InPlanet: Carbon Removal as Nature Intended

Around the world, Black Friday has come to signify a day of consumer frenzy. At InPlanet, we are committed to helping companies redefine this commercial event by empowering them to decarbonise, both within and beyond their value chain.

By implementing sustainable practices and pioneering carbon dioxide removal solutions, we pave the way for the creation of products with significantly reduced carbon footprints. This isn't just about business; it's about reshaping the relationship between commerce and the planet. As the Black Friday rush ensues, InPlanet stands firm in its commitment to enabling companies to offer conscientious consumers products that align with their values and contribute positively to the environment. Our dedication lies not just in this moment, but in the profound, enduring impact it creates for our world.

Carbon Removal as Nature Intended

InPlanet is a remote-first, people-centred, German-Brazilian AgTech carbon removal company on a mission to remove gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere. We work closely together with farmers to restore their soils and help them to transition to a low carbon, sustainable and nature-based agriculture.

Our vision is to sequester gigatons of CO2 while regenerating tropical soils in order to create a liveable planet with nutritious food and healthy ecosystems for future generations. InPlanet is the first carbon removal AgTech startup to work at scale with the unique conditions of tropical soils using Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW). Rock weathering is a natural process that gradually removes CO2 from the atmosphere on timescales of hundreds of thousands to millions of years. Through grinding and spreading the right rocks on farmland, ERW accelerates this natural process from millions of years to less than a decade, removing CO2 from the atmosphere on human-relevant timescales and providing important co-benefits for local and global environments.

The need for Carbon Dioxide Removal

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has presented the scientific consensus that in addition to major cuts in CO2 emissions, we must also actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere, making CDR an essential part of mitigating the climate crisis. CDR is defined as the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere and storage in a secure reservoir, creating a pathway to tackle historic and ‘hard-to-abate’ emissions. For every delay in emissions reductions, more CDR will be needed, but it is not a case of either/or. Whilst emissions reduction is a pressing concern, CDR also requires urgent investment, research and development to meet future climate goals.

There is a wide range of approaches for CDR, from nature based to more technology based, forming an attractive portfolio to suit every situation. All CDR methods must scale rapidly for humanity to succeed, with an industry average of 1300x increase by 20501. CDR must transform from pioneering research to an industry comparable in size to the current energy sector, in 30 years. Enhanced Rock Weathering (ERW) provides a unique solution for permanent carbon removal, with major co-benefits and the opportunity to reform global agriculture into a more sustainable industry, bringing security and justice to marginalised rural communities. Moreover, it is scalable with current technologies. As first-movers in ERW in the tropics, InPlanet offers a chance to join this sustainable journey and remove carbon for a liveable planet.

Co-benefits of Enhanced Rock Weathering

A growing body of research highlights the positive effects of rock powder applications in agricultural settings. These impacts include both soil health and societal-gains, with a high potential to contribute towards climate justice goals. Scientific studies identify i) improved soil health, ii) improved water management iii) increased crop yields, especially in nutrient depleted soils, and iv) enhanced stress and pest resistance for crops. Thus, rock powders can be used to partly or completely replace chemical fertilisers, agricultural lime, and pesticides that have high costs, high CO2 footprints, detrimental environmental and human health impacts, and geopolitical risk implications. Widespread use of ERW may be able to avoid a substantial portion of agricultural emissions in addition to directly removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Because of these benefits, the Rochagem movement was born in Brazil in the 1950’s, to promote research and uptake of rock powders for agriculture. This regime shift began in Brazil due to high background weathering rates that leave soils depleted in nutrients, creating a national addiction on chemical fertiliser imports. As such, the potential for positive societal impact with ERW in Brazil is large, primarily by addressing food security. Moreover, improved soil health will allow a more efficient use of current agricultural land and pastures, removing a major incentive for deforestation. With the significant potential cost savings from rock powder use (through fertiliser replacement), marginalised farmers can be disproportionately advantaged through InPlanet’s operations.

From a wider environmental perspective, as rock powders are a slow release fertiliser, their use can decrease nutrient runoff compared to chemical fertilisers, alleviating river pollution. More broadly, the ultimate weathering product of ERW, bicarbonate, re-supplies the ocean with alkalinity, thereby mitigating the effects of ocean acidification.

Exploring Carbon Insetting with Corporate Partners

InPlanet is exploring the topic of carbon insetting with a few corporate partners from the food sector. This means our main objective is to develop pilot projects that reduce the scope 3 emissions of those corporations. This can be realized by working together with suppliers and farmers further down their value chain to remove carbon durably at the source. The food sector is known to cause more than 1/3 of global emissions, and there are sources that confirm that even 70% of these originate from the farm where food is produced. (Schulman, 2021)