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Reforestation and habitat restoration

Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor

Gold Standard Australian Native Reforestation

The trees and shrubs planted in the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor form part of the first (and so far, the only!) project in Australia to be certified under the prestigious Gold Standard accreditation, a globally-recognised best practice benchmark for genuine emission reduction projects that deliver long term, sustainable development.

To receive the Gold Standard stamp of approval, projects must be implemented following best practice rules, involve transparency and rigour in its governance, consultation with local stakeholders, continually reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve both the natural environment and people’s lives. This represents the highest levels of environmental integrity and greatest contributions to sustainable development.

Gold Standard-certified projects, such as our Corridor reforestation project, are required to make real, measurable impacts on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) priorities. This means that investing in our Gold Standard offsets delivers significantly more value than just environmental benefits.

The project is expected to sequester approximately 1.059M tonnes of CO2-e over its 50 year lifetime.

Verified Emission Reductions (VERs)

Carbon credits verified by The Gold Standard following a rigorous audit process are referred to as Verified Emission Reduction units, and represent actual, quantifiable carbon sequestration. Our Gold Standard VERs are our premium offset product.

Planned Emission Reductions (PERs)

In recognition of the considerable time and upfront funding required to sequester carbon in forests and carbon sinks, The Gold Standard permits the registration of planned (expected) emission reductions.

These units are referred to as Planned Emission Reduction units (PERs). These units are placed on The Gold Standard’s Impact Registry using unique serial numbers and can be permanently and irrevocably assigned to a buyer. Carbon Neutral independently pairs an equivalent number of verified carbon credits from a (Climate Active-compliant) international project to satisfy claims of carbon or climate neutrality using PERs.

When the sequestration represented by PER units actually occurs (after validation via a third-party audit), the PERs will automatically become VER units.

Biodiverse Reforestation Carbon Offsets

Some sites within the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor are dedicated to the generation of our Biodiverse Reforestation Carbon Offsets (BRCOs). Plantings across these sites usually comprise between 40-50 mixed native species each year, including over 30 species of conservation significance.

Our BRCOs are planted on land upon which a 100 year carbon right and carbon covenant are registered, meaning that the carbon stored within is ‘locked’ up for 100 years. Sequestration is considered permanent if it is maintained on a net basis for 100 years.

BRCOs are not registered under a formal certification framework, however carbon measurements and projections are independently verified by a qualified third party auditor to ensure that 1 BRCO = 1 tonne CO2-e. Our BRCO planting sites will, conservatively, sequester 120 – 180 tonnes of CO2-e per hectare over 50 years, and each site is independently monitored and reported for health, survival and carbon pools at least twice in the first five years.

Carbon Neutral holds an internal registry and assigns a unique serial number against each tonne to ensure prevention of double counting or double selling.  These unique serial numbers are provided to the purchaser (please note: individual serial numbers are not provided for online purchases). Our internal register is independently audited at least every five years.

Biodiverse Reforestation Carbon Offsets support new plantings. As it may be some years before the full amount of carbon is sequestered, Carbon Neutral independently pairs an equivalent number of verified carbon credits from a (Climate Active-compliant) international project to satisfy claims of carbon or climate neutrality using BRCOs.

In this way you can support Australian biodiverse reforestation and all its other valuable co-benefits, breathe life back into a degraded environment, and satisfy abatement requirements. Please note: it is the stapled unit that represents the verified carbon abatement.  

Plant-a-Tree Conservation Program

Carbon Neutral’s Plant-a-Tree program forms an integral part of the award-winning Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor. This ambitious broadscale reforestation project is helping to reconnect small patches of remnant vegetation to create a green corridor, and in doing so, is enhancing and restoring the precious flora and fauna biodiversity of this fragile landscape.

We plant a mix of biodiverse native species (usually between 40-50 species every year), meaning we don’t introduce any species that were not naturally occurring in the region. We plant a combination of seeds and seedlings – provenance seed is collected from our various properties across the Corridor which we direct seed, as well as planting a mix of native seedlings which are raised for us during the year in local nurseries.

Carbon Neutral has pioneered an innovative approach to direct seeding – the provenance seed is pre-treated to stimulate the dormant native seed and then direct seeded using specially designed equipment, all of which maximises planting scale, survival and growth rates.

We plant once a year in the winter time after the first winter rains, which gives the seeds and seedlings the best possible start.

To date we have planted more than 30 million trees and shrubs across the Corridor, restoring more than 13,500 hectares of cleared, degraded land. These trees are protected by a 100 year carbon covenant and carbon right, meaning the trees are safeguarded for ‘a lifetime’.

Please note: with our Plant-a-Tree trees, the rate of carbon sequestration is not measured. So when one of our trees is planted, the actual carbon absorbed is not calculated as it is with carbon offsets. Our Plant-a-Tree trees are therefore not offset products so cannot be used to claim carbon neutrality.

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