Investing in net zero: Bayer buys first technological carbon removal credits

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Bayer AG is continuing on its path towards net zero by acquiring carbon removal credits from climate tech startup Novocarbo. The global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of healthcare and nutrition is thus actively supporting a technological carbon removal solution that not only benefits the climate but also agriculture. Callirius AG enabled the cooperation through its platform, based on high-quality standards.

Leverkusen/Hamburg/Zurich. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in addition to drastic emission reductions, carbon dioxide removal solutions (CDR) that actively remove CO₂ from the atmosphere are essential if we are to achieve the all-important Paris Agreement target of maximum global warming of 1.5 degrees. Carbon removal credits are an important lever for promoting carbon removal technologies and thus halting climate change. These are generated from safely and permanently removed quantities of CO₂ and traded on voluntary carbon markets. Companies and private individuals can purchase them voluntarily. This provides financial support for projects that actively remove CO₂ from the atmosphere and at the same time promotes important technological developments for CO₂ removal.

Bayer, one of the world’s leading agricultural groups, is investing in a particularly sustainable carbon removal technology: biochar. Also known as Biochar Carbon Removal (BCR), this technological CDR solution processes biomass into biochar, binds the carbon present in it and stores it in the biochar. If this is then added to a permanent carbon sink (e.g., in soil or concrete), credits can be generated for the amount of carbon safely removed. Biochar, in turn, has a variety of positive effects, primarily as a soil conditioner and nutrient store when used in agriculture. The Hamburg-based company Novocarbo is a leading European biochar supplier and is one of the pioneers in issuing carbon removal credits.

Dr. Klaus Kunz, Head of ESG External Engagement and Performance Reporting at Bayer: „Biochar is a particularly promising carbon removal technology for us because, in addition to actively removing CO₂ from the atmosphere, it also has positive effects as a soil improver for agriculture. The co-benefits of biochar support our sustainability goals. We are pleased to actively promote sustainable and forward-looking solutions for the agricultural sector, while continuing to move towards net zero.”

Caspar von Ziegner, CEO of Novocarbo: “Our mission is to remove as much CO₂ as possible from the atmosphere by scaling our carbon removal solution. Long-term offtake agreements for our carbon removal credits help us to put our scaling plans into action as quickly as possible and thus make an important contribution to meeting the 1.5-degree target. “

The transaction between the DAX-listed company and the CDR startup was made possible by the German-Swiss climate fintech Callirius AG. Through its robust quality framework, Callirius identified Novocarbo and its biochar solution as a valuable and effective contribution towards German decarbonization efforts. Bayer selected this project from Callirius’ portfolio offering as particularly suitable for its net-zero path, factoring in, amongst others, the agricultural background and positive impact, innovative technology, local proximity, and the underlying project methodology.

Ebrahim Attarzadeh, CEO of Callirius AG: “Callirius aims to effectively decarbonize the atmosphere through more private capital. Novocarbo’s solutions are an innovative example of local, high-quality carbon removal with long-term impact. We are pleased to enable more climate action projects through our platform, where the private sector is joining forces to drive high-impact decarbonization to keep our planet a livable place. This transaction between Bayer AG and Novocarbo couldn’t be a better example of how important our platform and service offering is to collaborative climate action efforts.”

This transaction makes Bayer one of the largest buyers of carbon removal credits from Novocarbo. The climate tech startup already operates three carbon removal parks in Germany and plans to open additional sites in Germany and Europe in the coming years with the goal of removing approximately 1 million metric tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere by 2030.

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