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Charm Completes Removal of 1,000 tons CO₂e for Shopify Ahead of Schedule

02 Sep 2021 | Katie Holligan

In September 2020, Shopify purchased 1,000 tons of carbon removal from Charm, which was our largest contract at that point and Shopify remains our biggest customer to-date. Shopify’s carbon is now permanently sequestered in geologic storage, and we’ve signed an expanded agreement to remove an additional 3,000 tons CO₂e for Shopify by the end of 2023.

Shopify Sustainability Fund team leaders Stacy Kauk and Mitchel Selby have been fantastic partners for Charm, through their rigorous upfront analysis of bio-oil sequestration as a novel carbon dioxide removal pathway, in their purchase of significant removal volumes to help us achieve meaningful scale, and in their steadfast support of our month-by-month progress behind the scenes. We’re grateful for Shopify’s commitment to driving high quality carbon dioxide removal technologies down the cost curve, and we encourage others to follow Shopify’s approach.

Companies building high quality carbon dioxide removal technologies like Direct Air Capture Sequestration (DACS) and bio-oil sequestration have announced a total of approximately 1,600 tons of CO₂e removed to date, where Charm alone has delivered approximately 90% of that volume. We’re proud of the fast progress we’ve made from Shaun’s initial idea in March 2020, to a successful first injection in January 2021, and thousands of tons underground as of today.

“Charm has completed their proof of concept, having already sequestered meaningful volumes of CO₂e,” said Stacy Kauk, Director of Shopify’s Sustainability Fund. “To ensure Charm continues to have the support they need, we are expanding our purchase to give them more resources to accelerate their progress toward gigaton scale.”

While traditional offsets, sold at $20/ton CO₂e or less, look dramatically cheaper than Charm’s $600/ton CO₂e removals, looks can be deceiving. Research from Berkeley, Oxford and CarbonPlan has found that 85% of traditional offsets sold today are not additional, meaning that purchasing them has no impact on atmospheric CO₂. On top of that, up to 82% of the remainder suffer from leakage, reducing emissions in one place but shifting those emissions somewhere else.

These additionality and leakage issues increase the average real price of a traditional offset to $740/ton CO₂e or so, all before taking into account permanence and durability issues (traditional offsets are durable for tens of years, high quality DACS and bio-oil sequestration are durable for thousands to millions of years).

It’s critical that we begin to recognize the true price of a traditional offset. It’s also critical that we drive down the price of high quality removals. The latest IPCC scenarios call for 5-20 gigatons CO₂e of removal per year in the decades ahead. To get to that scale we need to come down the cost curve. We need your support, in addition to leaders like Shopify, to do so.

You can remove your emissions here or reach us at sales@charmindustrial.com to be part of the solution.

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Katie Holligan

Head of Operations

By injecting bio-oil into deep geological formations, Charm permanently puts CO₂ back underground.

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