Concrete Carbon Offsets Programs Generating High-Quality Credits
However, these nature-based projects have faced growing criticism in recent years, with some arguing that they do not sequester carbon as effectively as originally thought. Moreover, there’s the concern of “permanence”, as these natural carbon sinks can be destroyed by fire, disease or logging, thus releasing stored carbon back into the atmosphere.
In this post, we’ll reveal how Partanna’s technology-based carbon credits offer an alternative, high-quality solution to those looking to offset their own carbon emissions.
What Does Carbon Offset Mean?
To begin with, let’s clarify some of the carbon jargon. First and foremost, carbon offsets level the playing field for climate action by assigning a value to activities that either remove carbon from the atmosphere or avoid emissions.
Partanna generates both Avoidance Credits - because it avoids emissions associated with the production of Portland Cement, and Removal Credits - because its building materials absorb CO2 from the atmosphere using the power of chemistry.
When an individual or company cannot completely eliminate the carbon footprint of its own activities, purchasing carbon offsets lets them effectively do so while providing a revenue stream to projects that would otherwise not be financially viable. With a reforestation project, for instance, carbon offsets should make the economics of planting a forest competitive with an alternative project or doing nothing.
Meanwhile, for new and innovative carbon removal technologies, such as Partanna, carbon offsets help bridge the gap to profitability while the solution scales up. Many companies have incorporated these tokens in their decarbonisation portfolio. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of a carbon credit depends on the quality of the offset project that generates it. Unfortunately, this is not always high. So, if you want to reduce the financial risks of greenwashing (e.g., revenue loss, investors distrust, legal expenses, etc.) for your business, read on.
For the purchaser, paying for offsets helps encourage continued improvements to their own emissions.
Are Carbon Offsets Legitimate?
Spoiler: They generally are, but depends on the project. According to Verra, the third-party organisation certifying our carbon credits, Partanna is the world’s first building material-based, verified, and tradeable offset. Before you ask, yes, we did read The Guardian’s investigation on the carbon credits issued by Verra. All of it, not just the headline, and we would like to highlight that the carbon offset criticism raised by the report focused only on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) projects. Ergo, the analysis results don’t apply to the carbon dioxide mineralization into concrete. Having said that, as explained elsewhere, carbon-negative concrete is not always a truly climate-positive solution.
Why Do Partanna’s Carbon Offsets Make A Difference?
At this point, you might be wondering how you can figure out whether carbon credits are a good investment or not. Well, for this tool to be cost-effective, it should meet some essential criteria. Here we explain how our Verra-backed carbon credits satisfy these requirements.
An Additional Climate-Positive Impact
Additionality is the top factor you should take into account when vetting carbon offsets projects. Put simply, a project is additional if it generates an extra carbon emission avoidance or removal compared to the business-as-usual (i.e., no project) scenario. In addition to this, your carbon credits purchase should be the main financial driver for the project development.
If that sounds complicated, it’s because it is. So much so that even carbon credit rating agencies talk about a likelihood of additionality. Despite this intrinsic uncertainty, there’s something we could be more confident about. Technology-based offsets are generally more likely to be additional than nature-based projects. This is mostly because it’s easier to achieve a more accurate measurement of their climate impact. As for Partanna, we can tell you that each of our concrete blocks has got a total (avoidance + removal) carbon credit potential of 14.3 Kg. So, you know what you sign up for. In contrast, nature-based solutions are muddier. For example, REDD+ projects’ additionality claims are sometimes inflated. Besides providing you with a reliable estimate of our credits’ value, we also plan to reinvest your contributions in improving our technology.
CO2 Is Permanently Locked Away From The Atmosphere
Capturing CO2 from the atmosphere is not enough. You should make sure that the greenhouse gas is stored in a safe place (e.g., concrete, rocks, trees) for at least 100 years. This concept is normally referred to as permanence and is a major hurdle for nature-based offsets. For instance, inefficient design (e.g., selection of wrong tree species for a certain land), poor management (no growth monitoring), and deforestation severely hinder the success of a long-term reforestation project. Instead, the carbon embodied in Partanna’s green concrete will stay there forever as it would take temperatures as high as 900 °C to reverse the carbon dioxide mineralisation process.
A Leakage-Free Solution
Once locked into our blocks, CO2 won’t leak back to the atmosphere. Though, you need to consider another type of leakage risk when assessing carbon offsets. Let’s take a REDD+ project that protects a certain patch of forest from agricultural expansion. Chances are that farmers might cut trees in nearby unprotected areas to grow their crops. This simply shifts the problem (i.e., trees’ embodied carbon being released in the atmosphere) somewhere else, thus discrediting the project carbon credits. Conversely, as recommended by some experts, carbon mineralisation is a leakage-free option.
Aside from implying true climate benefits, Partanna’s carbon credits help preserve nature too. By repurposing brine and steel slag as raw materials for our manufacturing process, we’re preventing toxic waste from entering marine ecosystems and landfills. On top of that, our brine-containing material could be the building block of more seawater-resilient artificial reefs, whose structure promotes coral restoration. Why does it matter? Because climate change is killing corals!
It is worth mentioning that investing in our credits will have a positive social return as well. Our carbon-sequestering concrete will be used to build 1,000 affordable houses in The Bahamas. As a result of that, this will lead to job opportunities in the construction sector for the local community.
High-quality carbon offsets can be a cost-efficient tool for businesses to boost ESG performance and progress towards their net-zero targets. However, finding them could be challenging and time-consuming. If you want a quick yet worthwhile decarbonisation solution, invest in Partanna’s carbon credits today!