Frequently asked questions

Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about for example our projects, planting trees and compensating CO2. Are you not able to find the answer to your question? Please contact us. We are happy to tell you more about our projects and working method!

  • General

  • Becoming a donor

  • Planting trees

  • Carbon offsetting

  • Projects

  • Corporate partners

  • Tree partners

General

What does Trees for All do?

For over 20 years, Trees for All has been devoted to creating more forests in the world. Our mission is to plant new forests worldwide and to restore existing forests. We plant trees in the Netherlands and abroad and raise people’s awareness of the importance of trees. In doing so, we aim for a broad impact. Not only do our sustainable forestry projects contribute to a better climate, but they also ensure more biodiversity and healthier living conditions. In this way, along with our donors and partners, we invest in a green and healthy planet for everyone.

How did Trees for All originate?

Stichting Trees for All was founded in 1999 under the name Trees for Travel. We were the first climate compensation provider in the Netherlands for travel organisations and businesses that wanted to offset their flights through sustainable forestry projects. In 2012, we changed our name to Trees for All and broadened the scope of our work. Whereas before we’d only been active in developing countries, we then started planting trees in the Netherlands as well. There were several reasons for doing so. As a consequence of the economic crisis, many nature subsidies had been discontinued, so Trees for All identified opportunities for speeding up the development of forestry projects in the Netherlands. In addition, an increasing number of donors wanted to make a more tangible contribution close to home. Thanks to all our donors and partners, we’re now able to plant hundred of hectares of sustainable forest every year, in the Netherlands and abroad.

Trees for All has a CBF certificate. What does that mean?

The CBF monitors recognised charities. In the Netherlands, there are over 40,000 foundations registered as Public Benefit Organisations (ANBIs), but only 646 of them have a CBF certificate – one of which is Trees for All. The CBF checks that charities meet strict quality requirements, thus guaranteeing that your donation contributes to a better world.

The number of organisations that plant trees and offset carbon emissions is continually growing. What makes Trees for All unique?

Trees for All is a recognised foundation with a CBF certificate and ANBI status. We have been around for over 20 years already, so we have lots of experience of planting forests and offsetting carbon emissions. We are a non-commercial CO2 compensation provider and have no profit motive. Our goal is to make maximum impact through the projects we support. Whereas some parties are active only in the Netherlands or only abroad, we do both, so you can join us in planting trees close to home as well as further afield. This means we have a wide global impact. We focus not only on carbon sequestration for the climate, but also on biodiversity and healthy living conditions. And another important factor is that we aim for quality and sustainability. It’s not difficult to plant a tree, but growing a whole forest is quite a challenge. And that’s what we work on every day!

Who does Trees for All work with?

In order to achieve our mission, we all have to do our bit (i.e. plant trees) according to the means at our disposal. So we inspire and motivate people and organisations to take action with us, by planting trees and reducing and offsetting carbon emissions.

To realise our projects, we work with project partners. We choose our projects with care and use clear criteria that have to be met by the projects (see project criteria). We believe in the power of collaboration and we aim for lasting partnerships, in order to guarantee our long-term involvement. There’s an African saying: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. So for us, collaboration is the key to the long-term development of our own organisation and of the world around us.

Can I help Trees for All as a volunteer?

We think it’s fantastic that so many people want to work for our foundation as a volunteer. We know from experience that it’s important to have a clear mission or assignment when setting up volunteer work. If we have one, we’ll communicate it through our website or social media.

Becoming a donor

How can I support the work of Trees for All?

There are various ways you can support us. You can plant trees, you can offset carbon emissions or you can support us through a donation. You can choose whether to do so as a regular contribution or a one-off gesture. Whatever the case, you’ll help us achieve our mission: a green and healthy world for everyone.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Trees for All has ANBI status, which means we’ve been designated a Public Benefit Organisation by the Dutch tax authorities. This gives tax advantages for private or corporate donors.

A private donation may be tax-deductible within the applicable regulations. For these gifts, there’s a ‘threshold’. In one year, you must have donated a certain amount – depending on your income – before you’re eligible for tax deduction. And a maximum amount also applies to this deduction. How much deduction applies to you?

For a one-man business, limited partnership or general partnership, the regulations for private gifts are applicable. If you have a private limited company, the gifts can be deducted from the corporation tax, providing the deductible gifts total no more than 50% of profits, with a maximum of €100,000.
If you’d like to know more about donating to Trees for All with a tax advantage, please contact your accountant and/or the Dutch tax authorities. You can also calculate whether it’s more advantageous to make a corporate or a private donation here.

Can I make a periodic donation or gift to Trees for All?

You certainly can and that would help us enormously! On our website, you can choose whether to donate on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. You can also opt to give a periodic gift on the basis of an agreement, whereby the same amount is given for at least 5 years, which is set out in the agreement. If these conditions are met, then the whole amount of the gift is tax-deductible.

What’s the difference between an ‘ordinary’ periodic donation and a periodic gift?

Ordinary periodic donations (monthly, quarterly or annual) are not set out in an agreement, whereas periodic gifts are set out in a gift agreement. A periodic gift is always tax-deductible. Other donations may be also tax-deductible providing you meet the conditions (a threshold amount and a maximum amount).  Find out more

I’d like to stop my periodic donation. How can I do that?

