Tag Archives: PURO.earth

Showcasing sustainability around the world

President Biden’s virtual Climate Summit this week has seen important international negotiations on climate and sustainability, and the year ahead promises yet more. Although rescheduled once because of the Covid 19 pandemic, the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 is due to be held in Glasgow in November, with international leaders coming together to add detail to their pledges.

Arguably, rescheduling last year’s event may not have been a bad thing. As a result of the pandemic, we learnt the positive power of cutting emissions (albeit imposed on us) – with the biggest annual fall in CO2 emissions since World War II according to one study – not to mention our capability in responding to existential threats. Meanwhile, the past year has seen some of the strongest climate commitments ever made by governments and business leaders – the EU Green Deal, a greener-than-expected Brexit deal, net-zero pledges by China, South Korea and Japan, Joe Biden’s election as US President, rejoining of the Paris Agreement and hosting of this week’s virtual Climate Summit, which has seen yet more ambitious pledges from international leaders. Climate action is becoming institutionalised.

We all wait in hope that November will bring further ambitious international carbon pledges, and more importantly, the necessary action to complete them. The narrative for COP26 includes the assertion that ‘each of us has a part to play’ and in the run up to the summit, the conversation is mounting around how businesses, society groups, schools and individuals are taking action to tackle climate change and encourage sustainability – working #TogetherForOurPlanet.

A cursory glance at some of the sustainability stories around the globe shows that this can mean different things in different regions, but all are making strides towards a better future. Here are some of those stories we find most inspirational:

The importance of carbon removal in reaching Net Zero

The growth in net zero pledges over the last year – including asset managers BlackRock and Vanguard in March 2021 – has created unprecedented interest in carbon removal strategies and carbon markets. And rightly so. This article by our Finland-based client Puro.earth explains the difference between carbon offsetting and carbon removal, and why the latter is so integral to reaching our net zero targets. Microsoft is on board – it has pledged to be carbon negative by 2030, partnering with Climeworks and Puro.earth (including using the latter’s suppliers Carbofex, ECHO2 and Carbon Cycle to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through production of biochar, allowing carbon to be stored in soil for centuries) to reach its goal.

Powering-up for a greener, brighter future

The European Union has committed 550 billion euros to climate protection and clean technologies over the next seven years, and these plans hinge on batteries to store renewable energy and to power electric vehicles. Analysts say the next generation of batteries must last longer, charge faster and be safer and greener than those on the market now, allowing for innovation. International technology firm Systems Sunlight, has announced a new R&D centre, at which the company will develop innovative lithium battery technologies for the industrial energy storage sector, focusing on new technologies that will usher in a clean energy future.

Chilling out for a cooler climate

Unreasonable Group-backed company Sure Chill has developed a unique cooling technology that allows cooling equipment to maintain a constant temperature without constant power. Rather like a rechargeable battery, the tech is entirely natural and can be linked with solar – perfect for areas of the world with intermittent power. Sure Chill is also working with some of the world’s largest brands to develop solutions within home refrigeration, food and drink, and logistics —all of which contributed to the government of Dubai’s decision to choose Sure Chill as “one of the technologies most likely to change the world in the next 20 years”.

Protecting East African heritage against the threat of climate change

Established in 2016, the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, offers financial backing for projects that tackle the threat from climate change to cultural heritage in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In November last year, the Fund awarded five global heritage projects including the development of disaster risk management strategies for preserving Kenyan and Tanzanian coastal heritage at risk due to rising sea levels, and protection against the impact of flood threats to communities and monuments in Uganda.

Constructing a more sustainable future

With cement production responsible for 8 - 12% of the world’s CO2 emissions, the race is on to find a sustainable alternative for the construction industry. As part of our African Net Zero series, we spoke to Wolfram Schmidt from Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) about his research into alternative materials like cassava and other agricultural residues as a source of ‘green’ African-made cement for future sustainable construction on the Continent. You can watch the full video here.

 

 

Puro.earth

CAMPAIGNING WITH A COMMITMENT TO NET ZERO

Puro.earth is a marketplace for voluntary carbon removals, designed to help businesses committed to Net Zero reduce their carbon footprint immediately, while they figure out operational emissions reductions in background.

Gong was introduced to Puro.earth to help amplify its full commercial rollout as it emerged from a year’s beta testing among its founding community with early clients including Swiss Re.

We developed key messages and talking points for the three founders to drive consistency and clarity through their media and stakeholder engagement.

After a successful launch period, Gong’s brief increased to include social media management to help reach influential experts and opinion formers in global carbon markets.

