Our story

Our two co-founders Jan and Christoph met on their first day of university at ETH Zurich and quickly became friends. Besides their love for engineering, they both share a passion for alpine sports and spent a lot of 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. 

Jan and Christoph committed themselves to create a solution that empowers everyone to take climate action.
Being engineers at heart, they put all their effort into working on a technology called direct air capture, a way to capture carbon dioxide directly from the air. Climeworks was founded in 2009 and is now the leader in direct air capture (DAC) technology.

Why direct air capture?

In recent years, climate action has experienced a paradigm shift; recognizing that drastically reducing emissions alone will not be sufficient in reversing climate change. The IPCC reports show that drastic emissions reductions are more important than ever, but on top of that carbon dioxide removal is needed to get the world to net-zero and keep global warming below 1.5 °C.

It’s no longer just the scientists saying this, individuals and businesses also agree; we need many carbon dioxide removal solutions working together to keep global heating to safe levels. Other approaches to remove carbon include afforestation and reforestation (trees capture carbon dioxide when they grow), bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage (short: BECCS), or enhanced weathering. The global capacity to store carbon dioxide is vast and lies between 5 and 30 trillion tons.

Direct air capture and storage is one of many carbon dioxide removal technologies (aka negative emissions technologies or NETs) but compared to other solutions, Climeworks’ DAC+S provides a permanent, efficient, measurable and safe option. 

Permanent

Permanent

More than compensation: removes carbon dioxide from the air permanently

Measurable

Measurable

Know precisely how much carbon dioxide we removed in your name

Efficient

Efficient

Smallest land and water usage of all approaches

Safe

Safe

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

Our milestones

From lab scale to climate relevant
2007
0

Jan and Christoph develop the direct air capture technology at ETH Zurich.

2009
1

Climeworks is founded.

2011
2

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

2014
3

The concept of modular CO₂ collectors is developed.

2017
4

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
5

Climeworks raises USD 30.8 million in funding.

2019
6

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

2020
7

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

2021
8

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

Driven by purpose

We want to be climate positive and do our part in reversing climate change

Climeworks is in it for the long run

We want to be climate positive and do our part in reducing global warming as much as possible. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if we want to limit global warming to1.5 °C, humanity needs to remove around 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the air every year by mid-century, and 17 billion tons by 2100. We believe direct air capture can play a significant role in achieving this and our company values have been created 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 towards the same goal.

More than a business: 
dedication to purpose

More than a business: dedication to purpose

We follow our purpose without compromises 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 build 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

While our direct air capture plants capture CO₂ from air, they have also inspired investors, customers and policy makers and created a completely new industry. 

Learn more about us

Our accreditations

Our partners