Block's purchase will remove 1,500 tons of carbon by 2027 through Brilliant Planet's novel desert algae burial method
Carbon removal sold on the Watershed Marketplace is vetted for additionality, permanence, and more by Watershed's climate science team, making it easier for ambitious companies to access highest-quality removals
LONDON, July 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Brilliant Planet, a leader in high-integrity nature-based, permanent carbon removal, announced their first large-scale purchase from Block, the global technology company with a focus on financial services. The purchase was facilitated through the Watershed Marketplace, a curated selection of nature-based and engineered carbon removal available to all customers of Watershed, the enterprise climate platform.
On behalf of Block, Brilliant Planet will remove 1,500 tons of carbon by 2027 at its planned demonstration facility in Morocco. A key pillar of Block's corporate sustainability program is its commitment to becoming net zero carbon for its operations by 2030, which includes internal carbon reductions, transparent emissions disclosures, and carbon removal sourcing. Block's carbon removal portfolio spans interventions across a variety of removal types and maturity – including reforestation, biochar, biomass sequestration, and direct air capture.
Adam Taylor, CEO at Brilliant Planet commented, "We are privileged to work with Block and Watershed in our shared vision of a net-zero future. Early contracts with Block and other pioneering environmental leaders are important in the development of the high-integrity carbon removal sector and demonstrate to like-minded firms that solutions are actionable today."
"At Block we believe that effective corporate climate action includes a clear focus on internal reductions and a strong commitment to carbon removal," said Neil Jorgensen, Global ESG Lead at Block, Inc. "We're proud to be working with Watershed to curate our carbon removal portfolio and invest in frontier carbon removal technology like Brilliant Planet. Providing support in the early days of these innovative projects is crucial to helping collectively secure a livable planet."
"Fighting climate change requires emissions reductions and carbon removals. We need to throw everything we've got at solving climate change. That's where innovators like Brilliant Planet come in," said Watershed co-founder Taylor Francis. "We're excited to keep working with Brilliant Planet and leading companies like Block to pioneer innovative solutions to climate change."
Brilliant Planet removes CO2 from the atmosphere by growing local strains of marine algae on land in coastal desert areas. Seawater is pumped through a series of open ponds, enabling natural algae blooms to continue year-round. The algae biomass is harvested, rapidly solar dried and buried underground on site, ensuring sequestered carbon remains easily verifiable and stable for over 1,000 years. Using only upwelled ocean water as a nutrient source and sunlight as energy, the exceptional productivity of year-round algae blooms enables Brilliant Planet's facilities to capture 30x more carbon per year than an equivalent area of forest, without competing for productive land.
Brilliant Planet has operated a pilot project in Southern Morocco since 2018, in addition to its previous pilot sites in South Africa (2013) and Oman (2014). They will begin construction on their demonstration site in Q2 2024 and start operations later that year. Following the construction of the demonstration site, Brilliant Planet intends to modularly increase its carbon removal capacity, reaching 1 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030.
In addition to removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Brilliant Planet's carbon removal method de-acidifies local coastal areas, improving biodiversity. At the same time, it creates high-quality jobs in vulnerable rural areas, enabling those that are most affected by climate change to become part of the solution.
By purchasing carbon dioxide removal (CDR) through the Watershed Marketplace, companies of all sizes and industries help scale the businesses at the forefront of CDR innovation while working to meet their own climate goals. Watershed's team of climate scientists and external advisors vets CDR projects for additionality, verification, durability, leakage, co-benefits, and catalytic nature. Read more about the Watershed Marketplace here.
About Brilliant Planet:
Brilliant Planet is unlocking the power of algae as an affordable method of permanently and quantifiably sequestering carbon at the gigaton scale. The company's innovative process enables vast quantities of microalgae to grow in open-air pond-based systems on coastal desert land. This is achieved without using fresh water, by harnessing a natural process that contributes to the health of oceans and air. Brilliant Planet is based in London, UK with operations in the Sahara Desert of Morocco.
Block, Inc. is a global technology company with a focus on financial services. Made up of Square, Cash App, Spiral, TIDAL, and TBD, we build tools to help more people access the economy. Square helps sellers run and grow their businesses with its integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions, business software, and banking services. With Cash App, anyone can easily send, spend, or invest their money in stocks or Bitcoin. Spiral builds and funds free, open-source Bitcoin projects. Artists use TIDAL to help them succeed as entrepreneurs and connect more deeply with fans. TBD is building an open developer platform to make it easier to access Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies without having to go through an institution.
Watershed is the enterprise climate platform. Companies like Airbnb, Carlyle Group, Everlane, YETI, and BBVA use Watershed to measure, report and act on their emissions, so they can produce audit-ready carbon footprints that drive real reductions. With embedded climate intelligence from the world's leading climate and policy experts, Watershed is the platform of choice for companies seeking to satisfy regulatory requirements, unlock new business opportunities, and address climate-related risks. Watershed customers also have exclusive access to a marketplace of pre-vetted, high-quality carbon projects and groundbreaking virtual power purchase agreements.