Carbon removal at scale requires operating a negative carbon supply chain — physically moving as much carbon mass as possible from the fast to slow carbon cycle, as efficiently as possible. How efficiently Running Tide is able to move this mass, and how successful we are in achieving a net positive carbon and climate impact, will be contingent on the meticulous sourcing of the materials we use to remove this carbon.
Materials used for carbon removal must be procured with a great deal of consideration and care. To be successful, carbon removal must have an impact at the planetary level — and as solutions are scaled, we must be mindful of the effects that sourcing can have on forests, the ocean, and the communities in which we operate.
Done correctly, effective sourcing can align incentives to promote sustainable land management and improve biodiversity, climate, and community benefits. However, the past has shown us that the large-scale sourcing of natural materials — even when utilized for climate-friendly purposes — can result in adverse consequences such as ecosystem degradation, loss of biodiversity, displacement of communities, and various challenges related to public health. To prevent adverse outcomes, we are actively drawing insights from sectors involved in natural resource management, and are engaged in discussions with scientific and industry experts to ensure that the system we build prioritizes the well-being of the planet and communities, while meeting the urgency of the climate crisis.
This is why today, Running Tide is pleased to share our Responsible Sourcing Strategy (version 1.0), which has been developed to establish guidelines for both Running Tide and our suppliers. This strategy aims to mitigate potential risks and challenges that may arise during the sourcing of materials for our carbon removal projects. As we work to implement carbon-negative supply chains and prioritize the principle of doing no harm in our sourcing and operations, we are committed to ensuring the preservation of environmental integrity. We firmly believe that our sourcing decisions hold the power to drive positive transformation and build resilience across industries and communities.
This sourcing strategy has been developed by a cross-disciplinary team of sourcing and logistics specialists, carbon market experts, and scientists across Running Tide, and in collaboration with a number of external leaders in the environmental and forestry spheres. It has been developed based on the best available science, industry best practices, and learnings from our initial carbon removal operations and material sourcing throughout 2022 and 2023.
We expect this sourcing strategy to continue to evolve as our material and geographic footprint expands, as we garner additional feedback and recommendations from scientific and industry experts, and as carbon removal industry guidelines for material sourcing continue to mature.
Header image: Inspecting alkaline-coated woody biomass at our operational site in Grundartangi, Iceland.