You can do so by informing us through the online contact form or by post, stating your full name, town/city and the authorisation reference if known. Many thanks for your generous support!

I’m thinking of including Trees for All in my will. What are the options?

If you decide to include Trees for All in your will, you choose to bequeath a green and healthy planet to future generations. You can include Trees for All in your will in various ways: you can name Trees for All as a beneficiary (or co-beneficiary) or you can bequeath a legacy to Trees for All.

  • Testamentary disposition – If you name Trees for All as a beneficiary (or co-beneficiary), we receive a percentage of your inheritance. This is known as a testamentary disposition. You decide yourself who gets what percentage.
  • Legacy – If you don’t want to name Trees for All as a beneficiary, but would like to include us in your will, you can bequeath a legacy to Trees for All. This means that you leave a set amount of money or a specific part of your estate (e.g. a house, a plot of land or a share portfolio) to Trees for All.

Trees for All is a Public Benefit Organisation (ANBI), which means we don’t have to pay inheritance tax on the amount you bequeath to us. So you know that 100% of your gift will benefit Trees for All. We are also a Registered Charity and we meet the strict quality requirements of the Netherlands Fundraising Regulator (CBF). You can therefore rest assured that each Euro is spent carefully and accounted for.

How is my donation spent?

We work as efficiently and effectively as possible and pride ourselves on the fact that we achieve such wonderful results with a relatively small team. For each Euro we receive, over 84% is spent on the goal (planting forests, offsetting carbon emissions and raising awareness).

I’d like to gift a tree. Is that an option?

It certainly is! We have trees to suit every occasion. Take a look at our gift a tree page.

Why does Trees for All send only digital post?

Many charities regularly send a magazine or letter by post. We want to use as little paper as possible, so we only send digital post. We make just one exception – for legacies – for which we produce a paper brochure.

Why doesn’t Trees for All do collections and canvassing on the streets?

Collections involve a lot of volunteers, and at the moment our volunteer network isn’t wide enough.

In the case of canvassing, the full donation doesn’t go to the charity, as part is intended as income for the canvassing agency. We prefer not to raise money like this.

Planting trees

Where will my trees be planted?

We plant trees in the Netherlands and abroad, ensuring a good distribution over the various ongoing projects. Online donations are divided fifty/fifty between the Netherlands and abroad. On the website, you can choose yourself which projects you’d like to donate to.

When will my trees be planted?

In planting trees, we’re dependent on the tree planting season in the relevant country and region. In the Netherlands, we plant between the end of November and mid-March. In this period, the trees are dormant and can grow on in the springtime without too much of a ‘shock’. And usually it’s not too warm and dry then, so the tree can get off to a good start in favourable conditions. In the tropics, the trees go into the ground at the start of the rainy season. If you plant in the middle of the rainy season, the seedlings can get washed away, and at the end of the rainy season it’s often too late to develop a good root system for surviving the dry season.

Some projects are realised within a year, whereas others have a longer duration. In that case, the total planting takes place over several years.

How can I be sure that the trees have actually been planted?

We guarantee that your trees will be planted. We draw up contracts with our project partners, in which agreements are made about activities, output and impact. We follow our projects closely through reports, field visits and rigorous monitoring, and we check the quantity and quality of the planting. We communicate this information through newsletters, social media, updates and our annual report.

Can I plant my trees myself?

Every year, we organise several tree-planting days in the Netherlands. These are primarily intended for our corporate forest partners, who have made a donation to a corporate forest. We hope to be able to organise tree-planting days for our other partners and donors as well in the near future, because we know what fun the planting days are and we’d like everyone to have this valuable experience. However, the organisation does depend on our own capacity and that of our project partners.

Can I follow my tree?

Rather than talking about planting individual trees, we prefer to think in terms of planting forests, and agroforestry and food forest projects. So your donation is always part of a greater whole. Not every sapling we plant will grow to a large, mature tree. In order to create a forest, you have to start by planting more trees than will eventually survive. There’s a reason for doing this. By planting more trees at the start, we accelerate the creation of a forest ecosystem and we can also realise a greater diversity of species. So your tree will help to ensure the creation of a new forest. That’s good for biodiversity and it makes the forest more resilient to climate change.Incidentally, you can certainly follow the project where your tree has been planted. If you make an online donation, we keep you informed through our Track & Trees!

What types of tree does Trees for All plant?

Both in the Netherlands and abroad, we plant as many native species of tree as possible. Trees that have always thrived in a particular place are demonstrably better for biodiversity, the soil and the water balance. They provide more life, both underground and above ground, including fungi, insects, birds and mammals. In the Netherlands, we plant an average of 15 to 20 species, particularly deciduous trees. In the long term, this creates a varied and healthy forest. In order to make our forests climate-proof, we’re also looking at South-European species of tree, which are more resilient to drought and heat, while also able to withstand a harsh winter.

In the developing countries where we work, the choice of suitable tree species is determined in consultation with the local population. In reforestation projects, we use as many endangered and endemic species as possible. In the vicinity of the villages and on farmland, it’s important that trees have value; for food or medicine, for example. This also ensures better management in the long term.

