Investigation into rainforest carbon offsets

A message from our carbon offset and tree-planting partners:

You may have seen The Guardian’s recent investigation into rainforest carbon offsets. I wanted to address the concerns you may have - particularly around how we select our projects.

The world’s forests, particularly biodiverse tropical rainforests, are vital to maintaining a healthy planet. But they're at a critical point.

It’s widely acknowledged, including by the Guardian’s environment editor, that carbon finance has a large role to play in preventing deforestation. When done properly, it provides crucial funding to high-quality forest protection projects, which have a positive impact on both the environment and local communities.

The investigation underscores the importance of ensuring that carbon offsetting projects are genuinely impactful. At Ecologi, our internal climate experts assess over 200 projects each month, before choosing to fund a carefully selected handful. We select our projects according to our climate impact regionalisation strategy, which directs funding towards places with the greatest potential impact, and prioritises areas at greater risk of degradation. And to ensure that the methodologies used are the most up-to-date, we only buy recently issued carbon credits (issued within the last 5 years). 

In addition to our in-house due diligence, we work closely with organisations like Sylvera, the leading carbon intelligence platform. Sylvera independently verifies each of the reduced deforestation projects Ecologi supports, taking all of the factors outlined in the Guardian investigation into account, as well as other important co-benefits indicators, like the inclusion of Indigenous and local communities. The nature-based projects Ecologi supports are amongst the most highly rated by Sylvera. Here’s their take on the Guardian investigation.

Carbon finance has a key role to play in the protection of forests from deforestation, as well as providing critical funding to other vital climate solutions. The Guardian article highlights some of the known challenges of certain projects, which are being rectified. What’s most important right now is for the industry to keep evidencing impact as best as it can, and hold specific projects to account that fall below the required standard. This will be a big focus in 2023 - just last week a leading governance body announced it will label high-quality projects.

There are so many impactful projects out there and it’s essential that funding continues to flow into them.

You can view this statement on our website here.

Thank you, as ever, for your continued support.


Ecologi CEO & Co-founder