This is the natural next step following Climeworks’ and Carbfix’s previous efforts to advance monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) standards in the industry: the development of a methodology covering the full direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) process, resulting in third-party verification by DNV in 2022.
The new partnership with Puro.earth will further drive the standardization of DAC+S and align Climeworks’ CDR services with the general restructuring of the voluntary carbon market to push for higher quality requirements.
With this partnership, Climeworks underlines its commitment to advancing high quality and trust in the DAC industry.
Climeworks and Carbfix to certify under Puro.earth
Today, Climeworks, Carbfix and Puro are announcing a new collaboration targeting the certification of Climeworks’ DAC+S services under the Puro Standard.
This announcement marks an important update on Climeworks’ journey to service customers with the highest quality CDR possible. This marks an advancement across two dimensions in the fast-growing CDR market.
1) Advancing the standardization of DAC+S to ensure the highest possible quality of Climeworks CDR Services
As of September 2023, Orca remains the world’s only active commercial CDR project based on direct air capture with permanent geological storage.
Orca served as the first real-life implementation of MRV on DAC+S as a novel CDR process: Climeworks and Carbfix partnered with DNV to develop a methodology for DAC+S, validated against ISO14064-2, and applied it to Orca to third-party verify Climeworks’ CDR services in 2022 – a first in the DAC industry.
Today’s announcement to work under the Puro Standard will move Climeworks’ CDR services toward certification, informed by two years of operational experience gained at Orca. Climeworks chose to work on this with Puro.earth as their standard is unique, robust, and fitting with its focus on engineered CDR methods.
2) Alignment with general voluntary carbon markets restructuring and quality requirements
In recent months, voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) have been challenged by controversies and (justified) requests for additional quality safeguards. Climeworks is committed to contributing to higher quality requirements on VCMs. Therefore, the company has been working with various initiatives seeking to improve the market's integrity, such as the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) and the Voluntary Carbon Markets Integrity Initiative (VCMI).
By working toward certification under Puro.earth, Climeworks strives for immediate alignment with the recently published guidance on core carbon principles by the IC-VCM and complying with the code of best practice issued by the VCMI. Climeworks would furthermore gain approval by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA) as the Puro Standard is endorsed by it.
The insights gained through the operation of Climeworks’ DAC+S plant would be shared transparently, providing key learnings to the VCMs.
Christoph Beuttler, Chief Climate Policy Officer at Climeworks
This partnership between Puro, Carbfix and Climeworks is an important milestone, as it puts Climeworks on track to issue the world’s first independently verified, third-party certified, and ICROA-approved DAC+S carbon dioxide removal (CDR). We are best prepared to work within an externally developed standard after successfully implementing third-party verification of our CDR services with DNV in 2022. Moving to a CDR-specific, high-quality certification provider like Puro.earth marks the next logical step. We also believe this to be the right step to spearhead the development of a high-integrity DAC+S and CDR market and believe this move to be important for Climeworks and the industry as a whole.
“Carbfix is happy to embark on the mission to certify carbon storage via mineralization in collaboration with Puro.earth and Climeworks. Our operations have always been guided by rigorous assessments and developments in lockstep with climate science. Today, we are eager to translate this expertise towards the voluntary carbon market frameworks and are committed to moving onwards towards third-party certification of carbon mineralization under the Puro.earth standard.”, says Sandra Ósk Snæbjörnsdóttir, Head of Technology at Carbfix.
About the Puro Standard
The Puro Standard is the first carbon removal standard for engineered carbon removal methods in the voluntary carbon market. Its Geologically Stored Carbon methodology was developed by a working group of scientists and carbon removal experts to set requirements for high-integrity CO₂ Removal Certificates, CORCs, from Direct Air Capture and Storage, among other methods. It specifies the system boundaries, scientific measurements, carbon accounting formulas, additionality, environmental and social safeguards, and evidence that independent third-party verifiers audit to issue the certificates.
For traceability and transparency, the lifecycle of CORCs from issuance to retirement will be recorded in the Puro Registry to avoid any chance of double sales. The Puro Standard is endorsed by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), and CORCs are fully compliant with the ICROA Code of Best Practice for purchasing carbon credits.
“Trust is essential to create fast market growth. Since the dawn of carbon removal activities, Climeworks has been the pioneer who has accomplished what they have said. We at Puro.earth are looking forward to helping Climeworks grow its carbon removal operations to reach the required scale to fight climate change”, said Antti Vihavainen, CEO of Puro.earth.
The next steps
The partnership has been kicked off: the teams are transferring Carbfix’ and Climeworks’ learnings on DAC+S verification from the past two years to what is likely to be the world’s first implementation of the Puro Standard methodology on geologically stored carbon via DAC+S.
Climeworks is aligning its processes with the Puro Standard and expects to provide customers with Puro-certified CDR services in the near future – stay tuned for more updates.