Several Major Industries Making Efforts to Meet Net Zero Goals Through Carbon Credits
Set to be held in November, the UN’s Conference of Parties conference (“COP27”) has been set with a goal of seeking clarity and concrete guidelines for Voluntary Carbon Market (VCM) players. Last year’s COP26 conference in Scotland ended with 632 of the world’s largest 2000 public companies by revenue announcing plans to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts are being made across many industries, such as world aviation companies including Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL), cruise lines like Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE:RCL), banks such as Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) (TSX:BMO), and even energy giants like Freeport-McMoran Inc. (NYSE:FCX) looking to not only reduce their emissions, but supplement their efforts through purchasing carbon credits made possible by a new wave of VCM producers aided by new technologies from groups like AI-driven data collectors, Scope Carbon Corp. (CSE:SCPE).
By providing accurate data, groups like Scope Carbon Corp. (CSE:SCPE) can assist VCM developers, and help reduce verification delays—which have been estimated to cost the VCM $2.6 billion in losses by 2030 if not dealt with.
Through a state-of-the-art technology platform that includes long-range drones, servers, and AI data analysis, Scope Carbon helps landowners large and small to maximize their carbon credit contributions and mitigate any inefficiencies in their systems.
While these operations are themselves creating carbon credits through carbon sequestration and other reduction methods, Scope Carbon‘s business is built as a carbon market Pick-and-Shovel Play that helps improve things behind the scenes. They do this by providing accurate identification of the characteristics of forests, trees, underbrush, ground and related surfaces, which forms a material part of the overall carbon credit certification process.
Today they boast a portfolio of clients that include ranchers, farmers, and landowners located primarily in the Canadian province of Alberta, and most recently they entered into a product development agreement with Marsman Limited, which has a development team led by Martin Ma, a former early key employee of the Alibaba Group.
“Scope is at the forefront of a rapidly expanding industry and our goal is for Scope’s Technology to become an essential tool for project developers of carbon credits and corporations looking towards establishing a net zero footprint,” said James Liang, CEO of Scope. “We believe the Company’s partnership with Marsman will only enrich the development of the Technology and we looking forward to working and learning alongside out partner Martin Ma and his Alibaba team.”
One of the entities that’s recently committed to purchasing more carbon credits is Canadian ‘Big Five’ bank, Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) (TSX:BMO) recently announced its commitment to purchase carbon credits over five years via an agreement with Halifax-based CarbonCure Technologies. As per the deal, BMO’s purchase represents 5,750 metric tons of CO2 removal and reductions, and the credits are expected to be delivered every September from 2022 through to 2026.
“Since 2010, BMO has been carbon neutral in its own operations through a combination of reducing energy use, purchasing renewable energy certificates to match 100 per cent of our electricity use. and offsetting remaining emissions,” said Michael Torrance, Chief Sustainability Officer, BMO Financial Group. “Our agreement with CarbonCure is an exciting opportunity for BMO to support new technology that will advance net zero aligned innovation in the decades ahead.”
To date, BMO’s leadership on sustainability has been recognized on a number of global rankings, including the Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, Dow Jones Sustainability Indices World Index, and Ethisphere Institute’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.
At a recent meeting in Montreal, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) as a group pledged to support an “aspirational” net zero aviation goal by 2050. Consisting of 192 of the 193 UN member states, the ICAO also works with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which also made its own commitment to fly Net Zero by 2050.
On a global basis, Delta Air Lines, Inc. (NYSE:DAL) boasts having become the first carbon neutral airline back in 2020. The world’s second-largest airline by revenue, Delta bought 12 million carbon credits, worth $137 million in 2021.
But their efforts didn’t end there, as they also spent approximately $3.2 billion to become more environmentally sustainable in 2021. While Delta has spent a lot of money on new aircrafts that are more efficient, helping make terminals more energy efficient, and vowing to make a quarter of its ground equipment electric by 2025, the airline still relies heavily on carbon credits to meet its goals.
Delta gives money to rainforest nations so that they can preserve their trees that absorb CO2. According to Bloomberg, Delta Air Lines accomplished this by spending roughly $2.31 per ton. It’s accomplished this feat by being one of the world’s largest carbon offset purchasers.
Another travel industry giant, Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE:RCL) is making a splash with its new $125 million, 161,334-square-foot terminal in Galveston, Texas that’s slated to have zero reliance on the state’s energy grid. Royal Caribbean claims the terminal will be the first LEED Zero Energy facility in Texas, with an official certification expected by the end of Q2 2023. Once confirmed, this terminal will be Royal Caribbean’s fourth LEED certified facility, which include Terminal A at PortMiami and the Innovation Lab at the company’s corporate headquarters in Miami.
“We are focused on innovating across all aspects of our company, especially in our work to advance sustainability in the communities we visit,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group. “We deeply value both the oceans we sail and the communities we visit and operate in, and the modern design and development features at our terminal in Galveston will work in service of both.”
Back in 2018, Royal Caribbean launched a carbon offset program with Southern Power. In order to be fully neutral, Royal Caribbean will mitigate its Galveston terminal emissions through the purchase of more carbon credits.
Not all carbon credits involve Net Zero goal, as evidenced by the settlement of energy giant Freeport-McMoran Inc. (NYSE:FCX) which is dealing with the aftermath of an oil spill near Jean Lafitte, Louisiana. As per their agreed upon settlement, Freeport will make an initial payment of $15 million and additional payments of $4.25 million each in 2023 and 2024, after which the remaining $76.5 million would be tied to reimbursements from the sale of environmental credits.
As per the deal, Freeport gains preferred status from the sale of environmental credits related to projects funded with its settlement, which was signed off on by the State of Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Also known as carbon credits, these are generated by projects that cut greenhouse-gas emissions, such as tree plantings or marsh restorations, and can be used to offset an owner’s other pollution-causing actions, or sold to other companies.
One of the ways Freeport receives credits such as these comes from its involvement in projects such as the Freeport Energy Storage and Carbon Sequestration Hub with Gulf Coast Midstream Partners.