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Thorlux, a manufacturer of industrial and commercial lighting, purchased land to afforest for carbon offsetting purposes in Wales. The company employs local workers, maintains and allows access for the community, and addressed community concerns about the planting proactively.

Detailed case study

Thorlux, a manufacturer of industrial and commercial lighting, started assessing its carbon emissions in the late 2000s and decided to invest in the afforestation of land in Wales (Devauden, Monmouthshire) to offset scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions. It purchased the site on the open market with its own funds and received a grant for approximately 50% of the planting costs from the Welsh Government. Thorlux planted (predominantly native) tree species on the land that it purchased and manages the trees throughout the year. The project was the pilot site in Wales for the now-established Woodland Carbon Code, a government-backed initiative that details a framework for afforestation with regards to carbon offsetting.

Thorlux did not take a targeted approach to delivering community benefit, but community benefits have naturally arisen from its tree planting activities. Thorlux employs nearby workers (within a 30-mile radius) to do the planting and a local village landscaper manages the hedges. It allows free access to the plantation site and maintains the primary pathway, meaning the local community can enjoy the woodland, and manages the woodland in an environmentally responsible way which has led to an increase in biodiversity over time.

Thorlux also strived to limit the negative impact on the local community as a result of the tree planting activities by engaging with them the planting taking place. As a result it took a strategic approach to planting trees so as to not disturb the community’s views and sold some land to neighbouring residents to create a buffer between the trees and their houses. It also continued to lease a portion of the land which had not yet been planted on to the farmers which were leasing the land before Thorlux bought it.

Aerial view of afforested land in Wales owned by Thorlux. Credit: Thorlux.