The stakeholder engagement campaign includes a call to action (on the back of a public consultation) for carbon removal to be separated from less scientifically measurable forms of carbon offsetting, to promote its efficacy.

Puro.earth hit the headlines as it was chosen to support Microsoft in its goal to be carbon negative by 2030 and remove all historic emissions by 2050, by providing verified carbon dioxide removal tonnage from suppliers on its platform. Gong arranged for Marianne Tikkanen, Co-founder of Puro.earth, to talk to Ian King on Sky News about Puro.earth, the future of global carbon removal supply and the different methodologies available already.

We also supported Puro.earth as Nasdaq bought a majority stake in the company, marking the New York stock exchange operator’s first investment in the carbon removal market. International coverage included Wall Street JournalSifted, Business Green and Greenbiz.com.

ian king and puro on sky news

Female Leadership – insights on International Women’s Day

One of the good things about celebration days in the international calendar, is that they give us the excuse to pause and think about important issues amidst the rush and clamour of busy schedules. Female leadership is still a big issue, particularly for those who subscribe to the belief that diversity in leadership enables better decision making – at a time when our business leaders are taking on so much responsibility for the wellbeing of society and the environment, alongside their usual stakeholders.

In the FTSE, where many international companies choose to list, The Hampton Alexander Review’s final report into female leadership was published on 24 February. Amidst the positive increase in the number of women overall in the last decade, it was noted that we need more women in executive positions to see sustained growth at the Board level. As we work towards gender parity and a more prosperous and sustainable world (SDG 5), International Women’s Day – this year themed #ChooseToChallenge – offers an opportunity to showcase our top picks of outstanding examples of female leadership, and how they stand out for challenging the status quo.
 
Here are ours – who would you add to the list?
 

Mayyada Abu Jaber, renowned female activist

Attendees at DiveIn’s festival in Amman in 2018 were treated to a speech by Mayyada Abu-Jaber, the renowned female activist and inspirational leader who discussed her lifetime dedication to female empowerment.  As a Brookings Institution Global Scholar for Leaders in Girls Education, Ms Abu Jaber conducted research to evaluate gender bias in the national Jordanian curriculum. Armed with evidence of inequality, she founded JoWomenomics as an independent non-profit organization to foster mindset change towards greater women’s economic participation. This in turn influences labour law policies and provides job opportunities to more than 600 marginalized female communities in Jordan. In recognition of her #ChoicetoChallenge, she has been recognized by the World Bank as an inspirational leader in the Middle East and North Africa, among many more accolades.
 

Marianne Tikannen and Elba Horta, co-founders of Puro.earth

With backgrounds in engineering and geosciences, these two outstanding female founders of the world’s first marketplace for selling ‘carbon removal’, are united in their ambitions for protecting the planet. Unafraid to challenge traditional methods, the two entrepreneurs forged new career paths in their pursuit of sustainability, as outlined in this Forbes article. As Ms Tikannen reportedly says, “It’s really important to move from words to action… we only have one climate.”
 

Rashmy Chatterjee, CEO of ISTARI

Rashmy Chatterjee has made a habit of #ChoosingtoChallenge. As the first female engineer to join the Indian Navy, she was commended by the President of India for her work. After two decades at IBM, she is now the CEO of Istari – the global cybersecurity platform established by Temasek to help clients increase their cyber resilience, earn digital trust and secure their business growth in this time of rapid digital transformation. As an advocate for women in technology, Mrs Chatterjee is a prime candidate for mention on this International Women’s Day.
 

Elizabeth Wangeci Chege, CEO and co-founder, WEB Limited Group

Frequent viewers of our blog and video content will know about Elizabeth Chege – a true pioneer in the sustainable construction sector in Kenya and green building throughout Africa. In our #AfricaNetZero interview series, Ms Chege speaks openly about her initial decisions to focus not on box-ticking and meeting building standards, but in putting sustainability first in the construction sector. Coining herself as a ‘sustainable engineer’, she was told by her professors that “we’re not sure anything like that exists” – a true example of a #ChoosetoChallenge female leader.
 

Charlotte Boaitey-Kwarteng, Barrister

In 2018, Charlotte Boaitey-Kwarteng was recognised by the prestigious GUBA awards for work in criminal and human rights law. Speaking of her Professional of the Year award win, Mrs Boaitey-Kwarteng told of her bold decision (having come to the UK from Ghana) to “run her own Chambers in the middle of Lincoln’s Inn surrounded by a sea of all-white Chambers.” She is an exemplar of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
 

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Ms Ardern responded to the Covid-19 crisis with the strictest regulations in the world, closing New Zealand’s borders with the response that she would “make no apologies” for doing so, while other countries remained open. Her choice to challenge the practice of other nations was made from listening to scientific expertise, and her accomplishment was in uniting her country through communication and strong leadership. She had the self-confidence to stand by her conviction to act quickly and maintain her stance. Her success? A record-breaking victory resulting in re-election.

