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Published on August 16, 2021

Introducing CORC20+ and the Soil Amendment Methodology

The years leading up to 2050 will be crucial for the planet. We need to put all possible efforts to transform our society and quickly deploy carbon reduction and removal strategies at a global scale. One way to do this is to increase the carbon stock in soils via soil amendments.

Soil amendments are materials other than fertilizers that improve the physical properties of the soil and work as carbon removal and storage. They can be produced from many types of organic biomass residues from industries including forestry and agriculture but also from bio-energy, food, mining, chemical, and environmental industries.

Why are soil amendments carbon removal?

The mechanism is simple: Applying soil amendments is an input of external carbon to agricultural soils and part of the carbon remains stable and stored for at least 20 years.  Soil amendments are a valuable climate tool as they can be deployed quickly and in big volumes, locking away large amounts of carbon now, in the 2020’s.

The extensive input of slowly decaying carbon in the soil also has multiple agronomic benefits such as better soil fertility, better yield and lower need for chemical fertilizers. Besides, their use creates a circular economy loop that replaces virgin raw materials with recycled ones, and removes and avoids emissions, as the waste residues would otherwise be incinerated or decomposed.

Soil Amendment is one among many carbon removal methods

The IPCC1 defines carbon dioxide removal (CDR)as anthropogenic activities that remove CO2 from the atmosphere and durably store it in geological, terrestrial or ocean reservoirs, or in products. 

At we are committed to REMOVING as MUCH CO2 as we can, as FAST as we can, for as LONG duration as we can to fight the climate crisis NOW, in the 2020’s.

We are technology-neutral and bringing to the market methodologies for carbon removal in all IPCC defined types. This time we are glad to announce the Soil Amendment Carbon Removal Methodology, which comes in addition to current methodologies for bio-based construction materials with a durability of more than 50 years, biochar with a durability of hundreds of years, as well as carbonated building elements and geologically stored carbon (BECCS and DACS) which have thousands of years of permanence. 

Image 1: current carbon removal methodologies in red and how they match to the IPCC definition for carbon removal. 

How do we know how long the carbon remains stored in the soil?

The novel Soil Amendments Carbon Removal Methodology uses the Yasso-model2 for decomposition of organic carbon contained in soil amendments. The same model is used by multiple countries for calculating national greenhouse gas inventories. The Yasso-model has been extensively calibrated to reflect the various decay and weather conditions globally3. Only carbon that is stored in the soil for 20 years or more is considered in this methodology and carbon that decomposes during that time is not included in the carbon removal certificate. only quantifies the remaining mechanically added carbon after the permanence period, which in this case is 20 years. Any possible effects of increased soil organic carbon are excluded from the calculation. Thus no double counting accurs even if there was a simultaneous regenerative agriculture methodology in use. 

The new CORC20+ available now: Carbon in soils for 20 years and more

In order to differentiate the durability of this carbon removal method we are excited to begin issuing a new type of CO2 Removal Certificate (CORC), the CORC20+. These certificates represent a tonne of CO2 stored in soils for a minimum of 20 years. Our first verified carbon removal supplier Soilfood is ready to sell CORC20+ certificates. This sale is done as part of a demonstration project for the EU LIFE Carbon Farming Scheme4, where acts as the platform for carbon credit transactions. 

Soilfood Ltd is a Finnish circular economy company founded in 2015 who creates a sustainable food chain by processing industry side streams into fertilizers and soil amendments for agriculture. The CORC20+ is issued for produced soil improvement fibres from pulp and paper mill side streams which otherwise would be incinerated. Soilfood will divide equally the revenue from CORC20+s so that it will benefit all actors in the value chain: the industrial suppliers of side-streams, the processing company (Soilfood) and the farmers who apply the soil amendment in their fields. This will incentivize big scale uptake.

Is this nature-based agricultural carbon removal solution for your company?

If you are interested to accelerate carbon removal in the 2020s’as a buyer of CORCs or the CORC20+, you can directly purchase carbon removals in our online shop.

If you are an industrial producer we invite you to contact us to become a carbon removal supplier in the platform if you:
-have industrial biomass residues that can be turned to soil improver products utilized in agriculture
-the products would not cause adverse GHG emissions elsewhere (baseline and leakage)
-the products are not yet mainstream practice (additionality vs. business as usual).

Are you ready to include science-based carbon removal in your climate actions? Welcome to learn more about our Carbon Removal Suppliers and don't hesitate to book a meeting or contact us.

4 Link to EU project
5 Link to online shop
6 Link to supplier contact form
8 link to Soilfood listing
9 link to download Soil Amendment methodology

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