2023 Year-end review
2023 Year-end review

The year 2023 brought significant accomplishments for and the carbon removal ecosystem. Even though the voluntary carbon market (VCM) suffered setbacks of trust we continued focusing on doing things differently while also leaning on initiatives such as the Integrity Council of the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) that are helping to restore faith in the market. Because of our efforts, we saw corporations look to durable science-backed carbon removal as an effective way to make an impact. While there are challenges, there's also much to celebrate! As we conclude 2023, let's reflect on the journey with a summary of our achievements and learnings that will act as foundation for a bigger year for carbon removal in 2024.  

What was our impact in 2023?

  • 81 new carbon removal suppliers joined, selecting the Puro Standard to certify their carbon removal into CO2 Removal Certificates, CORCs. This brings the grand total to 155 helping close the gap between supply and the rapidly increasing demand for verified carbon removal.
  • They are located in 37 countries, a 20% increase from last year.
  • We issued 108,278 CORCs with durability of more than 100 years (by 11/2023) meaning that since our start our supplier partners have durably removed nearly half a million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Our team grew by 39% from 28 (12/2022) to 39 (12/ 2023) across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
  • Our suppliers cover new areas in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa. As an example, Octavia Carbon commissioned the Global South’s first Direct Air Capture and Storage facility in Kenya, 100% powered by the country’s abundant renewable geothermal energy. With opportunities like these, we will open up the voluntary carbon removal market to new regions and greatly increase capacity worldwide.
  • Our reseller network consists of 43 channel partners, up from 37 the previous year.
  • Corporate buyers can now purchase CORCs through a growing sales channel partner ecosystem with companies like Patch, Supercritical, Cloverly and Watershed, to name a few.

New Puro Standard carbon removal methodologies

Raising our climate ambition, from January 2023 all Puro Standard methodologies require a minimum of 100 years 

o​f carbon storage. Our supplier  portfolio  covers the whole range of permanence of carbon removal, from hundreds of years, such as  Biochar,  to geological timescales such as  Enhanced Rock Weathering  (ERW), the world’s first gigaton-capable carbon removal methodology with 10,000+ durability.

After a successful pilot, we launched the Terrestrial Storage of Biomass methodology.

We broadened our Carbonated Building Elements methodology to Carbonated Materials to open up new sources of carbon credit origination and drive innovation in carbon sequestration.

The science team is researching a new methodology, Ocean Storage of Biomass, so we just launched a working group and a call for experts in this field.

In 2024, we’ll be updating our Geologically Stored Carbon methodology, which covers BECCS and DACS to reflect the evolving understanding in the field and enhance the accuracy of carbon crediting.

Building integrity

We became the first carbon crediting program focused on durable carbon removal to obtain endorsement by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA).  The endorsement raises buyer confidence in CO2 Removal Certificates, CORCs, as many corporations follow the ICROA Code of Best Practice for the purchase of carbon credits. To obtain the endorsement, strengthened the Puro Standard with the following changes:

❇️ We no longer operate our own carbon marketplace, but have shifted focus to partnering with ecosystem players who offer CORCs to their customers

❇️ Puro Registry now provides additional information, such as annual CORC issuances and verification reports, in addition to previously public project listings, verification statements and CORC retirements

❇️ Enhanced oversight of third-party Validation & Verification Bodies

❇️ Enhanced stakeholder consultation requirements

❇️ Enhanced social and environmental impact assessment requirements

❇️ Formalized and published Grievance & Conflict of Interest policies

We know integrity and standardization will enable scaling. Therefore, Puro Standard opened a public consultation of the General Rules of our carbon-crediting program. We seek to obtain feedback from stakeholders in the carbon markets on potential enhancements that will align our rules with the Core Carbon Principles (CCPs) of the Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (IC-VCM) and the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

Resources and insights

In 2023 we brought you informative content to guide your way:

We released an e-book ‘Carbon Removals: Achieving a Net-Negative Economy’ to educate business leaders and sustainability professionals on durable carbon removal. It includes interviews with thought leaders and early-innovators who are contributing to shaping the carbon removal market.

New VCM Market Map
The VCM is constantly shifting, with increasing innovation, corporates racing to net zero, and some analyses indicating market sizes of up to $50bn by 2030, so we brought you the “new” VCM Market Map showing 23 verticals, and 310 companies (will be updated soon!)

CDR Meta Map on policy
During the Carbon Unbound Europe conference in London in October, the Puro Team hosted a workshop on the policy mechanisms which may enable demand for durable carbon removal. The findings highlighting the strides made by governments, international organizations, and voluntary rule-setters in shaping certification frameworks, compliance markets, corporate reporting and environmental claims is available in the CDR Meta-Map on Policy. Thank you to all contributors who made this resource possible.

Technology to scale the market

Over the last 12 months, we focused on scaling the voluntary carbon market to meet the expected rapid growth from corporates seeking to neutralize emissions. In collaboration with Nasdaq, we supported the growth of the carbon removal ecosystem.

In Q1 2023, the first phase of the Puro Supplier Portal was launched, where suppliers can view their CORC inventory, facility information, and upcoming audits easily. We strive to help our suppliers with the best service to make their CORC issuance and sales easy.

