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Tree planting

From £37/tonne · Questions? Talk to sales


Afforestation, tree planting and the restoration of forests can protect biodiversity and help fight global climate change by removing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, if done well. It is already practised at scale, but limited by available land, and prone to reversal from disturbances and from climate change itself.

However, while carbon is removed and stored in the trunk, the branches and the roots of the trees, it may not stay there for a long time. Trees and forests can burn or be harvested, which can re-release some or all carbon removed. Also when the wrong trees are planted in the wrong place, they can cause more harm than good.

For creation of the carbon credit, the trees must be measured and confirmed.

The science

You might think that there is not much science in growing a tree, but there are many things to consider here.

A tree-planting or reforestation project should aim to achieve multiple goals: biodiversity improvement, benefit to soil, water and food production, empowerment of local communities. Failing to include them is one of the most common causes of an unsuccessful reforestation project. For that reason we only work with suppliers that engage them, or are indeed primarily led by the local communities.

The choice of tree species is also crucial. We avoid monoculture plantations, although we will consider them on a case by case basis (one of our projects includes monoculture plantations that we felt was balanced with a sustainable long-term income model for local population as well as protection and more natural restoration of riparian zones.) We consider criteria such as: are the tree species native? Are they resilient to climate change? In agroforestry context: do they bring ongoing benefits to the farmers such as nuts or leaf fall fertilizer, which increase the likelihood of the tree left standing outside of the contractual obligations?

One thing that is often forgotten in the climate offset world but we use as criteria is the albedo effect. Albedo is about how much sunlight is absorbed vs. reflected by the Earth’s surface. Relatively dark conifer trees absorb more sunlight compared to some alternative vegetation or bare grounds, especially during snow cover. Planting the wrong tree in the wrong place can lead to more warming than cooling because the albedo effect outweighs the cooling effect of the carbon removed and stored in the trees.

Research papers 5

Supercritical‘s view

Planting lots more trees, and restoring previously lost forests where we can is a no brainer, and a hugely important undertaking for humanity. Not just because of climate but also because of biodiversity, soil erosion, water, local climate regulation and many more reasons.

However, given how much forest has been lost - mostly to make space for food production - this can only really count as offsetting previous deforestation, but not as removal of fossil fuel carbon.

While we believe our carefully chosen tree projects provide a good balance of benefits relative to their price, we can't consider tree-based credit as a true removal offset that would, in isolation, allow purchasers to claim they are reversing the damage caused by their activities. This is due to the reasons outlined above, as well as the fact that tree-based credits tend to have lower permanence.

Bojana Bajzelj

Head of Climate

Our suppliers

We partner with a high quality reforestation project, which works with local landowners in Nicaragua to generate afforestation carbon removal credits, or Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs), through the Gold Standard registry.

VERs for this project are being issued from May 2008 until May 2027. Teak tree plantations are established on land previously used for cattle grazing and are managed by the landowners.

For afforestation work, we partner with a programme that is led by small groups of subsistence farmers in countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and India. Planting is managed by the farmers who plant native species on marginal land, ensuring there are no conflicting land uses (such as food production) at the planting sites.

Project locations 3

  • Map of Kenya
  • Map of Uganda
  • Map of Nicaragua


Our climate team ensures only high-quality carbon removal makes it onto the Supercritical marketplace.

Each Project has completed our rigorous 8-point vetting process, with fewer than 6% passing.

Supercritical Vetted Project badge

The Supercritical marketplace only features projects that:

  • Remove carbon

    We do not deal with carbon avoidance or carbon reduction offsets

  • Are net negative

    A project’s removal must be net of lifecycle emissions

  • Are Measured, Reported and Verified

    Projects must have MRV and unique retirement on an established registry

  • Are additional

    The removal must not have occurred in the absence of a market for offset credits

  • Do no significant harm

    Projects must cause no ecological, economic or social harm

  • Have clear permanence

    Permanence must be well established, and be conservative

  • Have co-benefits

    Environmental, social, economical co-benefits

  • Have potential

    Projects must have significant future scaling potential