Business climate strategy: an actionable guide to maximizing the impact of corporate climate action
Instead of stopping at offsets, we help your business maximize climate impact by decarbonizing the future.
Take your corporate climate action beyond net-zero
Pressure is mounting for businesses to take climate action. The convention is for businesses to pursue carbon neutrality: calculate their emissions and buy carbon offsets to "cancel out" those emissions.
Unfortunately, these carbon-neutral approaches have resulted in an over-reliance on low-quality carbon offset projects. Even for a high-quality project, it is impossible to guarantee that any single offset purchase actually reduces or removes emissions. “Net-Zero” commitments go further by requiring carbon removal, but generally this is not achievable today given the current state of technology.
Therefore, Giving Green encourages companies to move away from immediate net-zero goals and instead develop a meaningful business climate strategy that truly maximizes climate impact. Instead of offsetting the past, companies should focus on decarbonizing the future by investing in catalytic technologies in the company’s sector, and/or donating to high-impact climate nonprofits. For more detail on optimal climate strategies, please read our business white paper.
Below we list some specific recommendations in carbon removal and offsets. If you are a donor or a business who is flexible with where to give to fight climate change, we recommend our top climate nonprofits.
Invest in catalytic carbon removal portfolios
Frontier is a private sector-led advance market commitment (AMC) intended to support and accelerate the development and deployment of carbon removal technologies. Climate models indicate that in order to limit warming to 2°C, emissions reductions alone may not suffice; reaching net-zero in the necessary timeframe will likely require gigaton (billion ton)-scale deployment of carbon removal by midcentury. The carbon removal sector is in its early stages, both in terms of technological readiness as well as supply; available carbon removal supply is too expensive to create broad demand. Frontier’s AMC model allows companies to maximize impact by pulling forward their carbon removal demand in order to catalyze the market.
*Frontier has both an LLC and 501(c)3 arm.
Milkywire is a platform that hosts and manages the Climate Transformation Fund, a fund for businesses that consists of a portfolio of climate projects within three areas: restoring and protecting nature, carbon removal, and decarbonization. Giving Green recommends Milkywire’s carbon removal portfolio as one of the top donation opportunities for businesses. Milkywire’s carbon removal portfolio provides a widely accessible, catalytic investment opportunity to enable future net-zero pledges by supporting the growth and development of carbon removal.
Our carbon removal recommendations
Charm Industrial is a US-based company that converts agriculture residues into bio-oil, a dense carbon-rich liquid, and injects it deep underground, where it remains for thousands of years.
Agriculture residues are usually left to decompose and release greenhouse gases; Charm’s bio-oil breaks this cycle, locking away the carbon where it can’t cause warming. We believe Charm Industrial’s process offers a highly permanent and certain reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Purchasing removal from Charm enables Charm to put more carbon underground and to scale up their pyrolysis technology.
*Charm Industrial is a for-profit business.
An important avenue for removing CO2 is Direct Air Carbon Capture and Sequestration (DACS). We have investigated several DACS projects and recommend purchasing carbon credits from Climeworks, a Switzerland-based company that has built a modular technology for capturing CO2 and then permanently turning it into solid material deep underground. Although these credits are expensive at over $1000 per ton of CO2, purchasing them gives unparalleled certainty of permanent CO2 removal, and supports the development of important frontier technology.
*Climeworks is a for-profit business.
Mash Makes is an Indo-Danish carbon-negative energy company. It aims to convert waste streams (primarily residue biomass) into energy products (biofuel, hydrogen, and electricity), of which biochar is a byproduct. Mash Makes partners with farmers, NGOs, and organizations working in agriculture in India to convert crop residue that would have otherwise been burnt into biochar, with the possibility of expanding to other locations. Applying biochar to soil securely stores carbon that plants have removed from the atmosphere with medium-term permanence, preventing carbon emissions and air pollution. We have identified the Mash Makes Maharashtra Model as a high-quality, medium-term-permanence carbon removal option.
*Mash Makes is a for-profit business.
Our Carbon Offset Recommendations
BURN makes and distributes fuel-efficient stoves in Kenya. Their impact on fuel usage (and therefore GHG emissions) was validated by a recent randomized controlled trial (or RCT), which sets it apart from the mixed results of other cookstove providers. Additionally, BURN stove users see large reductions in expenditure on fuel, leading to more money for the family.
*BURN is a for-profit business.
Tradewater’s mission is to find and destroy refrigerants and other gases with warming potential up to 10,000 times that of carbon dioxide. They work worldwide to find these gases, purchase them, and then destroy them. Priced at $15 per ton of CO2 removed, Tradewater offers one of the most attractive combinations of price and certainty.
*Tradewater is a for-profit business.