Is it necessary to plant trees? Doesn’t nature take care of that?

It’s good that people ask critical questions about the necessity of planting trees. Of course, reforestation does take place naturally as well and we encourage that too. But it’s a much slower process. By planting the right tree species straight away, the natural regeneration process is accelerated. This means we can sequester more carbon in the shorter term and increase biodiversity by planting a large number of different species. In some cases, spontaneous reforestation is simply not possible or desirable. In monocultures (forests of a single species), there’s often a lack of seed sources and trees for a varied forest. If you don’t take action, then a monotonous forest will regrow. In order to create native forests on that land, with a rich variety of species, it’s necessary to intervene. Or sometimes former farmland has degraded through incorrect use of the land, which means that natural reforestation is not an option there either. Whatever the case, we always plant lots of different varieties of trees and shrubs, in order to create a healthy and climate-proof forest.

How do you determine the donation amount per tree?

We work with an average donation amount for all the trees we plant. This makes it possible for us to support many different projects in the Netherlands as well as abroad. It’s more expensive to plant trees in the Netherlands than abroad, especially in developing countries. The type of project also affects the donation amount per tree. If you’re planting trees in a challenging area, where you need additional irrigation or protection from livestock, for example, the costs will rise. And we always take account of the costs for long-term management and rigorous monitoring of the project results.

It’s important to know that your donation is far more than just planting a tree. We choose for an integral approach, whereby we plant trees, ensure that the drivers for deforestation are removed, restore biodiversity and contribute to better living conditions for the local community.

What does Trees for All think about felling trees in the Netherlands?

For the average citizen of the Netherlands, forest management raises many questions. How do you weigh up the climatological, ecological, economic and social interests? Why are forests still being felled when we have to remove CO2 from the atmosphere? And what happens to the felled trees? Nowadays, forest and nature management in the Netherlands has to take account of many different wishes and interests. You need to be able to see the full picture to have a viewpoint about felling trees.If we want to create more forests, it’s extremely important that our forests are managed sustainably and that there’s no large-scale felling. The national Forestry Strategy states that clearfell is prohibited in forests in the Netherlands, i.e. that no forest areas larger than half a hectare may be felled. Trees for All endorses this regulation. Under certain circumstances and conditions, however, we believe that felling is justified:

  • Social and ecological impact

Felling in a forest must always be done in a responsible and careful way. The social and ecological impact should be the reason behind it, rather than economic interests. By this, we mean that the timber produced through developing the forest is in line with responsible forest management (see below). Using big machines may be efficient, but it does great damage to the forest and the soil. Trees for All sees room for improvement in this area. The government should make more subsidy available for eco-friendly forest management.

  • Responsible management

Felling is part of forest management, particularly in the situation in the Netherlands, where there are many planted forests. Through extensive and targeted management, planting is gradually developed in the direction of more natural forests of many types, age differences and structures. This takes place by thinning or rejuvenating the forest. In the case of thinning, growing space is created for popular trees (e.g. certain native trees or trees that are interesting for particular animals), and consideration is given to the variety of species. In the case of rejuvenation, small groups of trees or individual trees are felled, in order to create space for new forest. This creates more diversity of species and age, which in turn is good for the biodiversity of the forest and makes it more climate-proof. As the forests become more natural, there is less or even no necessity for active management. The timber produced through managing the forests to make them more natural and robust should be used as sustainably as possible (see below: high-value use).

  • Nature development

In the Netherlands, we want to develop various sorts of nature. As part of this recovery of biodiversity, existing forest is sometimes felled and transformed into other types of nature for purposes like linking heathland and sand drift areas. While Trees for All wants to help increase the forest acreage in the Netherlands, we also endorse the importance of varied nature for biodiversity. Where forest has to make way for other types of nature, this should always be compensated with regard to both quality and quantity.

  • Revitalisation 

In exceptional cases, it is necessary to carry out large-scale felling, for example when transforming ailing Norway spruce forests into healthy, diverse deciduous forests, or replanting forests suffering from ash dieback. This type of situation will occur more frequently in the near future, due to the considerable acreage of monocultures in the Netherlands and to changing circumstances (climate, nitrogen and drought). Trees for All supports this type of project in the Netherlands, to ensure the creation of forests that are more varied and climate-proof.

  • High-value use

Timber must be put to the highest-value use possible and must be processed sustainably. Using timber for construction avoids the carbon emissions involved in concrete and steel production, while also storing the carbon in the timber for the longer term. The Netherlands currently supplies only 10% of its own timber needs, and this percentage is expected to drop as the demand for timber rises. Consequently, the dependency on supplies from abroad will increase proportionately. Timber for biomass plants is the lowest-value application and can only be justified in the case of waste wood.

Why do we use trees for biomass?

Biomass for power generation consists of all sorts of organic material, such as wood, organic waste, vegetable oil and fats, as well as crops grown especially for the purpose. Biomass energy is regarded as sustainable and it plays an important role in attaining the climate goals of the Netherlands.

