15,000 more trees for the PEUGEOT-ONF forestry carbon sink in the Amazon

Tue, 09/12/2014 - 11:45

In line with the commitments made during the “Kick it to Brazil” operation, the brand campaign carried out by PEUGEOT in March and April 2014 that followed the journey made by a football from France to Brazil, passing through many countries and several continents on the way, 15,000 new trees are to be planted at the PEUGEOT-ONF forestry carbon sink at Fazenda Sao Nicolau, the site of the project, in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil.

These saplings will join the 2 million trees of more than 50 different species already introduced to the project site, a project that started in 1998 and is planned to continue until 2038.

An environmental plan and a commitment met in full

PEUGEOT wanted to give an environmental dimension to the “Kick it to Brazil” operation, by committing to planting a tree for every physical contact made by a person with the “Kick it to Brazil” football on its travels round the world, as well as by offsetting the carbon footprint for the journey in full by purchasing certified credits (VCS – Voluntary Carbon Standard carbon credits) from the PEUGEOT-ONF forestry carbon sink, reinvesting them in full in the ecological, scientific and socio-economic activities of the project.

Sustainable farming procedure & and innovative choices of species

Perfectly in tune with the pioneering spirit that has guided the development of the PEUGEOT-ONF forestry carbon sink project, the two partners wanted to take advantage of this occasion to achieve the planting using an ecologically sound growing procedure and to use innovative locations for planting.

Precisely 15,500 seeds were planted in the nursery between July and November, so as to be ready for planting, which has to be done during the rainy season (approximately November to April in the Amazon Basin). This number is greater than the 10,000 physical contacts with internet users made during the “Kick it to Brazil” football’s journey.

The substrate used to germinate the seedlings uses ecologically sound forestry farming practice. The soil was enriched with a mixture that came from carbonisation of rice husks (the natural protective shell) and household waste. Rice husks are generally not used and are discarded by farmers. They then ferment, giving off methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more serious than CO2. By carbonising the rice husks (CO2 emissions) to include them in the mixture in which the seeds are planted for germination, the emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced by a factor of 20, avoiding emissions of methane.

Furthermore, the choice was made to plant the trees in groups, in areas where access is difficult (slopes, ravines), the ground sometimes needing enrichment so as to limit soil erosion.

Finally, the species used have been chosen carefully so as to contribute towards the development of sustainable local industries, aiming for diversification with species that have medicinal qualities, provide sources of food (fruit trees) and building timber (wood with a high financial value for sawmills) which is best suited to climatic changes with species that are more resistant to drought  (*List of species in the appendix).


The PEUGEOT-ONF forestry carbon sink, involved in an “upstream-downstream” approach to controlling greenhouse gases

With the PEUGEOT-ONF forestry carbon sink project, PEUGEOT is the only automobile brand in the world to have thought of putting in place an integrated “upstream-downstream” policy on controlling greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide in the main) by successfully working on emissions at source, in its core automobile activity and by financing and leading a major reforestation project with the aim of carbon sequestration in the Brazilian Amazon.

For the upstream aspect, cumulatively up until September 2014, PEUGEOT has the lowest CO2 emissions average of any broadline automobile brand in the European market with CAFE CO2 of 110.4 g/km (CAFE = Corporate Average Fuel Economy), compared to an average CAFE CO2 of 124.2 g/km in Europe, the fruit of continuous investment in technologies that have resulted in powerful and efficient engines (BlueHDi engines, PureTech 3-cylinder turbo and naturally aspirated petrol engines, HYbrid 4 etc.)

For the downstream aspect, since the start of the project back in 1998,  the PEUGEOT-ONF carbon sink initiative is responsible for the planting of two million trees which have absorbed over 385, 000 tonnes of CO2 during their growth (measurement made following the VCS protocol).