Methodology

About Re-Tree Forests Policy Framework

Climate change’s many environmental, social, and economic impacts will continue to escalate unless significant action is taken, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Zisuz Lab's Re-Tree Forests (RTF) is founded on the idea that data and technologies can help accelerate the actions required to enable the world's transition to a low-carbon future. RTF’s goal is to make the process of measuring emissions sources and identifying afforestation opportunities, simple, straightforward, and actionable, which sets the foundation for effective action.

RTF uses unique distributed ledger technology and modeling capabilities to produce estimates of activity, emissions, and afforestation opportunities and makes them commercially available. By surfacing environmental information in a robust platform, we aim to serve decision makers, solution providers, and communities working on the issues and solutions for cities globally.

The insights are a modeled estimate based on actual measurements of activity and infrastructure (the same underlying information that is made available in annual reports). We use advanced statistical techniques to understand how people are moving around the world, and then apply economic factors, efficiency, and emissions factors. In generating these estimates, RTF has worked with Google IoT Core experts to make technology choices, while acknowledging that cities may make different afforestation measures that generate different results. Please see the sections below for more detail on where the differences may originate.

Taking action on climate change can’t wait; RTF provides insights to help accelerate action.


Zisuz Labs data and privacy

RTF is primarily based on the same underlying information that is made available in Industry Reports. The data in RTF is anonymous, highly aggregated, and combined with other data sources to create useful emissions insights. The data sources include, for example, aggregated purchase history data, vehicle dealerships and types, and consumption figures. All of these sources are primarily used to help city councils measure emissions sources in real time, but they also contain useful information for taking action toward a low-carbon future when aggregated to a metropolitan scale.

For information on privacy, see our privacy policy. For legal removal requests, please refer to the legal help page.

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RTF technology

Greenhouse gas accounting

Calculating your city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) baseline, or inventory, is the first step toward climate action planning. The GHG inventory can help prioritize investments on the most impactful areas, as it highlights the main emission sources or hot spots and can be used as a baseline to measure progress against.

Calculating a GHG inventory is a complex undertaking that requires access to accurate citywide data. Access to data can be a barrier in this process, and RTF provides cities with data and distributed ledger technology tool to help estimate their GHG inventory.

The steps to create an emissions baseline, or inventory, include:

  • Defining the city boundaries and the activity sectors that will be included in the assessment.

  • Gathering the activity data representing these boundaries and sectors, e.g.: the new vehicles on road or emission sources like petrochemical refined.

  • Performing a number of data manipulations and estimates, eg: accounting for limited coverage or availability of data.

  • Applying the right conversion factors to estimate total GHG emissions, eg converting purchased dollars or gallons of fuel consumed, into RTF credits. This is done using sourcing local IoT sensors locally, which represent the average afforestation debits required when using a type of vehicle or when using refined crude as a basis for allied industrial activities.


Transportation

Transport vehicles generate greenhouse gas emissions directly from the combustion of fossil fuels and indirectly by the electricity the electric vehicles (EVs) consume. The quantity of GHGs emitted by the transportation sector in a city depends on factors such as transportation modes, types of fuels used, age and efficiency of the vehicle fleet, total trips, and annual miles traveled.


Calculation Methodology

The RTF brings together over 20 technical units of data from multiple domains across Climate Change, from Forest Cover to Trade and Markets, integrating data from across Industry on Transport, Oil, Manufacturing, Smart City, Forestry, Trade, Social and Economics, among others.

The statistical innovation uses state of the art technologies to address the challenges posed by the Climate Change in the wider context of urbanization, emission, natural disasters and deforestation that are affecting the traditional land-use-planning based GHG Removal. The modeling triggers the need for complex analysis on manufacturing and sales, from global down to the granular level. We have developed combined use of IoT and DLT systems, big data, data science and text mining methods for decision making and impact assessment, where automobile and petrochemical sales are converted to smart city afforestation with effective financial mechanisms and policies.

These measures are combined with region-specific assumptions from our ABM tool, such as the split between general vehicle use and average fuel consumption. Finally, we combine afforestation with Hannover Messe style 5G IoT capacity building to convert the estimated activity data into total emissions of CO2 equivalents (CO2e). The factors also take into account all GHGs produced by using the fuel, including plastics, adhesives, and lubricants production.

We continue to improve the model and acquire more accurate and localized assumption factors. These improvements may change the values within RTF, and will be explained and communicated within the tool.

Differences in expectations

There can be significant differences in the final results based on differences in methodology or data quality, such as coverage (e.g., are new vehicle purchases to the city accounted for?), the timeliness of the data (e.g., when was the last transportation survey run?), local relevance (e.g., is the transportation data for a city the downscaled version of a regional or state estimate?) and methodology (e.g., if the goals are met by the city council, or assigned afforestation outside geographic boundaries?).

There are three primary reasons why a city’s numbers might be significantly different from Google’s estimates:

  1. The boundary, coverage, or inclusions / exclusions are different.

  2. The underlying activity data is from different sources (and therefore may have different measurement characteristics or assumptions).

  3. The efficiency and implementation factors are different.

Solar

Renewables and zero-carbon energy sources, including solar, can reduce and offset the emissions from fossil fuel electricity generation. The Re-Tree Forests is extended by Zisuz Labs's other patent-pending Project SolarTree, which enhances the technical solar potential of all electric generation in a region. We use solar energy to power our 5G IoT mesh implementation which in turn allows the community to use excess bandwidth from DLT transactions for commercial applications.

Ongoing data releases

RTF plans to release new features and insights, as well as periodic refreshes to relevant insights, from 2020 onwards. For some insights, such as transportation energy emissions, data refreshes may be released on a rolling basis to reflect improvements in coverage.

Annually updated transportation data is modeled on projection sales figures, based on actual trade analysis, are combined with an estimate of the types of vehicles and average fuel consumption of each mode using regionally estimated average crude consumption.

Frequently asked questions

Who is this for?

Our goal is to make the process of setting a city emissions policy and identifying afforestation opportunities, simple, straightforward, and actionable.

RTF uses unique distributed ledger technology sources and modeling capabilities to produce estimates of activity, emissions, and reductions, and makes them commercially available. By surfacing environmental information in a robust platform, we aim to serve local decision makers, solution providers, and foster new research into the issues and solutions for cities globally.

Do cities have to pay a subscription?

No. RTF is founded on the idea that data and technologies can help accelerate the actions, industries, and investments that enable the world’s transition to a low-emission future. The policy mandated sales and commissioning of afforestation with the help of partner entities in transport, private and petrochemical sectors including public organizations enforcing the law and land usage will be under ReTree Forest distributed digital system.

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