The Repsol Foundation and Hispasat develop satellite control technologies for reforestation and CO₂ offsetting
The Repsol Foundation and Hispasat are joining forces in a strategic partnership to develop cutting-edge technologies applied to the reforestation sector for emissions offsetting. These technological solutions will be applied to the Repsol Foundation's Green Engine project, which will become a benchmark in the application of innovation and technology to forest engineering for the absorption of CO₂.
The agreement was signed at Repsol Campus between Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau, Hispasat President Jordi Hereu, and Sylvestris Group President Enrique Enciso. The Sylvestris Group is an investee company of the Repsol Foundation.
This strategic agreement paves the way for joint development of the latest satellite technologies to track forest growth and precisely certify the amount of carbon absorbed by trees over the course of various years, adding increased rigor to the certification of emission offsets.
The latest satellite information technologies will be used to produce high-resolution images and provide connectivity to the remote areas where the trees are to be planted.
Other technologies to be applied include the internet of things (IoT) with the installation of high-tech sensors on the ground, as well as big data, blockchain, and artificial intelligence for the processing and analytics of the data obtained.
This commitment also aims to stimulate the growth of a voluntary carbon market by applying methods to improve the efficiency of emissions offset projects through large-scale reforestation.
It also seeks to speed up the implementation of the Green Engine project by exploring the possibility of expanding the project to new markets and applying new forms of growth within Spain.
Digitalization is a decisive factor in the Green Engine project as it is indispensable to carrying out sustainable large-scale reforestation projects, in addition to the use of these new forests in offsetting CO₂ emissions.
This agreement is a marked commitment to consolidating large-scale reforestation as a natural climate solution and a key means of action to fight climate change and follow through on the Paris Agreement.
In 2021, the Repsol Foundation and its investee company Sylvestris launched the Green Engine project with the aim of making reforestation an important tool in offsetting emissions, as part of the energy transition already underway. As Spain's largest reforestation project for the purpose of offsetting emissions, it plans to replant 70,000 hectares over the next five to seven years, thus capturing 16 million tonnes of CO2.
The Green Engine project aims to have a triple impact: economic, social, and environmental. In addition to its evident environmental benefits, it is designed to have a transformative effect on society and the economy. The project is creating inclusive local jobs in the rural parts of Spain where planting takes place, and special attention is given to hiring people from vulnerable groups. At the same time, the project galvanizes rural economies through specialized training and the creation of new businesses related to the forest industry, while attracting further economic activity to generate increased wealth in the surrounding area.
The project is based on the tenets of public–private sector collaboration and is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, the 2030 Agenda, and the European Green Deal, in addition to fitting the commitments reached at the recent climate change conference in Glasgow. The Green Engine project is already underway in the southwestern region of Extremadura and the northern region of Asturias, where is has received support from local governments and business communities. It is expected to expand to other parts of Spain.
The Green Engine project is an investment in the future that will vitalize not just business and job creation, but also innovation and research applied to the forest industry — all thanks to this important partnership with Hispasat. Beginning at project conception, technology always plays a central role. It is present in the design and development of a forest, the selection of terrain, the materials used, planting techniques, and finally, in monitoring and maintenance. This differential, proprietary methodology developed by the experts at Sylvestris seeks to provide new forests with long-term resilience and ensure the protection of biodiversity.