First companies commit to buying carbon credits through Indigo Carbon

They’ve committed to a credit purchase price of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalents.

Indigo Agriculture has announced the first commitments from large global brands to purchase verified agricultural carbon credits through Indigo Carbon


Companies include:

  • Boston Consulting Group
  • Shopify
  • Barclays
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Givewith
  • IBM
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
  • New Belgium Brewing


Indigo Ag officials say this represents a major milestone in the global effort to leverage agriculture as a climate solution by creating financial incentives for “farming carbon.”


The organizations have committed to a credit purchase price of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalents sequestered and abated in the 2020 growing season. Indigo Ag says this provides a substantial financial incentive and – in the case of Givewith – a new funding engine to accelerate the adoption of methods proven to reduce on-farm emissions, remove atmospheric carbon dioxide, and replenish a critical natural carbon sink: soil.


To generate agricultural carbon credits, Indigo will use and support novel methodologies to measure and verify the net on-farm GHG emissions impact of management changes. These methodologies have been developed by the Climate Action Reserve, a nonprofit organization that manages leading GHG offset project registries. The Soil Enrichment Protocol is the first to allow for comprehensive and scalable long-term monitoring of on-farm emissions, abatement, and carbon removal.


Through the deployment of the Reserve’s protocol, Indigo Carbon enables companies to turn to agriculture as a nature-based, verified means of achieving their climate goals, say Indigo officials.

 
“Alongside our partners, Indigo is proud to facilitate market demand and investment in farmers for the unique and important role they play in creating an agriculture system that is more beneficial for people and the planet,” said Indigo CEO Ron Hovsepian, in an Indigo news release. “Indigo is committed to ensuring that farmers are equipped with the tools and solutions they need to improve the economic and environmental resiliency of their operations. This comes through building demand for verified agricultural carbon credits, which present a new revenue stream for farmers, as well as providing innovative digital and microbial
technologies to grow more sustainable food and fiber.”


Methodology

The Reserve’s new offset project methodology adheres to the highest industry standards for GHG measurement, reporting, and verification, say Indigo officials.  To develop the methodology, the Reserve convened a 21-member working group of leading organizations such as Woods Hole Research Center, Native Energy, C-Quest Capital, The Nature Conservancy, and World Resources Institute, among others. The Soil Enrichment Protocol will be available to any carbon project developer in the United States. Verra, the nonprofit organization that manages the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), is in the final stages of development of the Methodology for Improved Agricultural Land Management (MIALM).


The MIALM has been reviewed by the organization’s multi-stakeholder working group of leading experts including scientists, farmers, government agencies, academics, private industry representatives, and NGO leaders. The methodology is currently undergoing final review by third-party validators and Verra experts and is expected to be approved within the next month. To further ensure the highest degree of confidence in the methodologies, both of the methodologies were open to and revised in response to public comments.


The methodologies take a unique approach to quantifying net on-farm GHG emissions at scale, including:

  • Aggregating many farmers together into grouped projects.
  • Leveraging new technologies.
  • Employing both direct measurements of soil organic carbon over time and the rigorous use of advanced biogeochemical process models. 


They are designed to continuously improve over time in response to insights derived from wide-scale field implementation; progress in public understanding of soil carbon science; and advancements in agricultural GHG monitoring, modeling, and quantification techniques.


“As stewards of the land, farmers are responsible for protecting one of our greatest natural resources,” said Ed Smith, vice president of Indigo Carbon, in a news release. “With input from leading farmers, scientists, environmental NGOs, and others, the methodologies from the Climate Action Reserve and Verra will lay the foundation for robust agricultural carbon financing.”


In addition to deploying industry-leading methodologies for measuring and verifying net on-farm GHG emissions across its network of participating growers, Indigo remains committed to large-scale research and partnering with scientists to continuously improve public knowledge of agronomic practices and quantification methods, say company officials. 


Agriculture is a Climate Change Solution

 
Agriculture, often seen as a major contributor to climate change, is a critical and underleveraged part of the climate solution.
“We need to change our mind-set and utilize what the earth gives us,” said Mike Bretz, an Iowa farmer. “More carbon in the soil will create healthier soils, bring back the biology, and create a more resilient system. And while we’re at it, we can help save the earth. Every pound of green in a field comes from about a pound of carbon dioxide that plants pulled out of the sky.”


By farming in ways that store this carbon in the soil, growers have the potential to add a new source of revenue, improve their land, and help our environment,” said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, cofounder and chief innovation officer at Indigo Ag. “The support demonstrated by these leading brands is a testament to agriculture’s power as a technology to help our climate.”


“Part of our climate change strategy is to advance the development of effective nature-based solutions. Indigo’s approach highlights the importance of soil as a ‘carbon sink,’ and also delivers improved benefits for regenerative agriculture and economic returns for farmers. The verified carbon credits generated by Indigo Ag will be used by Barclays as part of its carbon offsetting approach for operational emissions,” said Elsa Palanza, global head of sustainability and ESG at Barclays, in an Indigo press release.


“Developing solutions that protect the environment, support sustainable development, and grow the economy is imperative to addressing the impacts of climate change. By giving farmers a way to tap into the market for carbon offsets, Indigo Ag is doing just that,” said Marisa Buchanan, head of sustainability at JPMorgan Chase, in an Indigo news release. 

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