In principle, Trees for All is not against the use of biomass in a general sense. What we are against is the use of high-quality wood as a source of energy. Where it specifically concerns woody biomass, we think it can only be justified by using waste wood that cannot be used in any other way (e.g. excess branch wood in an urban environment) or is of no value to the forest. Leaving behind branches and twigs is essential for a healthy forest, so it’s important that dead trees and some of the felled timber remain in the forest.

Is it any use planting trees if so much forest is disappearing through felling and forest fires?

The news about global deforestation and the increase in forest fires can be very disheartening – for us too. But one of our core values is to be positive. We believe that change is possible and we want to contribute to that change. By planting trees together and raising people’s awareness of the importance of trees, we can ensure that existing forests are protected and more forests are created in the world. An important part of this is looking at what you can do yourself. To which organisations do you devote your time, energy and money? Which products do you buy? How much meat do you eat? (Meat consumption is one of the main causes of deforestation). What sort of organisation do you want to work for? And if you invest, in which organisations do you invest your money? We actually have more personal influence than we sometimes think.

We dream of a world filled with forests, and we’re seeing that more and more people share that dream. The more people that join us, the greater our impact will be. And as far as we’re concerned, doing nothing is not an option. Every tree counts!

Carbon offsetting

When do carbon emissions take place?

Nearly all our activities cause the emission of carbon and other greenhouse gases, like methane and nitrogen dioxide. Sometimes, it takes place directly through burning petrol in cars or heating your home, but more often it takes place indirectly through the production of our food or the things we buy, for example.

What is carbon offsetting?

For the carbon emissions you cause, carbon is removed from the air somewhere else, or less carbon is emitted. This compensates for your carbon emissions. So it’s like a sort of carbon bookkeeping. There are various ways to offset your carbon emissions.

How can I offset my carbon emissions?

You can ensure that carbon emissions are removed from the atmosphere by planting trees, for example, or through underground storage. Or you can ensure that the carbon emissions somewhere are reduced or avoided. For example, there are sustainable energy projects or energy-efficient cookers that need less wood for cooking. But forest protection comes into the last category as well; the reasoning being that if the forest is not felled, then carbon emissions are avoided.

Where is it best to offset my carbon emissions?

The offsetting doesn’t necessarily have to take place in the Netherlands, as greenhouse gases spread all around the planet. Even worse, our lifestyle in the West has huge consequences for people in low-income countries, who are hit hardest by the effects of climate change. So if your carbon emissions take place in the Netherlands, you can offset them by planting trees in Bolivia, for example, or providing energy-efficient cookers in Kenya.

What is the principle behind offsetting carbon through planting trees?

In order to grow, trees need the (greenhouse) gas CO2. With the help of sunlight and water, trees convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon (C) and oxygen (O2). The carbon is stored in the biomass of the tree: the trunk, the branches and the roots. As long as a tree grows, CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere. A dying tree gradually releases the CO2 again. In a forest system, this CO2 is recaptured by the growing trees and shrubs that take the place of the old tree.

How much CO2 does a tree absorb?

Lots of people want to know how exactly much CO2 is offset by planting trees. However, this apparently simple question is not so easy to answer, as carbon sequestration is calculated on the basis of surface area (hectares) and growth years, and depends on many factors, such as the type of tree, the climate and the type of soil. It’s a process of many years, in which the forest develops from a crowded forest of lots of young trees to an open forest of mature, tall trees. So eventually, there are far fewer trees than the number initially planted. Furthermore, a newly planted tree stores relatively little carbon in the beginning. The amount of carbon stored increases as the tree ages, then levels off again at the end of the tree’s lifespan.Trees for All has many different projects all over the world, so it’s difficult to give an average. In the Netherlands, we work with the figures from WUR and Probos. In our projects abroad, there’s a big difference between whether you’re restoring rainforest or planting trees in very arid areas. For each project, we give an indication, and we are also planning to get a detailed calculation made for all non-certified projects.

How does carbon offsetting through Trees for All work?

Offsetting through Trees for All means that you’ve offset your carbon emissions through carbon credits. We call it certified offsetting. All our reforestation and agroforestry projects for carbon offsetting are certified. We work with Plan Vivo, an international standard for carbon offsetting that focuses on local communities, guaranteeing not only carbon sequestration, but also improved living conditions, sustainable land management and conservation of biodiversity. Various independent assessments verify that your carbon emissions are actually sequestered and that this impact is realised.

What is the value of a carbon credit?

One carbon credit is equivalent to the sequestration of 1 ton of carbon emissions. A credit can only be issued once, so can only be used once for carbon offsetting. Who has received which credits is recorded in a credit register, in order to avoid counting a credit twice.

Projects cannot automatically issue carbon credits, as they first have to meet a great many requirements. At the start of a project, project owners have to submit a detailed proposal to a certification standard. This standard then decides whether the project meets all the criteria. The expected carbon sequestration (above ground and underground in the roots) is determined, as is the impact on biodiversity and the living conditions of the local population. The actual carbon sequestration is then verified every 3 to 5 years by an external auditor. It is a robust system that sets high standards for project organisations that wish to become eligible for the issue of carbon credits.

What is meant by carbon removal and carbon reduction?

