In June 2021, Nasdaq announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Puro.earth, a leading marketplace, standard organisation and registry for carbon removal. This partnership will scale the marketplace to address a growing demand for carbon removal by corporations and enable new carbon removal methodologies as technology evolves.
The addition of Puro.earth’s capabilities to Nasdaq’s environmental, social and governance (ESG)-focused technologies and workflow solutions gives Nasdaq’s corporate clients further resources to meet their ESG objectives.
What is carbon removal?
Carbon removal is a process in which CO2 is physically captured from the atmosphere and stabilised into durable storage. Carbon removal is expected to play a critical role in keeping global warming below 1.5C degrees. It's the only solution for handling residual emissions that can't be replaced or avoided as well as historical emissions.
An introduction to Puro.earth
Puro.earth is a pioneering B2B marketplace, standard and registry focused solely on high-quality carbon removal. It is committed to ensuring the world is ready to meet growing carbon removal targets. The platform is a supplier to some of the world’s leading corporations, including Microsoft, Shopify and Zurich Insurance Group.
Puro.earth in numbers
150,000+ tons of CO2 removed
100+ unique customers on the platform
50 global suppliers with 200+ more in the pipeline
Puro.earth maintains a rigorous process to approve and verify its removal methodologies. Leveraging its robust experience maintaining quality and compliance standards on both the issuer and supplier side, Nasdaq is working with Puro.earth to further strengthen the governance around new methodologies by establishing an external advisory board, chaired by Professor Myles Allen from Oxford University. At the core of the advisory board’s mandate is ensuring high carbon credit integrity and robust principles for a science-based carbon removal standard.
In partnership with Nasdaq, Puro.earth works with corporations to neutralize carbon emissions that cannot be reduced in other ways through removal certificates (CORCs). These are tradable digital assets that represent one ton of CO2 that has been removed from the atmosphere and are an integral part of long-term procurement portfolios to fulfil net-zero pledges.
How the carbon removal industry has the potential to make bigger strides with Nasdaq's involvement
Bjorn Sibbern, executive vice president and president of European markets at Nasdaq, said: “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.”
The ambition behind Nasdaq’s engagement is to further elevate Puro.earth’s already global offering by adding a network of over 4,000 listed companies and help support their journey towards becoming carbon neutral.
Nasdaq is offering a broad set of solutions to corporate clients to help them achieve their own ESG objectives and the partnership with Puro.earth serves as a strong addition to these existing solutions.
Achieving further transparency through collaboration
Nasdaq and Puro.earth have launched a first-of-its-kind index family that tracks the price of removing carbon from the atmosphere. This is the outcome of a collaboration that combines Nasdaq’s expertise in finance and global reach with Puro.earth’s experience in carbon and climate tech.
With the three new commodity reference price indexes, based on Puro.earth’s carbon removal certificates (CORCs), Nasdaq aims to support the growth of the voluntary carbon removal market by creating the transparency needed to encourage investment and support project financing decisions. This price signal supports the growth of the carbon removal ecosystem by creating the transparency needed to encourage investment and support project financing decisions. The index family includes:
CORC Carbon Removal Price Index (CORCX)
CORC Biochar Price Index (CORCCHAR)
CORC Bio-based Construction Materials Price Index (CORCWOOD)
Specifically, the main index, the CORC Carbon Removal Price Index (CORCX), reflects the cost of sequestering one ton of carbon dioxide based on an aggregation of CORC transactions from all engineered carbon removal methods supported by the Puro Standard, the first standard for engineered carbon removal based on international standards for carbon accounting.
The CORC Biochar Price Index (CORCCHAR) and the CORC Bio-based Construction Materials Price Index (CORCWOOD) reflect the price of removing one ton of carbon dioxide in the form of biochar and bio-base construction materials, respectively. The indexes will be updated monthly, and more indexes will be added to the family as the number of relevant transactions increases.
Fredrik Ekström, head of European fixed income and ESG at Nasdaq, said: “The new family of indexes creating a reference price for carbon removal is another step in Nasdaq’s journey to create a transparent and credible market for carbon removal together with Puro.earth.
“The indexes will create a price benchmark to help our clients better understand the true cost of neutralizing their emissions. They will also serve to stimulate the growth of the carbon removal ecosystems by supporting the business case for new carbon removal projects and help potential investors make better informed decisions.
In addition, Puro.earth launched the first public registry dedicated to carbon removal and CO2 Removal Certificates. This action injected transparency to the carbon markets by enabling beneficiaries of CORCs to make their retirements public and allowing market stakeholders to verify if climate carbon removal claims have been fulfilled. This follows on from Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which was finalised at COP26 when it was agreed to improve the transparency of the carbon market, and this registry is a tangible example of how this is being done.
How is Puro.earth different from other carbon removal initiatives?
Puro.earth focuses on measurable carbon removals only, requiring removal methods that can be scientifically verified, capture and store carbon for at least 50 years and up to thousands of years, and have industrial scaling potential.
The Nasdaq investment is speeding up Puro.earth's efforts to grow a high-integrity carbon removal market to address the climate crisis, and to support capital allocation to projects that need funding to scale up its production of negative emissions.
The views, thoughts and opinions contained in this Focus article belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the WFE’s policy position on the issue, or the WFE’s views or opinions.