Frequently Asked Questions

Brynk

Are you a charity or are you making a profit?


Brynk is a start-up with big ambitions and therefore we need to make a margin to generate investment so we can grow quickly enough to make an impact on the climate. we're spending money to develop our offerings for customers and currently re-investing 100% of the margin we make back into the business. We see huge variations on what our companies in the market are charging for trees and credits. Our goal is to get to a point where we make a small net margin to sustain the business with a low operating cost while driving action across individuals and businesses. we're also a Pending Certified B Corp business which means we're legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. We are committed to joining the B-Corp community as we believe in business as a force for good.




Why should I choose Brynk comapred with competitors or charities direct?


The most important point for us is action - if you are reading this you are considering action which is what needs to happen. There are lots of service providers out there which makes it confusing who to spend your money with. Our recommendation is to focus on: - Quality - are you sure projects are sustainable, additive, planting biodiverse species - Cost - do you have line of sight to how much the organisation is charging vs. how much it is passing to planters on the ground. Brynk takes the risk on sponsoring projects - we give volume commitments to planters to give them confidence a project will succeed. For this we get clear maps of planting areas and pictures of our sites and the impact you are having. We only work with partners who care for the biodiversity of sites and have projects that will be sustained over 100 years. We purchase trees from a variety of projects to make sure that a) we have a diverse portfolio b) we derisk circumstances that may impact tree growth. For our Business customers we add value with brand specific activation, PR and projects linked to your business. For our non business customers we are all about the community and how you can learn, share and be inspired by others on their journey to be more environmentally responsible.




Founding Team / Investment?


Founded by Luke Evans, Adrian Bower and Arnaud Vignon, Brynk is made up of a team of part and full time staff who care about the environment and want to make change happen. We have been largely self funded but as we develop our offering will consider other methods to fund to accelerate our journey and drive bigger impact.





Trees & carbon credits

How does planting trees help the planet?


Trees are one part of the solution to this problem - they remove and store some of that carbon and the trees we're planting are uniquely talented at this. As an example - we invest in mangrove root systems because they are great at absorbing carbon and storing it in the ground for long periods of time. The general view is there is space to plant 1.2Trillion trees. Our view is that we need to plant but we also need to stop deforestation by sponsoring credit projects that look to protect existing forests as well (we will soon be offering REDD carbon credit projects to support)




How do I know my trees have actually been planted?


We track every tree we buy in our system and then link to every tree we sell via our different channels (eg. subscription, packages, etc). This reconciliation is performed monthly to ensure that we're accurate to the tree. All our tree planting partners are regularly audited by inspectors, assuring us that the number of trees planted is accurate. We receive drone footage, satellite coordinates and imagery so we can check for ourselves. we're able to visit planting sites and will hold competitions for our community to visit as we grow.




Is the land protected? How do I know that my trees will be safe?


Our trees are planted on government land (national parks) or private land that is legally safeguarded and designated for reforestation. Trees are monitored through drone footage, chronologically-based photographic evidence and on-site inspection by third party auditors. A portion of the money invested to plant a tree also goes into the community protecting those forests over time so that environmental and social benefits continue in perpetuity. We plant trees in multiple locations globally to protect risks of fire, floods or other natural disasters.




Do trees have official carbon credits


Many of our tree planting projects do not generate official carbon credits (hence why we have a formula to estimate). This is because it is currently prohibitively expensive for the formal accreditation. The tree planting organisations have taken the decision to focus on keeping their costs down so that more trees can be planted. We aim to strike a balance of being able to provide an estimated impact backed up by science AND not add any additional cost to the cost per tree.




What are carbon credits and why is there controversy around them?


Carbon credits are equivalent to 1 tonne of carbon and are split into 2 types: - Avoidance means you provide a solution to someone to avoid pumping so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (eg. a wind farm over a coal plant). - Capture means you actively remove a carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by investing in projects that scrub existing outputs (eg. climeworks). When you buy them on international voluntary markets you retire them from being sold to others. Unfortunately not all credits are created equal. Some are from projects in the past that may not have the same standards as we expect today on validation. We only buy credits from Gold Standard and Verra (Verified Carbon Standard) who are recognised credit verification bodies. We only invest in credits that are from beginning 2017 onwards.





The climate crisis

What has caused the climate crisis?


The climate crisis we're facing is because too much carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere for multiple reasons incl. deforestation and burning fossil fuels.




Climate change is a complex problem. What is the solution according to Brynk?


Whats gets measured gets managed! Brynk help's you measure your own footprint, give you tips on how to reduce it as much as you can through lifestyle changes, and offset what’s left. We also believe strongly that the most important factor in tackling the climate crisis is lobbying governments for systematic policy change. we're going to be getting involved in this much more as we grow too, but in the meantime watch our social media channels for opportunities to learn, impact and inspire.





Carbon calculation

What's your approach with the carbon calculator. why haven't just done average footprints?


Our carbon calculator is now available for the UK, European, US & Australian average carbon footprints and we calculate in CO2e. We've been careful to balance usability with accuracy so we've not asked every possible question under the sun. or asked for you to get your electricity bill and to enter the details exactly. We believe we've got the balance right and to account for 'leakage' (the scenario of building up your footprint with only the questions we've asked we also add a clever 'epsilon onto yoru footprint' which takes into account the proportion of what we've decided not to ask. The insight that you gain from understanding your footprint is critical in fighting the climate crisis.




How does the tree carbon sequestration formula work?


The carbon formula and impact calculations for our Impact Forest is conservative. Because authenticity is a core value for Brynk, If there is ever any uncertainty we always make sure to underestimate any impact values so that we under promise and over deliver. We are very careful to show the stages of tree growth from seed to tree. We are able to track the average conservative carbon impact for each tree on a month by month basis. Our approach is to estimate the carbon impact at the wider hectare ecosystem level for each of our sites and is then divided down to arrive at the average individuals tree impact. This methodology also takes into account the survivability and future propogation of saplings into the wider ecosystem. Any given tree in the Brynk forest may not reflect the exact details of it's virtual counterpart, however; at the portfolio level we are confident in our numbers. Trees take time to grow and to reach their full potential as climate fighers and ecosystem restorers. That's why we recommend to only count the impact when a tree is mature. It takes several years for this to happen and so we actively share this with you. We know our total offset numbers might look low vs. others out there but we want it to be right. This is also why we suggest carbon credits to make an immediate impact. Our planters estimate we have a success rate of about 80% on trees planted which we build into our tree impact calculators.