Carbon offsetting can take place in a variety of ways: through reduction or prevention of carbon emissions (carbon reduction) or through extra carbon sequestration (carbon removal). Both approaches are necessary and they complement one another. In the case of carbon reduction, the goal is to save on carbon emissions, through things like wood-saving ovens (cookstoves), windmills, solar power and forest protection (Redd+). In the case of carbon removal, the goal is to create extra sequestration capacity, so that the carbon already in the atmosphere can be sequestered. This can be achieved by planting trees. Other natural solutions are to increase carbon sequestration in the soil through regenerative agriculture or using minerals that absorb CO2, like olivine. A much more expensive and risky solution is underground storage in depleted gas fields, for example.

Carbon removal is regarded as having the highest impact, especially where it concerns social forestry and reforestation projects that focus on improving the socio-economic position of local communities and pay attention to ecological values (biodiversity and ecosystem services).

Why does Trees for All work with the Plan Vivo certification standard?

Plan Vivo is a global leader in certification standards for climate projects, with a focus on local communities and sustainable development. Plan Vivo guarantees validated carbon sequestration, ecosystem recovery, improved living conditions and sustainable land management. The participating communities share in the income that is generated with carbon credits. The certified projects are therefore carried out for and with the local population.

What is the difference between certified and non-certified offsetting?

The carbon offsetting that we offer is certified. This means that carbon credits are generated as proof of carbon sequestration. But of course our non-certified tree-planting projects also sequester a lot of carbon. In that case, it’s known as non-certified offsetting, and – if the figures are available – we can give an estimate of the amount of carbon sequestered.

We deliberately choose for a varied project portfolio of certified and non-certified projects, as we aim for a broad impact. Carbon sequestration is not our only concern. Some types of project sequester more carbon and are more suitable for certification than other projects where the costs of certification outweigh the expected profits from credits.

Donations for trees or for carbon credits are therefore two different types of funding, through which we help realise the planting and management of forests. So if obtaining carbon credits isn’t important to you, you can choose to donate to one of our tree-planting projects. In both cases, you’ll contribute to carbon sequestration, more biodiversity and better living conditions.

Can I also offset my carbon emissions through forests in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands, the first steps have been taken to certify the planting of new forests. This is possible through the foundation Stichting Nationale Koolstofmarkt. The certification method is still under development. Not every project is suited to certification, because of the requirements that are set, such as a mandatory FSC certification and the associated costs. Carbon credits from forests in the Netherlands will anyway be relatively expensive. So the question is: where will your Euro have most impact? At the moment, our portfolio doesn’t include any certified projects in the Netherlands. But you can offset your carbon emissions through our certified forestry projects abroad, or contribute to more forests in the Netherlands by planting a corporate forest, for example. In that case, we can give an estimate of the amount of carbon sequestered, or you could choose to get an external party to make the calculation.

What is the difference between mandatory and voluntary offsetting?

Carbon offsetting can take place on either a voluntary or a mandatory basis. In Europe, mandatory offsetting goes via the EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS). The 12,000 businesses with the highest pollution rates, including the aviation industry and the energy sector, are obliged to offset their carbon emissions. They receive a maximum number of emission allowances, and if their emissions exceed this number they have to buy additional allowances.

Besides this mandatory market, a voluntary market for carbon offsetting has also arisen. This is the market in which Trees for All operates. The word ‘voluntary’ says it all. Businesses and private individuals who want to offset their climate impact do so of their own free will.

Does carbon offsetting make any difference?

We need to drastically reduce our carbon emissions, so every contribution – whether mandatory or voluntary – is extremely important. However, offsetting shouldn’t be a goal in itself: it’s rather a means to making a transition. So the focus should be on carbon reduction.

If you offset through the right projects, it benefits the climate, nature and people. We see carbon offsetting as a good way of realising impactful projects for which there would otherwise be no funding. We plant more trees, we provide employment for the local population and give them training in sustainable land use. And this means that existing forests can be better restored and protected.

But there are also disadvantages. We might think that carbon offsetting allows us just to carry on as we are. In that case, offsetting can legitimise the idea that there’s no need for change. And that, of course, can never be the intention. So everyone has to reflect on what they can do personally to maintain a green and healthy planet.

It’s also risky to focus solely on climate compensation. Increasingly often, we see large-scale planting of monocultures, whereby the emphasis is on tree species that sequester as much carbon as possible. In our view, this is not a good development. Together, we need to focus on maintaining and restoring natural ecosystems and to take a good look at what’s necessary to achieve that. Planting the wrong type of tree in the wrong place for the wrong reason can do more harm than good.

Does Trees for All trade in carbon credits?

As a foundation, we don’t buy and sell carbon credits, but we do use the donations we receive to realise forestry and reforestation projects that generate certified carbon credits. So we definitely do not trade in carbon credits.

If certified credits are given for a project, they are registered in the name of the project owner in a central credit register. The project owner can make two transactions with these credits: sell them on or retire (cancel) them. Trees for All chooses for the second option, which means that the credits are completely removed from the register and can then no longer be traded. We ask our project partners to retire the credits in our name as the ultimate beneficiary. We therefore have no accounts in the carbon credit registers and we don’t have the possibility to register the credits in the name of our donors. A donation to us means that we ensure that the agreed number of credits are taken from the market. These can be used by a donor as proof of carbon offsetting.

