Nasdaq has bought a majority stake in the world’s first CO2-removal marketplace, Puro.earth, and is vowing to scale it up to meet the growing global demand to offset carbon emissions.
Puro.earth was launched in June last year by Finnish utility Fortum, offering businesses a way to reach net-zero emissions through the purchase of carbon dioxide removal certificates (CORCs). These tradeable CORCs, which are verified by DNV GL, represent a tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere through biochar production or the use of wooden building materials.
While companies have long been able to offset their emissions by buying carbon credits, those credits have represented carbon that would otherwise have been emitted — for instance, through renewable-energy projects that avoid burning fossil fuels. CORCs are a type of tradeable carbon credit that represents CO2 actually removed from the atmosphere — so-called negative emissions.
Current Puro.earth customers include Microsoft and Swedish bank SEB.
The price for a single CORC differs depending on the technology used, with prices starting at €20 per tonne of CO2 removed — far cheaper than the $250-600 per tonne being charged by direct-air carbon capture technology companies as Climeworks and Carbon Engineering.
“The partnership with Puro.earth will provide our global network of corporate clients access to a unique marketplace for carbon removal and will allow Puro.earth to scale its platform through the Nasdaq network and technology platform,” said Bjørn Sibbern, executive vice-president and president of European Markets at Nasdaq.
Puro.earth CEO Antti Vihavainen added: “This investment and strategic partnership with Nasdaq will enable us to realize our mission to support the transformation of the world’s economy to reward carbon negative emissions and help our customers reach their ambitious net-zero goals. So far we have seen the carbon removal industry take small steps, and with Nasdaq involved we have the potential to make much bigger strides.”
The purchase price and the size of the majority stake have not been revealed, but Fortum will remain “a minority owner and an important partner in the venture,” said Nasdaq.