“We Have The dMRV Platform To Help Project Developers Prove The True Impact Of Their Biochar Project,” Clément Gourrierec, Director Crystal Trade

"We Have The dMRV Platform To Help Project Developers Prove The True Impact Of Their Biochar Project," Clément Gourrierec, Director Crystal Trade - Carbon Herald
Clément Gourrierec. Credit: Crystal Trade

As methodologies used to calculate and determine credits from biochar carbon removal projects are not yet entirely unified among different carbon credit issuers, some discrepancies are common. Crystal Trade – an innovative platform and service provider in the carbon removal and biochar industry, is trying to address this issue.

The company offers comprehensive services that reveal and prove the value of biochar credits through a data-driven approach to life cycle analysis (LCA) and traceability. We interviewed Clément Gourrierec, Director of Crystal Trade, who walked us through some characteristics of the platform and how it is trying to determine the true value of biochar credits.

Mr Gourrierec, could you please tell us more about yourself and what is Crystal Trade?

I work for Crystal Trade, part of the Crystal Chain company, which offers historically traceability solutions. We began diving in carbon credits a year ago due to the significant lack of transparency and traceability in the carbon markets, especially in carbon removal and biochar.

Today, we recognize the challenge of understanding how carbon credits are calculated. For this reason, leveraging our expertise, we developed a digital monitoring, reporting and verification (dMRV) platform that integrates traceability and lifecycle analysis modules to accurately calculate the true number of carbon credits generated by a carbon project.

Credit: Crystal Trade

Our platform considers all relevant factors to transparently determine emissions and calculations. Instead of manually calculating carbon numbers on spreadsheets, our software standardizes the process across different methodologies (Puro, Verra, etc.). For the moment, our platform is designed for biochar projects, but in the future we are going to cover other methodologies.

To elaborate further on our dMRV platform, the traceability tool enables us to track production at a batch level and calculate real-time biochar output. Additionally, with the Life Cycle Analysis module, we quantify emissions from various stages (pyrolysis, transport, etc.) to ascertain the net carbon credits generated.

By combining these two modules, project developers can accurately assess the impact of their projects and sell high-quality carbon credits on our marketplace. These credits brings to corporate buyers the proof that they offset their emission and then reach their net zero target with peace of mind.

Who are your clients?

The first client group comprises project developers who use our dMRV for traceability and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of their projects, aiming to demonstrate their environmental impact and generate genuine, high-quality carbon credits. This proposition is particularly appealing to them because they can sell their credits more easily and at a higher price.

Buyers can find on our platform projects where they can invest with confidence, helping them in their net-zero target. All projects developed by our project developers are featured on our marketplace, providing assurance to investors due to the reliability of available credits, thereby enhancing communication with stakeholders. We work with big companies: corporate buyers, banks, industry leaders. Indeed they have to invest consequently to achieve their net-zero target.

Credit: Crystal Trade

Would you please walk us through the platform, how does it work?

Concretely, project developers enter our platform and input their own data (type of project, methodology, etc.). They upload all their documentation onto the platform. They can also establish the traceability chain of the project to determine the emission factor. Then, through our LCA calculation during the project, they can precisely determine the net number of carbon removed from the atmosphere.

How do you calculate the emissions from a biochar project?

To calculate emission from a biochar project, we use public reliable databases like EcoInvent to calculate different emission factors and then find the net emissions on the project.

How are the biochar carbon credits calculated? What are the main steps?

We start with the theoretical value, indicating the expected amount of carbon in your biochar. If the theoretical parameters suggest 80% carbon content, you then subtract the amount of CO2 corresponding to all the emissions used to produce this biochar (transport, energy used during pyrolysis, etc.). This process helps determine the net quantity of carbon captured. That’s the aim of our dMRV: to find this net value through data, traceability, and LCA.

Relevant: Hyphen Global Reports On Importance Of Digital MRV For Carbon Markets

How do you support the whole biochar project cycle? 

Of course, we have the dMRV platform to help project developers prove the true impact of their project. Nevertheless, as experts in biochar, we can assist project developers throughout the entire project cycle, from the project’s labeling to the selling of carbon credits on our marketplace. For example, some early project developers come to us to help them create their factory.

Credit: Crystal Trade

How did you create the framework of the software to be able to calculate the life cycle analysis? What is your expertise? 

To conduct the LCA for a biochar project, project developers typically use spreadsheets. The number of credits should be very precise, but currently, that’s not the case. The issue with Excel sheets is that they’re declarative, so everyone can input their own data. What we have developed is a standardized software that allows project developers to manage projects across different crediting programs with a much more comprehensive interface. Currently, we specialize in biochar methodology, but in the future, we plan to expand to other methodologies.

Do you need to physically visit the project or do you calculate everything from the platform?

The project developers enter all the information and documents of their project themselves. Everything is calculated through the framework, which allows them to input data for the machines they use, then proceed to the next step.

Do you partner with marketplaces to be able to list the credits? 

We have our own marketplace where we offer credits from project developers we have onboarded. Additionally, we collaborate with brokers and large corporations interested in investing in or purchasing carbon credits with a measurable environmental impact.

Relevant: Callirius, Cula Team Up On Monitoring And Financing For Biochar Projects

What is your relationship with certification bodies like Puro.earth, Verra? Are they your competitors or allies? 

We are not competitors with them as we are not a real crediting registry. We work with them; we are like a monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) solution based on the registry’s methodologies, but we do not issue credits at all.

Is there collaboration on MRV happening right now among registries? 

Yes, of course. Currently, we are working with carbon registries to design a dMRV framework aimed at structuring the carbon market and making carbon investments more transparent.

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