SEATTLE — November 8, 2023 — Carbon Direct, a company built to help enterprises drive climate action, today announced the publication of a new report outlining best practices and practical steps for buyers contracting biomass-based carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Developed in collaboration with world-class forest scientists, industry stakeholders, and a group of leading buyer signatories including Microsoft, Shopify, Stripe, and Watershed, A Buyer’s Guide to Sustainable Biomass Sourcing for Carbon Dioxide Removal focuses on responsible biomass sourcing in northern forests, where the majority of biomass-based CDR projects are taking shape today.
Biomass-based CDR encompasses a set of technologies that geologically sequester the carbon captured by plants. Currently, there is uneven oversight of biomass sourcing for biomass-based CDR projects. In order to ensure that biomass-based CDR truly offers climate benefits and does not create unintended consequences, buyers must actively work to guarantee that biomass sources minimize social and ecological harms.
“While there are numerous certification programs that aim to identify sustainable biomass sourcing, the certification landscape is patchy in both quality and reach,” said Dr. Bodie Cabiyo, Sr. Forest Scientist at Carbon Direct. “We developed the biomass sourcing guide to help buyers navigate a rapidly emerging industry and to suggest goalposts for certification and regulatory guidance.”
The newly released Buyer’s Guide outlines four core principles that encompass the objective to reduce risk in biomass sourcing for biomass-based CDR projects.
Biomass must come from sources with operational integrity and oversight through strong governance, standards, and supply chain transparency.
Biomass must come from sources for which operations minimize negative impacts on Indigenous Peoples, workers, and local communities.
Biomass must come from sources where biomass can be produced without threatening protected areas or reducing regional carbon stocks.
Biomass must come from sources that do not distort markets for agriculture or forestry products.
By giving buyers multiple implementation options to ensure the satisfaction of specific criteria across these four principles, the report authors and signatories hope to help balance timely climate action with thoughtful caution in biomass-based CDR projects.
“Robust oversight will be essential to ensure the best outcomes from biomass-based CDR, and the work is far from over,” added Dr. Cabiyo. “Biomass use is notoriously thorny, and there are still critical open questions to answer around carbon accounting, environmental justice, and prioritizing use of limited biomass. We hope this report is a valuable first step, and we look forward to continuing the journey with broad community input.”
To download a copy of A Buyer’s Guide to Sustainable Biomass Sourcing for Carbon Dioxide Removal, click here.
About Carbon Direct
Carbon Direct helps organizations go from climate goal to climate action. We combine technology with deep expertise in climate science, policy, and carbon markets to deliver carbon emission footprints, actionable reduction strategies, and high-quality carbon dioxide removal. With Carbon Direct, clients can set and equitably deliver on their climate commitments, streamline compliance, and manage risk through transparency and scientific credibility.
Our expertise is trusted by global climate leaders including Microsoft, American Express, and Alaska Airlines, as well as by the World Economic Forum, which selected Carbon Direct as an Implementation Partner for the First Movers Coalition. To learn more, visit www.carbon-direct.com.