Puro.earth started from the realization that there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere and we already have carbon net-negative technologies that are able to capture and store it. However, a business model for carbon removal with these technologies was missing.
In August 2018, Antti Vihavainen pitched the idea to Fortum, the leading clean energy company in the Nordics, who setup a team headed by intrapreneur Marianne Tikkanen, within the Innovation and Venturing department. The new team focused on finding a business concept to incentivize methodologies that are carbon net-negative from cradle-to-gate, in other words, they capture more CO2 that they emit from raw material to the end of the production process. These also had to be commercially available, scalable to industrial levels, and able to be verified. After exploring dozens of business models, the concept of a meet-and-match of demand and supply for carbon removals was formed – and we started calling it Puro.earth.
The new team realized that the net-negative part of the carbon capture and long term storage was the valuable climate service. This part needed to be turned into a digitally tradable carbon asset. After many iterations on the name, the CO2 Removal Certificate or CORC, was born. The aspiration became to create a functioning market for long-term carbon removal, which is reliable, efficient and location independent.
In the spring of 2019, the initiative was joined by a group of 22 pioneering companies from 6 countries to define the tradable asset of carbon removal and other marketplace rules. The drive and urgency shared by these ecosystem actors made possible the fast development of the CORC, its verification rules, the implementation of the registry and the contractual framework. Puro.earth’s first auction was held in May 2019. From first meeting to trading CORCs in only 71 days. After each auction, the weighted average CORC price has been published on our website and has become the market price for verified Carbon Capture and Storage.
The successful auctions validated Antti’s original idea: businesses want to meet their climate commitments with carbon removal and there is a business model to make it happen. Even more so, we have started to see evidence CORCs are accelerating growth of the carbon net-negative economy. One of our suppliers has announced a ten-fold volume production scale-up and another has started building a plant counting on CORC income. More than 100 suppliers have contacted us with CO2 capture, utilization and long-term storage methods to be included in Puro.earth.
In 2020, Puro.earth will continue to help companies fulfill their carbon net-zero targets. At the same time, we are preparing for a global scale-up phase and building Puro.earth as a legal entity, enabling investors to contribute to growth.