We introduced our new Puro Connect API to the market, a powerful tool that empowers sales channel partners with seamless connection to asset onboarding, trade reporting, and retirement of CORCs in the Puro Registry. By facilitating high-volume CORC trading, it will streamline processes and promote market liquidity.

We introduced the CORC Offtake Allocation Service, reinforcing our commitment to enable Advance Market Commitments for CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs). This service ensures seamless delivery of CORCs to buyers, enhancing confidence in Offtake Agreements. As the service caters to Offtake transactions, whether they involve pre-payments or not we discontinued the digital assets called "Pre-CORCs offering greater flexibility through the Puro Accelerate Program.

We unveiled our enhanced supplier listings designed to offer more information to potential buyers of CO2 Removal Certificates (CORCs). Key Features are:

  • Discovery of sales channel partners and marketplaces that sell CORCs of your chosen facility in the listing page.
  • Engage in direct messaging with the Supplier for seamless communication.
  • Explore project milestones and access the latest audit statements.
  • Gain transparent insights into future CORC projections.

What’s next?

In 2024, we’ll migrate future facilities to this format and add exciting features such as an interactive global map to explore all facilities worldwide and a guided buying survey for tailored matches.

The Puro Registry will migrate to Nasdaq technology. Accurately managing the lifecycle of carbon credits is essential for trust. By leveraging Nasdaq’s technology, the core technology of our carbon crediting infrastructure will be modernized. The system will become available for carbon marketplaces and exchanges through the Puro Connect API and will also have the preparedness for labeling CORCs compliant with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

Strong partnerships for growth and impact

We are both strengthening existing relationships and building new ones around the globe to grow the carbon removal market.

We announced a partnership with Xpansiv, making CORCs available on its spot marketplace, CBL, the largest spot exchange for trading voluntary carbon credits and other environmental commodities.

In June, we celebrated the two-year anniversary of our partnership with Nasdaq. Since the financial technology company acquired a majority stake in in 2021, we’ve witnessed rapid global growth from buyers and sellers within the voluntary carbon removal market and accelerated innovation in the industry.

We also launched 3 new partner programs designed to bolster the scale of carbon removal under the Puro Standard. Partner companies wishing to participate in these programs will not only gain increased credibility but also unlock new business opportunities, helping to enhance their market position.

  1. Project Developer Partnership Program
  2. Technology Provider Endorsement Program
  3. Life Cycle Assessment Consultancy Program

Trusted by pioneering customers

Advance market commitments, otherwise known as offtake agreements, help corporate buyers secure the CO2 Removal Certificates needed to fulfill climate goals. They are key to scaling carbon removal globally.

In their continued trust of the Puro Standard, Microsoft signed a CORC offtake agreement with Geologically Stored Carbon supplier Inherit. Microsoft also signed a purchase agreement with partner Carbonfuture and biochar supplier Exomad. Set to be delivered in 2024, the deal marks one of the largest-to date purchase agreements with a quantity of more than 32,000 CORCs.

Climeworks signed a historic 15-year offtake agreement with BCG for their Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage.

Enhanced Rock Weathering supplier UNDO partnered with British Airways, CUR8 and Standard Chartered in a first of its kind Carbon Removal Financing Pilot.  

Community building and global awareness

This year, as a leader in the carbon removal community, we successfully hosted 3 CDR Summits in London, New York, and San Francisco, bringing together over 338 global leaders from 190 companies actively contributing to this journey.

We received valuable feedback, such as that from Ph.D. Steffi Muhanji at Microsoft, who said, 'This is an excellent summit, providing a valuable opportunity to bring many people together. It has allowed me to gain a holistic sense of what is changing and how people are generally thinking about CDR.'

The positive response to the summits has fuelled our motivation to further strengthen our community and we’ll be back with the first CDR Summit for San Francisco Climate Week in April 2024. Stay tuned for more details.

We launched our podcast series to share more insights to the CDR community and showcase the carbon removal leaders that are building the solutions. Listen to this episode where we interviewed Simon Manley, Head of Carbon at UNDO, a company that is making big strides in one of the most scalable carbon removal methods, Enhanced Rock Weathering.

Just as COP28 came to an end, where opportunities were not taken to push forward the international carbon market, at, our commitment remains steadfast in developing the world's premier carbon crediting program for engineered carbon removal and accelerating its scaling through advanced market commitment for CORCs. We aim to remove as much CO2 as possible, as fast as possible, for as long as possible, to combat the climate crisis now.

A heartfelt thank you to each of you – our buyers, suppliers, partners, investors, and teammates – who contributed to making this year impactful. As we approach the end of the year, we hope you take a warm and well-deserved rest. We look forward to reconnecting with full energy in 2024, continuing to mobilize the world's economy towards rewarding carbon net-negative emissions.

Are you ready to integrate carbon removal into your climate actions? For any questions to kick off the carbon removal journey, please feel free to contact us.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Your sincerely, team

Puro Standard launches public consultation to align carbon-crediting rules to the IC-VCM and CORSIA

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