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New Open-Access FRESCOS Tool Launched For Accounting The Carbon Sequestration In Forestry Projects

Date 29/06/2021

Four European development finance institutions (DFI) – CDC Group (UK), Finnfund (Finland), FMO (Netherlands), and Swedfund (Sweden) – together with Simosol, an IT company, have today launched the FRESCOS Tool, a web-based, open-access tool to account for the carbon sequestration of afforestation and reforestation projects.


The overall goal of the FRESCOS Tool is to better account and analyse the carbon balance of forestry and agroforestry projects. This information can then be further used to estimate the annual net emissions of an investment portfolio. However, the tool can be used by any organisation – such as a forestry company or investor – interested in gaining insights on carbon sequestration and a better understanding of the climate impact that forestry projects can have.

All four development finance institutions behind FRESCOS are committed to fighting climate change. With their funding, the tool is kept open-access and free to use. This allows for wide and scalable application of the tool – leading to the acceleration of positive climate impacts derived from increased understanding of carbon sequestration and leading more informed decision-making.

Based on IPCC Guidelines

FRESCOS is a web-based user interface, allowing improved user experience and effortless updates. The tool is also flexible in terms of user input requirements; depending on the user’s access to project-specific data, the tool can function with few input data using a broad selection of the IPCC default values, or users can opt for higher accuracy calculations. In addition, FRESCOS is flexible in terms of temporal scope, therefore serving multiple use cases. The calculations can be done either on an annual basis or over several years, even up to 100-year scenarios.

The included carbon pools are biomass, soil, dead organic matter, and harvested wood products. In terms of land-uses, the calculation covers forest land and cropland areas that are planted with woody crops, including agroforestry lands. The tool cannot be used for carbon credit estimations.

FRESCOS is based on the IPCC Guidelines for National GHG Accounting (2006), and the Refinement from 2019, in terms of the included pools and suggested default values. The methodology, available on the FRESCOS website, follows the general principles of the IPCC tiered methodology by suggesting a combination of the tiered methods for the available higher and lower levels of accuracy.

Amal-Lee Amin, Director Climate Change, CDC Group: “FRESCOS is an essential new tool for implementing a DFI’s Climate strategy as it enables us to calculate the emissions sequestered by forestry and agroforestry investments more accurately, and consider these as we implement actions to deliver on our pathway towards zero net emissions.”

Ilkka Norjamäki, Senior Investment Manager, Finnfund: “We can’t do without trees! All pathways to 1.5C require a significant increase in global carbon sinks. Finnfund is committed to work towards this goal through investing in sustainable forestry. This requires us to understand better the climate impact of forestry, and reporting that needs to be transparent and based on factual information. That’s why we have created FRESCOS together with our fellow-DFIs and Simosol.”

Jorim Schraven, Director Impact & ESG, FMO: “To stay within 1.5 degrees we will need the CO2 out of the air. Responsible forestry is an effective way to do this and the FRESCOS tool will help to measure our progress towards the Paris goal.”

Gustav Thorén, Investment Manager, Swedfund: “Swedfund is committed to the targets of the Paris Agreement and we are proud to launch this tool with our partners to contribute to a deeper understanding of the climate impact of sustainable forestry for improved decision making.”

Juho Penttilä, Head of Carbon and Earth Solutions, Simosol: "Carbon is as critical a variable for forestry and sustainable forest management as cubics. With FRESCOS, we are paving the way and lowering thresholds for capturing this value across the industry with transparent and globally applicable methodology."

FRESCOS is available at https://frescos.earth