The building of apartments and then living in them generates CO2 emissions. CO2 is the best known and most common greenhouse gas and it is a threat to the environment. Greenhouse gases trap heat causing global warming. We see this happening in the Netherlands, the weather is becoming more extreme: heavier rainfall and more heat waves. There is also more flooding, as rivers and sewers can no longer cope with the water during heavy rainfalls.
The mission of Aedes Real Estate for this project is to minimise environmental damage. For this reason, we are working with The Borneo Initiative (TBI), a Dutch organisation dedicated to sustainable forestry in Indonesia. We have joined forces to offset the CO2 emissions arising from the construction of Mannoury plús the first 25 years of occupancy. Afterwards, we will actually check whether the compensation was done.
Many organisations claim to compensate for CO2 by preventing the cutting down of forests. Other CO2 certificate providers plant trees but fail to ensure the sustainable management of the forest. The chance that CO2 is actually compensated for by these activities is not that great. We therefore spent a great deal of time looking for a partner with whom we could compensate for our CO2 emissions in a reliable and sustainable way. In the end, we explicitly chose TBI, which is not only planting 40,000 trees for us on Borneo but is also managing them sustainably.
The Borneo Initiative (TBI) has been restoring degraded forests in Indonesia since 2008. TBI now sustainably manages over four million hectares of forest, enabling 300,000 local residents to earn their income and protect vulnerable animals and plants. For the next 10 years, TBI will provide for the sustainable management of another 12 million hectares of natural forest and restoration of four million hectares of degraded forest in Indonesia. As a result, more than two million people in rural areas will directly benefit from this.
Borneo has large tracts of damaged forest, with ample room for restoration and growth. Trees grow faster in tropical regions, which means they also absorb CO2 faster. The high humidity means that tree diseases and forest fires are less common. The Indonesian government recognises the benefits of sustainable forest management for the economy, the people and the environment. This increases the likelihood of successful restoration and management of fragile ecosystems.
With forest conservation alone, you can only manage the existing CO2 balance. We choose to plant 40,000 trees together with TBI, because trees absorb CO2 while growing. This solution enables us to actually extract CO2 from the atmosphere.
Each tree in the TBI forests has a GPS tag and is recorded using blockchain technology. This makes it possible to reliably trace the owner of the tree and the associated CO2 storage. This prevents double trading of CO2 storage.
In partnership with TBI, we choose projects that enable us to plant trees in sustainably managed forests. This gives us the guarantee that the trees can develop for a long period of time, thus optimising CO2 compensation. The trees are always located in areas that have been granted an FSC certificate.
Local foresters acquire the rights to plant and manage forests. TBI helps the forest managers – known as concessionaires – to use FSC methods and obtain FSC certification. This is particularly important because it guarantees the commitment to effective forest management and maintenance. Monitoring is carried out every three years by an independent party.
FSC forests are maintained sustainably with consideration for the economy, the local population and protection of the ecosystem. Parts of these forests remain protected; no logging takes place there, and animals and plants are left in peace. This is a truly effective means of offsetting our CO2 footprint.
The land on which the FSC forests grow remains the property of the Indonesian government. Managers receive the land on loan, similar to our system of ground lease. This enables the government to maintain control over the forest, with the requirement that it must be delivered at least in the same condition after use.