Carbon capture and the path to net zero

Date: 22 Apr 2021

Bumblebee Design

As governments and companies worldwide sets their sights on achieving net zero by 2050, carbon capture has emerged as a frontrunner in the catalogue of solutions due to its ability to enable companies and jurisdictions to offset carbon dioxide emissions with investments sequestering CO2.

The statistics make a good case: natural forest regrowth has the potential to sequester up to 23% of global CO2 emissions, or 8.9 billion metric tonnes of CO2 – in addition to the carbon sequestration of existing forests, which currently absorb approximately 30% of CO2 emissions annually.

Citywealth’s April French Furnell spoke to CEO of EcoForests Michael Ackerman on the launch of their carbon capture vertical to find out more.

“Originally, carbon capture was not the main focus of our business, but we’ve seen an astronomical growth in interest in carbon capture projects”, says Ackerman. Up until now, EcoForests revenue has been generated by timber sales in the forest harvesting process. Through offering carbon capture assets, EcoForests is able to monetise a time in the forest management cycle that was previously not a driving force of the business. This means tree-planting and the natural growth of forests are now profit generating for the business.

For clients, carbon capture offers them a way of embedding ESG into their company’s core values. “Rather than ‘greenwashing’ their problems away, companies want to engage with the plantation. They have ownership and involvement in the project so there is a greater level of involvement than simply purchasing the credit they need”, said Ackerman.

He has also been approached by companies who are interested in EcoForests’ on-the-ground work with local communities. From building schools and offering scholarships to looking at gender equality in the workforce, “all these aspects are transferred to the clients participating in the projects with us, allowing them to align their carbon capture commitments with broader environmental sustainability goals”.

Ackerman now finds his days busy consulting companies, banks and family offices looking for a way to align their mandates with ESG values, and there are no signs of interest waning.