How can I calculate my emissions?

On our website, you can easily calculate the amount of your carbon emissions. At present, you can calculate and offset the emissions from your total footprint, air travel, car journeys, energy consumption at home and purchases. The calculations are based on the  carbon emission factors of MilieuCentraal.

For a more detailed analysis and definition of the footprint of your company, it may be advisable to consult a specialised agency, for example our partner Stimular: a foundation that helps companies and organisations to make their business operations more sustainable. They provide their tool, the Envirometer, at cost price. Dozens of municipalities and trade associations offer a free starter subscription to the Envirometer.

Does Trees for All offset other greenhouse gases besides CO2?

We base our calculations on the emission factors of Milieu Centraal, which include all the greenhouse gases. Besides CO2, they are nitrogen and methane, for which the emissions are converted into the CO2 equivalent; i.e. the extent to which the gas contributes to global warming, expressed in CO2. One kilogram of CO2 equivalent is thus equal to the greenhouse effect of 1 kilogram of CO2.

How is the price of a carbon credit determined?

Various factors play a role in the costs for each project. The larger the scale of the planting location and the less fragmented it is, the more efficiently the work can be carried out. The reverse is also true. In the case of projects with small farmers (e.g. those in Bolivia), there are many different small-scale planting locations, so the logistics costs are higher. In that case, technical assistance and monitoring are time-consuming. In addition, labour costs vary per country. This affects the costs and therefore the project funding needed, and ultimately also the price of the credits.

We are a non-profit organisation, so we have no profit motive. The most important considerations for us are that we can make an impact with our reforestation projects and that our project partners receive a fair price. So we deliberately select projects that closely involve the local community and thus have added socio-economic value.

The value of certified carbon credits has been rising recently, due to companies’ great demand to voluntarily reduce and green their carbon footprint. This means that we can pay our project partners a better price for their carbon credits and that more income goes to the participating farmers and local communities. This takes place in the form of training, provision of trees and/or community development funds.

Projects

What do you mean by sustainable forestry/reforestation projects?

Trees for All sees sustainability as an important value. We believe in sustainability in everything we do. This applies to the projects and partners we support, but also to the organisation where we work together. We do all we can to plant and manage ‘our’ forests sustainably, so that future generations can also benefit from them. We aim for impactful projects and choose quality over quantity. Of course we aim to plant as many trees as possible, but we want to do so in a responsible way. We build up lasting partnerships, and thus guarantee our long-term involvement.

How does Trees for All select its projects?

In order to cultivate forests sustainably, it’s important that Trees for All collaborates with reliable partners. We therefore select expert project partners who share our vision of planting and managing forests and who have a good track record. All our projects are assessed in detail before we start (due diligence). We set out the agreements in a partnership agreement. One of our main principles is that the planting is maintained well and protected, so that it can develop properly. And we apply all sorts of other quality criteria, such as the impact on biodiversity and the input and involvement of the local community (see project criteria).

How do you ensure that the trees survive and the forests are well managed?

Trees for All collaborates with organisations who know all about the planting and management of forests. Agreements about the planting and management of each project are set out in the partnership agreement,. We make agreements about the planting plan, the management period and the maximum permissible loss of young trees. When planting new forests, there’s always a chance that some of the trees won’t survive, through drought or damage by animals and insects, for example. If the loss exceeds the maximum permissible loss agreed, the project owner is obliged to replant. Trees for All also makes agreements with the project owners about the monitoring and reporting obligations. Through regular reporting, we stay informed of the progress of our projects and keep an eye on the intended impact on, for example, climate adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity and the involvement of the local community. We also pay regular visits to our projects, in order to follow the progress, and where possible we use satellite and drone monitoring.

Where does Trees for All plant trees?

Trees for All supports sustainable forestry and reforestation projects all over the world. Besides helping to make the Netherlands greener, we’re also active in the rest of Europe and in developing countries. And this is a deliberate choice, as climate change is a global problem and the consequences can be felt everywhere. We aim for a broad impact in the areas of climate, biodiversity and living conditions. By planting forests around the world and raising people’s awareness of their importance, we contribute to a liveable planet for everyone.

Which projects does Trees for All support?

We choose for a varied project portfolio in the Netherlands and abroad. In the Netherlands, we help to plant new forests, restore ailing forests and create food forests. But we also look at broader aspects like landscape elements and urban greening. And in 2020, we launched our foundation GroenDoen Fonds, for small-scale local initiatives.

Outside the Netherlands, we traditionally work in developing countries, but we also want to start planting more in Europe. We have many different projects on the go, which is a deliberate choice. For example, we’re working on rain forest restoration, coastal protection (dune forest and mangrove), agroforestry, river forests and ecological corridors.

I’d like to plant trees in my neighbourhood. How can I get support from the GroenDoen Fonds?

The GroenDoen Fonds is for initiators who want to make their surroundings greener. We donate between 500 and 5000 Euros for small-scale initiatives, such as planting trees on a care farm or school playground. It’s important to have a good plan, to involve at least 9 people who support your idea and to get approval from the landowner. See our site for more information.

How does Trees for All plant trees?

