Why is CO2 reduction so important?
In the greenhouse effect, the surface of the earth absorbs heat from the sun, re-emitting it as infrared radiation. This infrared radiation is absorbed by CO2 , water, ozone, methane and chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs) and radiated back to earth.
An unnatural increase in greenhouse gases may therefore raise global temperatures and could cause climate change with such resulting phenomena as adverse weather patterns, the melting of polar ice caps and rising sea levels.
CO2 is identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their 2007 report “Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report”, as the single biggest contributor to climate change.
What species of tree will F.W. Thorpe plant?
We will plant native broadleaf species - oak, hornbeam, ash, birch, willow and wild cherry. The faster growing trees will be harvested (to FSC guidelines) to allow room for the slower growing species to mature.
Why native broadleaf trees?
Some non-native species can absorb greater levels of CO2 however they will have a negative effect on local wildlife. Native species will improve the natural environment and provide a habitat for indigenous natural wildlife.
Isn’t there enough woodland in the UK?
The UK was approximately 98% forest before man settled. At the start of the 1900’s most of the forest had gone; only 5% of the UK was forest. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, this figure is back up to 12%, but only 2% of the UK is covered in native species, the remainder being covered in fast growing conifers for the timber trade. Much of the UK’s indigenous wildlife is unable to survive in these conifer forests, hence the importance of increasing the coverage of native trees.
May I visit the site and see my trees?
Yes, you are welcome to visit. You will receive an e-mail detailing what you have purchased and the location of the site. The site will be open with free access all year round. Later, we plan to develop visitor facilities.
How did F.W. Thorpe calculate its carbon footprint?
To quantify F.W. Thorpe’s carbon footprint, we measured all electricity, gas and fuel used (including by company owned vehicles but excluding sub-contractors’ activities) in our UK factory and selling activities. We multiplied these quantities by factors provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in its ‘Draft Code of Best Practice for Carbon Offset Providers - February 2008’ to estimate the total CO2 produced.
By dividing the total CO2 produced by the number of luminaires that F.W. Thorpe produces each year, we calculated that each luminaire creates an average of 6.986kg CO2 in its production and delivery.
How do I calculate my carbon footprint?
1. Calculate your electricity consumption:
Find the circuit wattage for your luminaire and multiply this figure by the number of luminaires on the lighting circuit. Divide the wattage of your lighting circuit by 1000 to convert in to kW. Multiply the kW of your lighting circuit by the number of hours that the luminaires will be on for the year to find the total electricity consumption in kWh per year.
2. Convert kWh into CO2 produced:
Government figures provided by DEFRA show that 0.53kg of CO2 is produced for every 1kWh of electricity consumed. Therefore, multiply annual electricity consumption (kWh) by 0.53kg to calculate the CO2 produced per year.
How do trees offset CO2?
Trees absorb CO2 during photosynthesis. (Trees and other plants use CO2 and water in the presence of light to produce energy-containing carbohydrates.) The CO2 remains in the tree until it dies and decomposes. Through sustainable management, trees can be harvested and used in wood products, therefore trapping the CO2 and not releasing it back into the atmosphere.
How do I calculate how many trees will I need to plant?
It may be necessary to plant as many as 5 trees to achieve one tonne of sequestration due to forestry management requirements. Conditions will be monitored and adjusted as required by the silviculturalist and the Woodland Carbon Code. Each tree that grows to maturity will absorb approximately 1 tonne (1000kg) of CO2 over 100 years. (The ‘US Department of Energy Report on Greenhouse Gasses 1998’ determined that a tree can absorb 1121kg CO2 in 100 years). 1 tonne of CO2 equates to approximately 1900kWh of electricity (0.53kg per kWh). Divide your total carbon footprint (kg CO2) for a year by 1000 to provide the total number of trees required that year. Alternatively, divide your energy use in kWhs by 1900.
Will offsetting reverse climate change?
Carbon offsetting alone is not a cure for climate change. The most effective action you can take is to reduce your emissions. However, carbon offsetting can help reduce the impact of our energy consumption, and it makes us think more carefully about our effect on the environment. What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that sets out a framework of essential elements for putting an effective environmental management system in place.
An environmental management system allows an organisation to consistently control its impact on the environment, reduce the risk of pollution incidents, ensure compliance with environmental legislation, and continually improve business operations.
ISO 14001 addresses the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact.
How can F.W. Thorpe controls save up to 70% electricity?
The F.W. Thorpe Smart System uses presence detection and daylight linking to control light levels. Lights turn off when an area is vacant. When the lights are switched on, the light levels adjust automatically to combine with available natural light. Measurements have proven significant energy savings, depending on natural light ingress and presence frequency.
What is the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)?
The FSC is an international organisation to promote responsible management of the world’s woodlands. For further information, see www.fsc.org.
What is the Forestry Commission?
The Forestry Commission is a government department established for the protection and expansion of Britain’s woodland. For further information, see www.forestry.gov.uk.
What is the Woodland Carbon Code?
The F.W. Thorpe Woodland project is the first site in Wales to gain approval with the Woodland Carbon Code, a voluntary standard for woodland creation projects in the UK to monitor and assess claims about the CO2 sequestered. See www.forestry.gov.uk/carboncode.