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What Is The Difference Between Purchasing Carbon Credits & Purchasing Native Trees?

There are two common offsets in New Zealand:

1. Voluntary carbon offsets through native trees

2. Carbon credits through the emissions trading scheme.

Research & recent news clearly shows the negative effects of pine plantations for our biodiversity and environment therefore Carbon Positive suggests offsetting with native trees where possible.

By offsetting through voluntary native tree planting programs you are supporting not only our biodiversity but also our local communities.

Voluntary Carbon Offsets Through Native Trees

Native trees are planted in New Zealand by an independent third party in a permanent forest, using calculations from government emissions data. Offset calculations are based on 100% native trees (no shrubs) that must be able to reach a minimum height of 5m, with sequestration measured for the first 50 years of growth.

Research of New Zealand sequestration shows that 2.3 native trees can sequester a Tonne of CO2e emissions over the first 50 years. Growth rates then slow after 50 years with trees that breakdown being replaced by the regrowth in the same forest. Tree growth rates vary across regional sites according to temperature, soil, site quality, rainfall, types of trees planted, and the management of the planting process. To mitigate variables we only calculate emissions based on the first 50 years of tree growth. The additional slowing growth rates after year 50 are used as margin for variables/losses. 

Carbon Credits Through The Government's Emission Trading Scheme

Carbon Credits are purchased through the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) which unfortunately involves large numbers of exotic pine plantations. 

If your industry does not fall into the ETS obligated criteria then you can choose how you voluntarily offset your carbon emissions through one of our approved native tree projects. Some New Zealand industries are obligated to file returns and purchase from the ETS rather than purchase native trees. More can be found about which industries are obligated emitters at

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Ready to make a real difference to the environment & offset your carbon emissions? 

NZ Native Tree Planting Projects ($29.9+gst per Tonne of CO2e)

Purchase trees from our selected & approved native tree revegetation projects in New Zealand (see our selected projects below). The cost of the tree covers the sourcing, ground preparation, fertiliser, planting, maintenance, and ensuring that the program meets Carbon Positive's offsetting criteria (see top of page). A certificate of purchase is provided with each purchase. Click here to purchase native trees

Carbon Credits (currently around $60 per Tonne of CO2e)

For olbigated emitters you can purchase carbon credits from one of the following suppliers:

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The Waipoua Forest Trust has 241 ha of land in and around Waipoua Forest (home of the Kauri tree) which it plans to reclaim into native bush with the aim of expanding the Waipoua Forest


Atiu creek regional park is located on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour, North of Auckland. More than a third of the park is now covered by mature and regenerating native forest. Native tree offsets continue to enable additional areas to be planted within the park.

Info/Photo Credits: CVNZ, Trees That Count
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