculator is based on the latest modelling and research available for the carbon storage potential of planted native trees.
Trees That Count’s Chief Science Advisor, and founding trustee of Tāne’s Tree Trust, Dr David Bergin says the new calculator has been years in the making and offers compelling results for those who would rather invest in New Zealand’s native trees as a way to reduce their carbon footprint.
“While there’s a lot of focus on establishing fast-growing exotics such as pines and eucalypts as a solution for carbon sequestration, there’s increasing interest in planting native species not only as a way to store carbon but also for the multitude of other social and environmental benefits.”
Dr Bergin says investing in native tree planting offers businesses and individuals a way to support their own backyard through restoring indigenous biodiversity, contributing to improved air and water quality and creating habitats for native wildlife.
“80% of our indigenous trees and plants are found only in New Zealand and we want to see our unique species restored and thriving for future generations.”
Accessible through the Trees That Count website, the carbon calculator provides users with the number of planted native trees required to mitigate carbon emissions from domestic travel and common business and household activities over a specified number of years.
Dr Bergin says for those looking at voluntary ways to mitigate carbon emissions, it offers the latest carbon sequestration estimates for planted native trees and shrubs available in New Zealand.
“A lot of work has gone into ensuring we’re working to robust estimates of carbon sequestration from planted natives. We’ve worked with data from over 10,000 measured planted native trees and shrubs, the development of growth models, and the use of published carbon formulas to ensure we’re confident in the outcomes,” says Dr Bergin.
The calculator complements the Trees That Count’s tree marketplace which enables businesses or individuals to fund native trees to be planted on their behalf by a planting group in New Zealand.
Since starting in 2016, Trees That Count has had over 500,000 native trees funded through their marketplace, supporting close to 500 planting projects across the country.
|Activity*||No. of planted native trees required to mitigate emissions over 50 years|
|1 return flight from Auckland to Wellington (1 person)||1|
|1 return flight from Christchurch to Auckland (1 person)||2|
|1 return flight from Queenstown to Wellington (1 person)||1|
|Average household of 2 adults & 2 children emissions per year (home energy, travel, waste)||32 (per year)|
|Household electricity use for 1 year (8,000 kWh)||3 (per year)|
|Use of medium-sized car (10,000 km)||9 (per year)|
To calculate how many planted native trees will mitigate your carbon emissions, visit: treesthatcount.co.nz/native-trees-carbon-calculator/
More about Tāne’s Tree Trust
Tāne’s Tree Trust is a non-profit Charitable Trust focused on encouraging the use of New Zealand indigenous tree species for biodiversity, landscape enhancement, cultural benefits, and providing the option for sustainable production of high-quality timber and other resources using nature-based management systems.
Tāne’s Tree Trust provides a wealth of free information on establishment and management of native forests. For more information visit www.tanestrees.org.nz, or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Emissions from common activities calculated through Toitū Envirocare carbon footprint calculators