The first voluntary market for carbon removal

Puro.earth allows companies to buy and sell CO2 removal certificates. It underwent development in the Committed community.

Stopping carbon emissions is good; but also removing carbon emissions from the atmosphere is required. There are various ways to capture and store CO2, but many methods are time-consuming and hard to verify. Puro.earth can be the solution. It is the world’s first voluntary carbon removal marketplace, and it underwent significant development in the Committed community.

Puro.earth is a market for CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs). A company can use the platform to supply CORCs through proven methods to remove carbon, or buy certificates to meet their sustainability goals

“I pitched an idea about a business-to-business marketplace for negative emissions to Fortum,” says Puro.earth Co-Founder Antti Vihavainen. “We started working with Fortum’s venture team, but learned that Committed was also considering something similar, so Fortum brought us in to the Committed community.”

Refining ideas in Committed

The idea behind Committed is to find concrete cases where the different partners can contribute their expertise. Members St1, TietoEVRY and Wärtsilä joined Fortum to consider how best to develop the idea.

“The Committed philosophy is to challenge and improve ideas, not to shoot them down,” explains Jussi Laine of Demos Helsinki. “Someone brings an immature idea to the table and everyone develops it so it can go to the market.”

The Committed members contributed their ideas and suggestions as well as how they could best contribute. Soon the initiative was launched on its own and in the spring of 2019 twenty-two companies from six countries joined.

Removing CO2, not limiting it

“We had looked at about twenty different carbon removal methodologies and decided on three: biochar, carbonated building elements and wooden building elements,” Vihavainen says. “They are available today.”

Biochar is a charcoal-like substance created by burning agricultural or forestry waste. It is stable and can last thousands of years, locking away the carbon inside. Concrete cured with CO2 is an example of a carbonated building element, while wooden parts of buildings sequester carbon as well.

“Committed’s mission is to speed up the energy transition to sustainable energy,” puts in Laine. “To meet the goal of keeping global warming under 1.5 degrees we need to create a closed loop system for CO2 or to remove emissions by making them more valuable sequestered. The Emissions Trading System still allows emissions; it only caps them. Puro.earth, on the other hand, is a market that removes emissions.”

The future of the market

There is an increasing demand for verifiable ways to capture and store emissions. A number of high-profile companies have pledged to become carbon neutral or even carbon negative. One of the biggest is Microsoft, who is removing one million tons of carbon from the environment in their 2021 fiscal year alone.

“The carbon removal market is about to go into orbit,” Vihavainen says. “People will watch the pioneers, like us and Microsoft, and they will see the huge due diligence we have done to make sure the process works. Right now the transaction volume is low, but I believe we will see a big change within six months.”

David J. Cord

david@davidjcord.com
http://www.davidjcord.com/