How Biochar in California is scaling their impact

Thanks to funding from Wren, Microsoft, and other committed clients, Biochar in California is removing 75 tons of CO₂e every week.

How Biochar in California is scaling their impact

Just the gist

Short on time? Here’s what you need to know for this update:

  • 💻 Microsoft following in Wren’s footsteps — Two years into their carbon-removal initiative, and a year after Wren partnered with Biochar in California, Microsoft has now added the same project to their portfolio.
  • 🪨 Permanently removing 375 tons of CO₂e per month, with more to come — Made possible with the help of Wren subscribers and the project’s other partners, Biochar in California is making a difference and scaling their impact.

For more project updates, follow Wren on Twitter and Instagram.

First, a special project highlight for you!

Matt Farrell from the “Undecided” YouTube channel goes over two of our Wren Climate Portfolio projects, one of them being Biochar in California. Check it out if you want a refresher of the biochar process or an interview with the founder, Josiah Hunt:

We added Biochar in California to our Wren portfolio over a year ago. Thanks to our subscribers, we’ve already sent $227.3K to the project, sequestering around 2.3K tons of CO₂. We believed in the project from ground zero, and are excited to see big purchasers like Microsoft support it as well!

Microsoft following in Wren’s footsteps

In 2020, Microsoft promised to go carbon-negative by 2030. They laid out a plan, which includes action items such as working with suppliers to reduce their emissions, making products more sustainable, tying executives’ pay to sustainability performance, and funding a variety of science-backed verifiable carbon-removal projects.

The number of biochar projects backed by Microsoft has doubled in just the last year alone. One of the latest additions to their portfolio was our project, Biochar in California.

“California-based Pacific Biochar [Biochar in California] harvests biochar from existing biomass power plants. The biochar is then used in soil applications, mainly to decrease water consumption in drought-stricken agricultural areas or enrich soil with compost additives. Through Carbonfuture, Pacific Biochar has the carbon sink for each of these applications independently certified and audited by European Biochar Certificate (EBC), ensuring that the biochar ultimately reaches the soil, so the carbon remains sequestered.”

As one of their first purchasers, we’re proud to see the project get the recognition it deserves. We hope more giant companies can see the benefit of carbon technologies, such as biochar!

Microsoft’s “Criteria for high-quality carbon dioxide removal” resource gives us a lot of hope for carbon-removal funding by large companies. They match what we focus on at Wren, such as providing measurable results and demonstrating additionality (the impact wouldn’t happen without your funding) and no double counting. You can read more about our criteria on our projects page.

Permanently removing 375 tons of CO₂e per month, with more to come

Thanks to the help of Wren subscribers and their other partners, the project has been able to fund a new facility and necessary equipment, while also removing about 75 tons of CO₂e every week!

The project recently worked with Compost Solutions to combine about 140 tons of biochar with compost. Composting produces unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions, but biochar offers a way to help mitigate the problem—and has other advantages! You can learn more about the relationship between compost and biochar in this white paper published by the project.

For Biochar in California to succeed, reliable carbon removal purchases—like those from Wren and Microsoft—are necessary. Your support makes this possible. Thank you.

That's all for this update! — the Wren team 🧡