How we are doing our part to achieve global net zero climate goals, while accounting for our own emissions and supporting the broader carbon dioxide removal industry
While CarbonCure’s solution leads the way in reducing emissions from concrete, we are motivated to do more. Much more. We know that, in order to achieve global net zero goals, we also need to do our part to reduce emissions from our operations wherever we can, and remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere for our remaining hard-to-avoid emissions.
As a leading company in the growing carbon dioxide removal field, we have had a front row seat in understanding the potential for carbon removal solutions to help achieve net zero goals and the catalytic impact of purchasing carbon credits from these solutions to accelerate their adoption. We are prioritizing reaching net zero by first reducing emissions within our supply chain where we can, and then using high-quality, verifiable carbon removal-based credits for the remainder of our hard-to-avoid emissions. Together, these organizational changes and investments led to CarbonCure’s operations being carbon neutral in 2020.
How We Decided On Our Carbon Removal Purchases
To ensure we were effectively addressing our hard-to-avoid emissions, we used The Oxford Principles for Net Zero Aligned Carbon Offsetting to inform our approach. The guidance from this framework recommends carbon credit buyers make a shift toward supporting projects that remove carbon from the atmosphere in place of projects that avoid new emissions from entering the atmosphere. It also recommends a shift toward projects that permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere, similar to how CO2 mineralized in CarbonCure’s concrete stays durably locked away forever, even when the concrete is demolished. The Oxford Principles also prioritize additionality, representing an emission reduction or carbon removal relative to a counterfactual baseline, just as the reduced and removed CO2 in CarbonCure concrete can be compared to that of traditional concrete products.
Consistent with our organizational values, we wanted to support a diverse set of solutions that will help achieve a net zero world in an equitable manner. To do this, consistent with Oxford’s guidelines, we spent the majority of our offset funds on carbon removal projects (with a plan to soon transition to 100% carbon removal purchases) and we established the following criteria to ensure we were supporting high-quality, impactful projects:
- Projects need to lead to permanent carbon removal, meaning that carbon removed will be stored away for approximately 1,000 years;
- Our investment must provide additionality and accelerate the growth of carbon removal innovations that would not have happened without our financial support;
- Projects should have the potential to scale and have a verifiable, measurable impact on CO2 over time by demonstrating a model that can be cost-effectively replicated;
- Projects should demonstrate environmental justice attributes and additional positive environmental and social co-benefits consistent with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework.
Following the path set by industry leaders such as Carbon Direct, CarbonPlan, Microsoft, Shopify and Stripe, we explored the universe of carbon removal solutions, and applied the above criteria rigorously to ensure our purchase would make a meaningful difference. In the end, we created a portfolio of carbon removal solutions made up of projects located around the world. Our portfolio of carbon removal purchases made through the Patch platform includes:
- Running Tide is piloting a process off the coast of Maine to accelerate the removal of carbon from the atmosphere through kelp’s natural photosynthesis process and then storing the carbon for the long-term deep in the ocean.
- greenSand uses an abundant, naturally occurring volcanic rock, Olivine, and increases its surface area to react and bind to CO2, thereby permanently removing large volumes of CO2 from the atmosphere.
- Charm Industrial has established a carbon removal process that converts waste biomass that would otherwise emit greenhouse gases into bio-oil that is injected deep underground. Charm Industrial plans to implement this in parts of the United States that may be negatively economically impacted by a green transition.
- Husk transforms agricultural waste products into carbon-based biochar, helping boost soil fertility, boosting CO2 storage, all while increasing revenues for smallholder farmers in Cambodia.
We’re excited to support these innovative projects, each taking a novel approach to carbon removal, supporting local communities and helping CarbonCure address our hard-to-avoid emissions while growing demand across this critical field of climate tech.
Finally, to address our energy consumption in Canada, we purchased renewable energy credits through our partnership with Bullfrog Power, a Spark Power company. Bullfrog invests in new, renewable energy projects across Canada from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.
Carbon Neutral Operations in 2020 and our Focus on Reaching Net Zero
To reach the climate goals set out in the Paris agreement, the world will need all the tools in its toolbox and all hands on deck. At CarbonCure, we are not only committed to supporting this goal through the deployment of our carbon removal technology for concrete producers, but also by taking responsibility for our own emissions.
In 2020, we achieved carbon neutrality by expanding our efforts and investments. And we are proud of this. But we also recognize that carbon neutral is not enough. The science is clear: We need rapid emissions reductions and removal. That is why we are now pursuing innovative ways to reach net zero, seeking to cut even more of our emissions and remove from the atmosphere as much CO2 as we emit.
At CarbonCure, in addition to our mission to make concrete more sustainable, we pledge to maintain carbon neutral operations and we are committed to reaching net zero, while also championing the broader carbon removal industry to counterbalance emissions from hard-to-decarbonize sectors. Looking ahead, we are enthusiastic about this strategy to ensure we take responsibility for our own emissions and we are eager to catalyze robust carbon removal investment, innovation and commercialization around the globe.
We hope others will join us in this effort. For further information on our verified carbon removal program and to support the decarbonization of the concrete sector through the purchase of high-quality carbon removal credits, please contact Casey Leist, CarbonCure’s Senior Director of Carbon Finance, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com.