Treedom Standard: what it is and how we choose our partners

Sep 17, 2022 | written by:

There are over three million trees and more than one million people in our community, all in projects in 16 countries all over the world.

In order to guarantee long-term growth and, above all, the sustainable care of these trees, our projects are all deeply rooted in local communities. And they all follow certain rules that we have developed for cooperation with local partners.

We call it the Treedom Standard. These are the four main principles.

1. Factuality and uniqueness

The project developer must provide proof of the planting and of the expected positive impact on the local ecosystem that will be achieved with the project. The following information is required for every tree: type, GPS data, photo, project manager, estimated CO2 storage

2. Additionality

The Treedom Standard incorporates the principle of additionality established by the Kyoto Protocol. Each project must increase the CO2 storage over the level of that without the project activity. In other words, there must be a greater reduction in carbon than that of the baseline scenario.

3. Durability

The aim of the projects must be to ensure the durability of the social benefit and CO2 storage. To this end, the projects must never involve deforestation, even at the end of the project cycle. The projects must all follow the rules of the agroforestry approach.

4. Sustainability

4.1 Ecological sustainability
No negative changes are to be made to the soil in the project areas, and existing trees must be preserved. Only local species that do not adversely affect the fauna are to be used for reforestation. Species that are typically planted for timber production may only be included in the project if they are also beneficial elsewhere in it.

4.2 Social sustainability
At the heart of any project is a community of people and their needs. Benefits for the local ecosystem and empowering the community to participate in a project are of equal importance. Active involvement is the core idea from the planning to the implementation of a project – without distinction between gender, ethnic background, social origin, religious beliefs and political orientation. The partner must take this social sustainability into account in the coordination of the project.

4.3 Economic sustainability
The projects must create economic benefits for the local community. This includes a subsidy for tree planting, new jobs, training, and an economic return. In line with the principle of durability, economic sustainability is never created by selling wood. The distribution between the people actively involved in the project and the other members of the local community must be managed.

We only consider working with a potential partner if they ensure compliance with these principles (and a number of other requirements).

The Treedom Standard also contains concrete information on the project structure and procedure, legal issues of reporting, and much more. Those who are curious and wish to know more can read about it here.


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