Running Tide, a climate startup based in the United States, has announced that it has successfully provided the initial carbon removal credits from a project conducted in the open ocean. The credits were pre-purchased by multinational e-commerce titan Shopify.
Carbon removal credits, known as carbon offsets, allow companies to compensate for their own carbon emissions by supporting projects that remove or reduce greenhouse gases elsewhere.
Through partnerships like these, businesses are not only taking responsibility for their environmental impact but also stimulating the development of new and effective solutions for carbon removal.
By pre-purchasing the carbon removal credits from Running Tide, Shopify is taking significant steps towards reducing its carbon footprint.
According to Stacy Kauk, Shopify’s sustainability lead, Running Tide, with funding support from Shopify, has accomplished the first-ever carbon removal operation in the open ocean.
This unique decarbonization process involves utilizing waste wood, like wood chips, that would typically be burned, resulting in harmful emissions being released.
Instead, the company coats the wood chips in limestone and places them in the ocean 190 miles south of Iceland. As stated by the start-up, the limestone covering aids in combating the problem of ocean acidification.
The wood, now coated in limestone, is distributed across the ocean’s surface and sinks into the water, reaching depths of almost one mile. This process prevents carbon from entering the atmosphere.
During an interview, Marty Odlin, the creator of Running Tide, mentioned that throughout the months of May to July, they submerged a combined weight of 1,000 metric tons of wood waste, leading to the extraction of 275 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
The company declared that the project is reliable as it consists of depositing organic material into the ocean, where it could already exist. In order to ensure the project’s safety and feasibility, Running Tide worked with an independent science review board and followed guidelines set by the Scientific Advisory Board.