Our goal is to plant trees in a sustainable way, which involves paying great attention to the quality of planting, management and maintenance. Our vision for this is: the right trees, in the right place with the right management. More and more often, we see large-scale planting of monocultures, which focuses only on carbon sequestration, with no thought for the importance of biodiversity and local involvement. We plant as many different native species as possible. Trees that have always thrived in a particular place are demonstrably better for native plants and animals, and for the soil and the water balance. Diversity of species also ensures a stable forest. If one species of tree fails, then the forest as a whole will survive and the other species will take over the space left behind.

For our forestry projects abroad, the socio-economic aspect is also extremely important. The local population helps to cultivate, plant and take care of the trees. They’re also given training in sustainable land use.

As far as we’re concerned, involving the local communities is essential for sustainable forest management, both in the Netherlands and abroad. People must experience the value of the forest themselves and feel responsible for maintaining it.

What impact does Trees for All have?

Our projects contribute to various Sustainable Development Goals, such as climate, biodiversity, clean water, food security and the fight against poverty. In the Netherlands, the focus is on carbon sequestration, biodiversity and health. The impact of our projects abroad is even wider. Our projects in developing countries also ensure more job opportunities, income and food, and better living conditions. Climate change doesn’t recognise borders, and it is precisely the poorer countries that are hit hardest, whereas they cause the least pollution. Take tropical storms, for instance, or desertification, extreme drought and flooding. This is why we help people to protect themselves better against the effects of climate change.

In what ways do your projects contribute to recovery of biodiversity?

The forest is an important source of biodiversity. When planting new forests and restoring existing forests, therefore, we always consider effects on biodiversity. In this respect it is essential to look at variety of species, natural surroundings and sustainable management.

Trees for All takes care that in its projects many different species of trees and shrubs are planted. Thus the foundation is laid for a varied and robust forest. Moreover, a forest in which, as a result of this broad composition of species, many other plants, fungi and animals will find a place. In the Netherlands forests were planted in the past, using only one, or at best a few species, in the new forests as many as 20-25 are used. A forest rich in variety of species is better able to cope with climate change and diseases. Should a certain species get into trouble (as now Norway spruce and ash tree), the forest and its climate will stand their ground, since in a varied forest the other species will quickly fill the open spaces.

When planting new forest we choose species of trees indigenous to a landscape or region and suitable to the soil. Indigenous trees have much greater natural value than so-called exotics. A full-grown pedunculate oak will harbour as many as 400 different organisms, such as insects, birds, other types of animal such as squirrel and mouse and, of course, mosses and mushrooms. This number is much lower for the non-indigenous Northern red oak. It is understandable that exotics, such as Northern red oak, Douglas or Black locust are poorer in organisms, since especially insects need a long period of time to adapt to a ‘new’ kind of tree. In their original surroundings these exotics harbour many more insects.

Abroad we offer an extensive portfolio of projects, varying from rain forest to riparian woodland and mangrove. When designing a project together with our project partner and the local population our choice is the plantation of indigenous species. We prefer to draw up a long list which will include strongly endangered species. In our project that aims to reinstall a fog forest in Costa Rica, over sixty different local species will be planted. In the Vietnam coastal project the planting of dune forest will include Shorea falcata trees, which only occur in that specific area (‘endemic’) and there are hardly any more than a few hundred samples left. For that reason the tree is marked as threatened with extinction in the IUCN Red List.

By planting indigenous trees we bring back large numbers of plants and animals which originally belong. Thus our tree project in Ghana contributes to a better habitat for the common patas monkey and the hornbill, both suffering from deforestation and dehydration. The Kibale National Park project, Uganda, is another example of reforestation which offers new chances to the threatened chimpanzee. And of course, more biodiversity is in everybody’s interest: more insects as pollinators serve to stimulate better harvests for local farmers, a larger variety of trees supports water management in the area and reinforces nature and people against climate change. We make agreements with our project partners about sustainable forest management and maintenance. By planting varied forests in combination with sustainable forest management we labour at the recovery of biodiversity in our forests.

Corporate partners

How can our company collaborate with Trees for All?

Companies can collaborate with Trees for All in many different ways. You can make a one-off contribution or you can opt for a long-term partnership. We like to collaborate in the longer term, as we can then achieve the biggest impact together.

Our tree partners plant a minimum of 150 trees a year. Corporate forest partners plant their own corporate forest of a minimum of 2500 trees. But of course it’s also possible to plant any number of trees between or above those numbers. Our CO2 partners estimate their footprint and opt for certified offsetting. They also have a plan to further reduce their emissions.

We collaborate with over 500 companies of all shapes and sizes: from self-employed people and SMEs to big corporate enterprises. In doing so, we look at which type of partnership is most suitable. Alongside our regular types of partnership, there is of course the option of a customised partnership, in the case of larger donations. We then get together to discuss how to set up a unique partnership with your company.

How do you set out the agreements with your corporate partners?

At the start of the partnership, we draw up an agreement that sets out the agreements about the content of the partnership, the amount of the donation, the duration of the partnership and the payment conditions. We also make agreements about the use of logos and the shared communication.

Is Trees for All open to a partnership with any company whatsoever?

