Impact: $100 offsets one year of personal carbon emissions. Read More
Reforestation meets the benchmark for high cost-effectiveness. The nonprofit offsets a year of personal carbon emissions for less than 75% of the social cost of carbon averted.
Note: The impact of this program may not be representative of the entire operation of One Tree Planted.
Governance: Passes checks
One Tree Planted is a global reforestation organization that plants trees around the world to help the environment.
15 countries across the globe
Donations processed by the nonprofit.
15 countries across the globe
One Tree Planted plants trees in forests that have been depleted.
15 countries across the globe
Outcomes: Changes in people's lives. They can be caused by a nonprofit.
Costs: The money spent by nonprofits and their partners and beneficiaries.
Impact: The cost to achieve an outcome.
Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was "worth" the outcome.
A year of personal carbon emissions offset.
To calculate impact, we estimate how many outcomes the nonprofit caused.
Output data collected during the program. One Tree Planted publicly reports the number and location of trees it plants, which we use to calculate the number of years of personal carbon emissions offset.
Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2017
Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.
We estimate the number of years of carbon emissions the nonprofit offsets by comparing the trees actually planted by the nonprofit to the trees that would have been planted in the absence of the nonprofit (the “counterfactual”). Some trees would have been planted even without the nonprofit, such as by the government or other nonprofits; these counterfactual successes must be netted out of the successes we observe. Otherwise, we would be attributing a change (carbon emissions offset) to the nonprofit when it would have happened anyway. Few nonprofits estimate the counterfactual themselves, so we construct our own counterfactual estimate based on research and publicly available data. We use the percentage of plantable land left where the nonprofit works to calculate the probability of displacing the efforts of other organizations. We net out that change from the changes we observe to get a correct estimate of impact.
We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g. a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e. counterfactual outcomes).
Cost data reported by One Tree Planted and data and assumptions about partner and beneficiary costs.
$201,255 program costs + partner costs + $0 beneficiary costs = $201,255 total costs
After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners. In-kind donations, of labor or supplies, are not counted.
$201,255 total costs / 1,929 years of carbon emissions offset = roughly $100 offsets one year of personal carbon emissions.
Numbers may not divide precisely due to rounding and time discounting.
We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.
Impact ratings of tree planting programs are based on the cost offsetting a year of personal carbon emissions relative to the social cost of carbon. Programs receive 5 stars if they offset a year of personal carbon emissions for 75% of the social cost of carbon averted and 4 stars for 125%. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns 3 stars.
The nonprofit offsets a year of personal carbon emissions for less than 75% of the social cost of carbon averted.
We assign a rating to the nonprofit using the rubric:
There are indications of governance or financial health issues at the nonprofit.
After being given an opportunity, the nonprofit chose not to publish impact information.
We are not yet issuing this level of star rating.
The rated program does not meet our benchmark for cost-effectiveness.
The rated program is cost-effective.
The rated program is highly cost-effective.
Not provided. This may be because we lacked contact information for One Tree Planted or it chose not to comment. If you are a representative of this nonprofit, contact us to review and comment on your rating.
Before publishing, we ask every nonprofit we can to review our work, offer corrections and provide a comment.
Analysis conducted by ImpactMatters and published on November 22, 2019.
An ImpactMatters analyst searched the Form 990s, annual reports, audited financials and the website of One Tree Planted to calculate impact and rate cost-effectiveness. A second analyst conducted quality control.
One Tree Planted passes our governance check.
Overhead spending is reasonable (<35% of total spending)
Charity Navigator has not issued a fraud or mismanagement advisory
One Tree Planted itself has not reported any material diversions of assets
One Tree Planted itself has not reported any excess benefit transactions
Source: One Tree Planted Form 990 and Charity Navigator
This rating is based on ImpactMatters analysis of the impact of Reforestation relative to costs. Impact is the change in the social outcomes of people served by the program, net of the change that would have happened even without the program (the “counterfactual”); divided by cost. Learn more.
A guide to our process for analyzing nonprofits and assigning ratings.
Learn about best practices for reporting impact for different program types.
Our collected guidelines on how we analyze impact of nonprofit programs.
Rating is a complex exercise and we urge you to read our frequently asked questions for details of how and why we issue these ratings.
Climate Change - Reforestation| Nepal, Madagascar, Haiti, Indonesia, Mozambique and Kenya
Climate Change - Reforestation| AL, KY, MD, OH, PA, TN, VA and WV
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$100 offsets one year of personal carbon emissions.