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Interview with Marianne Tikkanen from Puro.earth

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Puro.earth is the world's first voluntary marketplace for carbon removal that provides a platform for corporations to reach a net-zero carbon footprint.

Marianne Tikkanen is the Co-Founder and Supply Developer at Puro.earth with valuable experience in the sustainability, management, and innovation sectors. She is passionate about the imminent need to expand the carbon net-negative economy on a grand-scale by 2050 in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.

In a recent interview with Greenfact, Marianne and her team offered more insight into their novel marketplace platform.

1.     What is Puro.earth and what was the main aim behind the platform?

Puro.earth is a carbon transformation marketplace to accelerate carbon removal at scale, that matches companies that lock away carbon dioxide (CO2) in environmentally sound processes for the long term with companies that have pledged to get to neutral carbon dioxide emissions (Net Zero).

It’s a new, scalable business model for carbon removal with industrial removal methods from net-negative industrial products. Businesses targeting carbon net-zero can source their negative emissions from Puro.earth.

Our aim is to help create a global ‘green’ market that could be worth as much as $300bn by removing 10 Gigatons of CO2 a year by 2050, harnessing carbon net negative industries, and creating a new revenue stream to enable them to build and scale rapidly.

2.    Tell us more about CORCs (purchasing process, lifespan, and how the platform prevents double-counting)?

Puro.earth enables carbon removal suppliers to trade their verified CO2 removal certificates (CORCs) with companies looking to meet Net Zero targets. One CORC equals one tonne of removed CO2 (net).

Our suppliers develop carbon net-negative products. In other words, they store carbon from the atmosphere into their product. Their carbon removals are verified and measured by an independent third-party and turned into CORCs.

Climate proactive companies buy CORCs to offset carbon emissions. This creates economic drivers to accelerate the development of CO2 removals. After purchase, buyers can retire CORCs and use them in sustainability reporting and/or developing carbon-neutral products and services.

Multihoming is prevented by exclusive contracts with the production facilities and double counting by GSRN-numbered certificates that are resident in sound registry systems – the same used for renewable energy certificates in many countries.

CORCs have a relatively short life span compared to many other crediting schemes that allow vintages both back in time and into the future. CORCs are always issued ex-post meaning that the carbon removal and sequestration has already happened, measured and that data can be verified. CORCs have to be retired within 18 months from the issuance. The aim has been to drive towards an “annual carbon balance sheet” matching the emissions of a year with removals of the same year – like we do money.

3.     What advantages do CORCs have over traditional carbon credits?

Unlike some carbon credits, our quantification of carbon removal is factual and the data verification is stringent. We ask for evidence, like laboratory tests of carbon content, data records from production IT-systems, and shipment documents. Our CORCS are:

Measurable: Standard scientific equipment can measure the CO2 net-negativity of the products and we can determine the amount of CO2 captured and stored per tonne.

Verified: An independent third party, our partner DNV GL, who is a world leader in ISO certification, verifies the facility and product for carbon net-negativity by visiting the site and reviewing the equipment, as well as record-keeping processes.

Long term: All removal methods are guaranteed to retain carbon from the atmosphere for at least 50 years, some for hundreds of years.

Having tested the marketplace, we have found that investors are using Puro.earth prices as a de-facto reference price for the carbon removal industry, because of the rigorous verification process.

4.     Is the marketplace only directed to corporations or can individuals also be involved?

Only corporations can purchase CORCS from the Puro.earth platform and individuals can purchase CORCs through retailers that package CORCs to consumers on their own consumer platforms.

5.     What are the main drivers for customers in paying for CORCs?

Many of our customers are companies that are looking to reach Net Zero targets, and purchase CORCS as a means to help reach these targets. Many companies think they need to gradually grow a portfolio of carbon removal sources or projects to have enough of negative emissions when they need it.

Swiss Re, for example, was one of our early clients, securing a batch of 100 biochar CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs) during the inaugural auction held in May 2019. The company came to Puro.earth to help fulfill its aims of reaching Net Zero operations by 2030.

6.     What are your future plans for Puro.earth?

We are focused on growing the company, attracting new clients, and widening the scope of the methodologies and suppliers we work with. This is in order to create a marketplace for carbon removal that can remove carbon at a Gigaton-scale globally by 2050.

Now that we are entering the scale-up phase, we have a funnel of 96 supplier candidates. The process for onboarding them has been established and the geographical scope for audits is expanding outside of Europe.

Our ambition is to build a market that is as large and impactful as the EU’s ETS has been, albeit ours is a voluntary marketplace. Companies that are interested in adding carbon removal to their sustainability portfolio, can contact us on our website, Puro.earth.