Carbon offsetting and the NHS Forest
One of the many benefits of planting trees in the NHS Forest is carbon storage. However, we do not offer a carbon offsetting service with our trees, or support the use of NHS Forest tree planting in carbon offsetting schemes.
There are a number of reasons for this decision. Our focus is primarily on the use and development of tree planting and other green spaces for staff and patient health and wellbeing. We develop bespoke projects with varied healthcare sites around the country, rather than having a ‘forest’ per se that we plant for offsetting purposes. Whilst our trees will of course absorb carbon and contribute to carbon storage, the NHS Forest is not a replacement for other reductions in carbon emissions that need to take place within the NHS.
The NHS has a target to reach net zero emissions by 2040, which means that carbon reductions in the system are paramount; tree planting can offer a carbon sink, but it takes many years – or even decades – for trees to reach maturity and their maximum carbon sequestration potential.
However, the other benefits of tree planting can barely be overstated: please see our evidence page for more information about why planting trees can be a fantastic idea for your site; or contribute to our efforts by sponsoring a tree for the NHS Forest.
- Friends of the Earth: Does carbon offsetting work?