A Summary of Our Qualitative Matrix

Published by Aubrey Holt on

Here at Treepoints, we spend a lot of our time finding projects that not only effectively offset your footprint, but also have the greatest additional co-benefit for local communities and ecosystems.

Based on our expertise, alongside our consultation with project-specific experts, we have discovered some of the general characteristics found across certain types of offsetting projects. Many of these are positive, such as their potential to create local employment opportunities, support the development of biodiversity, or have significant carbon additionality. However, we have also found certain project types can lack favourable traits without appropriate action by project developers, such as holding weak carbon additionality or their failure to support key SDGs.

To ensure we consider these possible benefits and issues beyond each project offsetting potential, we have developed our qualitative matrix, allowing us to assess the projects we choose to ensure they effectively confront their potential shortcomings.

To ensure full transparency of our work here at Treepoints, we have created a summary of our qualitative matrix, giving you a direct insight into what we consider when choosing a project beyond their emissions reduction.

So, what is Additionality and the SDGs?

When we say additionality, we mean would the reduction in emissions have happened without our support for the project. This is because we want to ensure our support is essential to the reduction of emissions and we aren’t just ticking a box in supporting something that would have happened anyway.  

The SDGs are short for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a set of 17 targets aimed at achieving a more sustainable world. We try to ensure all our projects support as many SDGs as possible, including goals such as Climate Action, No Poverty, Decent Work, and Good Health. With many of the world’s most vulnerable communities being the least responsible for climate change, they are, however, often those most adversely impacted by it. We, therefore, aim to bring co-benefits to such groups through supporting projects that assist the development of vulnerable communities, whilst also supporting the wider growth of biodiversity.

But aren’t all projects different? 

They most certainly are, that’s why at Treepoints we only use our qualitative matrix as a guide to our project selection. Rather, you can find on our blog the outlines of each project we support, with each being assessed to ensure project developers have effectively overcome possible SDG shortcomings, such as investing in local training programmes, whilst having also maximised each project’s additionality.

Our qualitative matrix and project selection is something we constantly update as best practices evolve. This is notable seen with our previous investment in certain renewable energy projects. With the falling cost of renewable technology, notable wind and solar, there are growing concerns surrounding the additionality of such projects, especially those in emerging economies. As a result, we have shifted our project support towards those that aren’t renewable energy-based, although we still support renewable projects in the least developed countries and whose additionality remains high.

Our commitments

  1. Revising our strategy and project selection as best practice evolves.
  2. Encouraging our members to reduce their emissions before offsetting.
  3. Maintaining full transparency about the projects we support and how we select them. 
  4. Purchasing a portfolio of carbon credits from projects that have been evaluated according to our risk matrix and meet all of our essential criteria. 
  5. Balancing maximum climate impact with cost effectiveness.


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