How does tree-planting help reduce global warming?


We’ve just achieved ‘beyond carbon neutral’ status at Proper Oils used cooking oil collection services. You can read more about this in our blog post of last week: introducing beyond-carbon neutral used cooking oil collections.

As well as cutting back on our carbon use in our business, one of the ways in which we’ve achieved ‘beyond carbon neutral’ is to work with the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, to help plant more trees in the UK.

How does tree planting reduce your carbon footprint?

 As trees grow, they capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis.

A quarter of a living tree’s weight is carbon: this remains locked safely away until the tree is either burned or decomposes, according to the Woodland Trust.

Trees are often described as creating ‘carbon sink’ – this means that they remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they put back through their own respiration, decomposition and by forest fires. Forest soils also store lots of carbon in their organic layers.

Deforestation and its impact on global warming

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is a key pillar of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This is because studies estimate that land use change –including deforestation and forest degradation – accounts for around 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

However, if deforestation, drought and forest fires continue to increase, the carbon sink effect of woodland areas may decline, and could even reverse – as it has already done in Canada and the Amazon in particularly drought-ridden years. 

Forests in the UK

Shockingly, the UK as a whole has 13% of woodland cover and a measly 10% in England. This is far lower than in the rest of Europe where the average is 37%, according to the Woodland Trust.

The government’s aim for England? To work with the forestry sector to increase woodland cover in England to 12% by 2060. This means, on average, planting 5000 hectares of trees a year.

The Woodland Trust plays a huge part in this aim – it has a target of 64 million new trees planted between 2015 and 2025.

About our work with the Woodland Trust

 The charity will be planting a mixture of oaks, rowans, aspen, wild cherry and other native broadleaves on behalf of Proper Oils in a number of key sites, including Heartwood in Hertfordshire and Warcop in Cumbria.

The Woodland Trust works with landowners to plant new trees and areas of woodland that are close to existing ancient trees or forests, providing protection for the older trees from the impacts of neighbouring land use while also linking existing habitats.

As a business focused on recycling used cooking oil into greener biodiesel, the Proper Oils team works hard to encourage recycling, reduce climate impact and help achieve a greener future for all – and planting more trees to help reduce greenhouse gases plays a huge part in this.

“Trees are important, not only for the atmosphere, but also for the environment and wildlife, and they have been proved to be beneficial to human wellbeing,” says Stephen Hurton, founder and managing director of Proper Oils. “We are very proud to be able to sponsor tree planting with the Woodland Trust, and we plan to do more as Proper Oils continues to grow.”

Find out more about planting trees with the Woodland Trust.

To book a used cooking oil collection or find out more about Proper Oils’ services, please call us on 020 8894 9476, fill in our form or email

 Read more:

Introducing ‘beyond carbon neutral’ used cooking oil collections
Customer case study: pop-up and Shoreditch restaurant 8 Hoxton Square
Customer case study: St Mary’s University, Twickenham
6 things to think about before you choose your used cooking oil storage containers 

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