Very few techniques can guarantee long-term carbon removal from the atmosphere. The many natural removal solutions are of course paramount to deploy, but they carry a significant risk of reversal - wildfires, deforestation, etc.
Biochar is one of the handful long-term solutions, allowing for hundreds of years of guaranteed carbon removal once put in the soil. As of today, it is also the most mature solution to be brought at scale, with already-available technology and very strong scientific backing.
Biochar is one of only a few long-term sequestration technologies, and the one at highest technology readiness level.
Several carbon standards have developed specific methodologies to quantify the carbon removal effect of biochar. These methodologies build on the experience of thousands of scientific publications, among which the recent work of the IPCC in 2019.
NetZero's first project in Cameroon was certified in 2022 by the Puro Standard, the world's leading certification standard for biochar projects. NetZero decided to go beyond methodology requirements at each stage of its value chain, adopting a very conservative approach for quantifying aspects such as equipment manufacturing emissions, biomass type, transport emissions, energy consumption emissions, etc.
The certification methodology notably ensures that:
Our model is designed to maximise environmental and social co-benefits beyond carbon removal. This is what makes our carbon credits so unique.
First, given that we operate in tropical developing countries, our projects have a very positive social impact on local communities. In particular, they bring:
Second, biochar can help reduce emissions from agriculture in two main ways:
Carbon credits have too long been associated to greenwashing. We want to make sure that priority is always given to reducing emissions at the source, and that carbon credits are only used to neutralise hard-to-abate, unavoidable emissions.
Therefore, our policy is to sell carbon credits only to companies with very credible net-zero roadmaps. For example, BCG — our first client — has SBTi-validated goals, is taking strong and rapid action to reduce its emissions at the source, and has committed to reach net-zero emissions across all scopes by 2030.