Our story

Our two co-founders, Jan and Christoph, met on their first day of university at ETH Zurich and quickly became friends. Aside from their love of engineering, they both shared a passion for alpine sports and spent much time in the Swiss Alps. Here, they experienced the effects of climate change first-hand. Shocked by the retreat of the glaciers, they vowed to do everything they could to tackle climate change.  

Together, Jan and Christoph embarked on a journey toward a solution that would empower everyone to take climate action. As engineers at heart, they poured their efforts into working on a technology called direct air capture, a way to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air. As a result, Climeworks was founded in 2009 and is now the leader in direct air capture (DAC) technology.

Climeworks – Fact sheet 2022

Everything you need to know about Climeworks in one page: who we are, what we do and why we do it.

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Climeworks company one-pager 2022

Why direct air capture?

In recent years, climate action has experienced a paradigm shift. It’s now recognized that drastically reducing emissions alone won’t be enough to halt climate change. The IPCC reports show that drastic emissions reductions are more important than ever, but on top of this, carbon dioxide removal is needed to get the world to net zero and keep global warming below 1.5 °C.

But it’s no longer just the scientists saying this; individuals and businesses also agree. We need many carbon dioxide removal solutions working together to prevent further global warming and restore balance to our climate. Other approaches to remove carbon include afforestation and reforestation (trees store carbon dioxide as they grow), bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage (known as BECCS), or enhanced weathering (fast-tracking the carbon capture process in minerals). The global capacity to store carbon dioxide is vast and lies between 5 and 30 trillion tons.

As a carbon dioxide removal solution, Climeworks’ direct air capture and storage (DAC+S) is particularly effective because it’s highly efficient, permanent, safe, and measurable.

Permanent

Permanent

More than compensation: removes carbon dioxide from the air permanently

Measurable

Measurable

Know precisely how much carbon dioxide we'll remove in your name

Efficient

Efficient

Requires minimal land and water to operate

Safe

Safe

The carbon dioxide is safely stored by, for example turning it into stone through natural processes

Our milestones

Trace our journey fromlab scale toward climate relevance.
2009
0

Jan and Christoph founded Climeworks, developing their direct air capture technology during their doctoral studies at the Professorship of Renewable Energy Carriers of ETH Zurich.

2011
1

Climeworks closes its first financing round, providing for the construction of a first demonstration prototype, scaled up by a factor of 1000.

2014
2

The concept of modular CO₂ collectors is developed.

2017
3

Climeworks commissions the world’s first commercial-scale direct air capture plant in Switzerland and the world’s first carbon dioxide removal plant in Iceland.

2018
4

Climeworks raises USD 30.8 million in funding.

2019
5

We launch the first carbon dioxide removal service available to everyone, everywhere.

2020
6

Climeworks raises CHF 100 million in funding and hosts the first ever Direct Air Capture Summit. Audi and Stripe become corporate partners.

2021
7

On September 8, 2021, we launched Orca in Iceland, the world’s largest direct air capture and storage plant.
Climeworks partners with Microsoft, Shopify, The Economist, Accenture, Swiss Re, Coldplay, Ocado, Square, and BCG.

2022
8

Climeworks raises CHF 600 million and is named as one of TIME100 Most Influential Companies of 2022. On top of that, we announced the groundbreaking of Mammoth, our newest and largest plant, which, when fully operational, will have a nominal CO₂ capture capacity of 36,000 tons per year.

Driven by purpose

We aspire to a climate-positive future and will do our part to realize that goal.

Climeworks is in it for the long run

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, humanity must remove around 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the air annually by mid-century and 17 billion tons by 2100. We believe direct air capture will play a significant role in achieving these goals, and we created our company values based on this vision. You can read our 5 core values below, which every Climeworker stands by.

One team:
Climeworkers

One team: Climeworkers

We are, first and foremost, a group of people working with passion toward the same goal.

More than a business: 
dedication to purpose

More than a business: dedication to purpose

We follow our purpose without compromise in an enduring way. 

Off the beaten track: 
disruptive thinking

Off the beaten track: disruptive thinking

We encourage everyone to follow unconventional paths and to challenge existing solutions.

We're in it for the long run: excellence for scale

We're in it for the long run: excellence for scale

We are committed to building products and structures which are designed to be infinitely scalable.

The more we are, the more will follow: inspiring people

The more we are, the more will follow: inspiring people

Our direct air capture plants have inspired investors, customers, policy makers, and created a completely new industry.  

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Our accreditations

Our partners