LOOKING FOR CARBON CAPTURE INSPIRATION? WE HAVE YOU COVERED.

You’ll know from our previous blogs that carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is scientifically argued to be the best route to mitigating climate change via a less CO2 intensive world. As a B Corp dedicated to being carbon Net Zero, at Gong we are always on the lookout for inspiring companies.

Here are our top 10 carbon capture, storage and usage innovations to help power a new green economy.

1. Biochar – CO2 that enriches the soil

Finnish company Carbofex turns biomass and organic waste into high value biochar products for soil enrichment, ultimately producing clean energy and permanently removing CO2. The pyrolysis process is explained by carbon removal marketplace PURO.earth as a long-lasting means of storing carbon for more than 1000 years. Other major players: Craig Sams’ Carbon Gold.

2. Green Cement for Africa – using agricultural residues

The production of cement produces vast amounts of CO2 – causing 8% of worldwide carbon emissions. This short video illustrates how researchers and engineers at the Federal Office for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) in Berlin are developing an innovative solution: a bio-concrete in which cement is mixed with residual materials from cassava shells.

3. Air Protein: the future of carbon-negative foods

The food industry is one of the biggest carbon emitters – even higher than the automobile industry. With synthetic biology, it is possible to transform CO2 into delicious, life-sustaining nutrition. In this article for Forbes, contributor John Cumbers outlines how Air Protein’s process uses many of the inputs of traditional crops but on a lot less land and at a vastly accelerated rate. Essentially, Air Protein has the potential to improve traditional farming efficiency by 3,500 per cent.

4. DroneSeed: replanting forests devastated by wildfires

Wildfire seasons continue to decimate landscapes at alarming rates. Reporting for CNN Business, Rishi Iyengar outlines in this story how DroneSeed has developed a way to replant trees six times faster. Covering up to 50 acres a day, it also cuts the supply chains for getting new seeds in the ground down from three years to three months.

5. Jet fuel reverse-engineered from greenhouse gases

At this stage, it’s just an experimental process, but there’s a team at Oxford University working on turning carbon dioxide into jet fuel. Outlined in this story from Wired.com, lead researcher and founder of green fuel firm Velocys Tiancun Xiao discusses the organic combustion method that could be a climate game-changer.

6. Transforming agri-waste to energy: Sistema.bio

Sistema.bio is a company that creates biodigesters to take organic waste and transform it into renewable biogas and a powerful organic fertilizer. In total, the company has offset 211,000 tonnes of CO2. This blog describes the story of Veronica, from Kenya, who outlines how Sistema’s biodigesters provide farmers with more than renewable energy: they improve economies by cutting costs and enhancing farm productivity too.

7. Direct air capture ‘buries’ CO2

Direct air carbon capture company Climeworks has started construction of a plant in Iceland that will trap and bury 4,000 mt/year of CO2. The plant will run on renewable energy and will capture emissions directly from the air. The company is also powering the plant with clean energy from ON Power’s Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plan, minimising the plant’s impact. It is scheduled to be online in Spring 2021 – read more on Forbes.com, here.

8. Carbon-negative Vodka

Brooklyn company Air Co has developed a process for making vodka that converts carbon dioxide into alcohol. The distilled alcoholic beverage is made with a process that uses electrical energy to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol – according to Air Co, the first time it has been used for large-scale production of vodka.

We can all drink to that!

9. AirCarbon – pellets that strengthen other materials

Newlight uses a microorganism-based biocatalyst to extract carbon from methane or CO2 and strings it together into a long-chain bioplastic molecule, called AirCarbon. Following polymerization, AirCarbon is converted into a pellet for downstream use, including in extrusion, cast film, and injection molding applications. Watch their XPRIZE video here.

10. Mangrove restoration

Mother nature of course, can’t be bettered.  And mangroves are even more effective than rain forests at sequestering carbon.  The world’s mangroves sequester about 24 million metric tons of carbon in soil per year. A mangrove forest on the Pacific island of Kosrae, in Micronesia, can store as much carbon annually as a tropical rain forest in Panama. This organisation is helping countries all over the world to restore their mangroves as a nature based solution and carbon sink: https://coastalresourcesgroup.org/