We like to collaborate with companies that are motivated to make a transition to sustainable and climate-neutral business operations. Some of our partners are just beginning this process, and others are leading the way. We think it’s important to see movement in the right direction, and it can’t go fast enough for us. The more companies that take part in this green transition, the better. We also think it’s very important that a partnership is credible and we want to avoid greenwashing. So sometimes we say ‘no’ to potential partners. As part of our partner policy and anti-money laundering policy, we screen all our partners. Our acceptance policy includes a reputation check and in some cases a more extensive screening procedure.

Is my gift tax-deductible?

Trees for All has ANBI status, which means we’ve been designated a Public Benefit Organisation by the Dutch tax authorities. Donations to Trees for All are therefore tax-deductible within the applicable regulations. For a one-man business, limited partnership or general partnership, the regulations for private gifts are applicable. If you have a private limited company, the gifts can be deducted from the corporation tax, providing the deductible gifts total no more than 50% of profits, with a maximum of €100,000. You can find more information about this on the authorities. You can easily calculate your tax advantage through our calculation module.

Do I have to pay VAT on my donation?

Stichting Trees for All is a registered charity with no profit motive. Corporate partners of Trees for All do not owe any VAT on the amount of their donation.

Tree partners

Where do we plant?

Your annual donation will be allocated to our available forest projects. We plant trees in the Netherlands and abroad. We aim to plant 50% in the Netherlands. This percentage can change every year, if, for example, the number of foreign forest projects increases. The Netherlands is a relatively small country and the number of forest projects is more limited.

Can I choose a project myself?

Partners can indicate a preference for a foreign project for their first donation. After the first year, Trees for All allocates the donation to one of the available foreign projects where we are planting trees at that time. Dutch trees are allocated on the basis of the available projects.

How will I be informed by Trees for All about how my donation is being spent?

At the end of each year, we inform you about the locations where your trees have been planted or will be planted. This way you know exactly how your donation is spent and you can communicate about this.

I have a one-off activity/campaign. How does that work?

For a one-off activity/campaign, please contact us and we will discuss the options with you.

Is it possible for my customers to receive a certificate as proof of tree donation?

After each donation you will receive an official certificate as proof of your donation with the number of trees. If you want your customers to have their own certificate as proof of donation, you can make your own design in your house style with use of our logo. On this certificate you can note the amount of trees planted for the specific customer.

I want to become a tree partner, but for a fixed amount. Is that possible?

Yes, that is possible. You indicate in the statement how much you want to donate annually.

How does it work with the payment of the donation?

By signing the cooperation statement, you guarantee an annual donation of at least 750 euros. After we have received the cooperation agreement, we will send you a payment request for the first donation as indicated in the agreement. You will then automatically receive a payment request of the annual donation amount you have chosen every year in the same period. If you would like to donate more than you have indicated in the agreement (for example because you have sold more than you estimated), you can do so via the donation link that we send you at the end of each year.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Trees for All has an ANBI status. This means that Trees for All has been designated by the Tax Authorities as a Public Benefit Organization. This entails tax advantages for private or business donors. Calculate your benefit here.

The rules of private donations apply to a sole proprietorship, CV, VOF. If you have a BV, the donations are deductible for corporation tax. The total deductible donations amount to 50% of the profit up to a maximum of €100,000.

Would you like to know more about how you can make a tax-efficient donation to Trees for All? Please contact your accountant and/or the tax authorities.

May I use the visual and video material royalty-free for my own communication?

Yes, the visual and video material we share with you may be used royalty-free in your digital communication. If you wish to put the Trees for All logo on products or printed material, please contact us beforehand through info@treesforall.nl, as you will need our written permission to do so.

Can I plant my trees myself?

Every year, we organise tree planting days in the Netherlands for our corporate forest partners. The tree planting seasons are in the spring and the autumn. Depending on capacity, we are happy to invite more people, but we cannot promise anything in advance.

If I plant trees, do I automatically offset my carbon emissions?

Many people want to know exactly how much CO2 is compensated by planting trees. However, this question is not so easy to answer. CO2 capturing is calculated on the basis of surface area (hectares) and growth years and depends on many factors, such as type of trees, climate and type of soil. It is a process of years in which the forest develops from a dense forest with many saplings, to an open forest with mature, tall trees. In the end, there are much fewer trees than the number that was initially planted. In addition, a planted tree initially stores relatively little carbon. As trees age, they capture more and more carbon and then level off again at the end of the tree’s life.

Trees for All has several projects worldwide so it is difficult to give an average. In the Netherlands we work with the key figures from WUR and Probos: https://edepot.wur.nl/513649. Abroad there is a big difference whether you restore a rainforest or plant trees in very dry areas. We provide an indication per project and we intend to have a detailed calculation also made for all non-certified projects.

Important to know: if you donate trees to us, you can say that you contribute to CO2 compensation, but you cannot formally claim an amount (tonne) of CO2. This is only possible through certified CO2 rights (credits). Are you interested in compensating formally? Then choose for a CO2 partnership.

Can I become a CO2 partner as well?

If you want your business to be carbon neutral, you can also choose to become a CO2 partner and to offset your carbon emissions in a formal way. You can find more information about the CO2 partnership here.

Any other questions?

For more information, take a look at our general FAQ page.