Brilliant Planet and Block, Inc.: Pioneering Large-Scale Carbon Removal for a Sustainable Future

July 29, 2023
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Key Takeaways:

  • Brilliant Planet partners with global technology company Block, Inc. to facilitate large-scale carbon removal.
  • The purchase is made through the Watershed Marketplace, ensuring the highest-quality removals that contribute to a net-zero future.
  • Brilliant Planet’s novel desert algae burial method removes 1,500 tons of carbon by 2027, supporting Block’s commitment to becoming net zero carbon by 2030.
  • The unique carbon removal method improves biodiversity and creates high-quality jobs, making it a holistic solution to climate change.

About Brilliant Planet: Leading the Way in High-Integrity Carbon Removal

Brilliant Planet is a trailblazer in the field of high-integrity nature-based, permanent carbon removal. Based in London, UK, the company focuses on leveraging the power of algae to sequester carbon at a gigaton scale. Their innovative process allows vast quantities of microalgae to grow in open-air pond-based systems on coastal desert land, without using freshwater. This natural process not only contributes to the health of oceans and air but also demonstrates a sustainable solution for carbon removal.

The company has been at the forefront of carbon removal innovation, operating pilot projects in Southern Morocco (2018), South Africa (2013), and Oman (2014). With their planned demonstration facility in Morocco, Brilliant Planet aims to further scale its carbon removal capacity, reaching an impressive 1 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030.

Block, Inc.: Pioneering Global Technology Company with a Climate Focus

Block, Inc. is a global technology company with a strong emphasis on financial services. The company comprises a portfolio of renowned brands, including Square, Cash App, Spiral, TIDAL, and TBD. While Square empowers sellers with commerce solutions and banking services, Cash App offers users easy access to send, spend, or invest their money in stocks or Bitcoin. Spiral focuses on funding free, open-source Bitcoin projects, while artists use TIDAL to connect with their fans and succeed as entrepreneurs. TBD, on the other hand, builds an open developer platform for accessing blockchain technologies.

Within its comprehensive corporate sustainability program, Block is committed to achieving net zero carbon for its operations by 2030. This ambitious goal includes internal carbon reductions, transparent emissions disclosures, and sourcing carbon removals. To realize their commitment, Block collaborates with Brilliant Planet through the Watershed Marketplace.

Watershed Marketplace: Curating High-Quality Carbon Removals

The Watershed Marketplace serves as an enterprise climate platform, enabling companies to measure, report, and act on their emissions. Renowned brands like Airbnb, Carlyle Group, Everlane, YETI, and BBVA utilize Watershed to produce audit-ready carbon footprints that drive real reductions. The platform incorporates climate intelligence from leading climate and policy experts, empowering companies to meet regulatory requirements and address climate-related risks.

Through the Watershed Marketplace, companies of all sizes and industries can purchase carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from vetted projects. Watershed’s climate science team ensures that the selected projects meet strict criteria for additionality, verification, durability, leakage, co-benefits, and catalytic nature. This stringent vetting process ensures that businesses have access to the highest-quality carbon removals, furthering their commitment to a sustainable future.

Brilliant Planet’s Innovative Carbon Removal Method

At the core of Brilliant Planet’s carbon removal strategy lies their unique desert algae burial method. This groundbreaking approach involves growing local strains of marine algae on land in coastal desert areas. Seawater is circulated through open ponds, allowing natural algae blooms to thrive year-round. The harvested algae biomass is then solar dried and buried underground on-site, ensuring the sequestered carbon remains stable and verifiable for over 1,000 years.

One of the most impressive aspects of this method is its exceptional productivity. Brilliant Planet’s facilities can capture 30 times more carbon per year than an equivalent area of forest, all without competing for productive land. By using upwelled ocean water as a nutrient source and harnessing sunlight as energy, Brilliant Planet showcases a sustainable and efficient carbon removal process.

A Comprehensive Solution with Multiple Benefits

In addition to its carbon removal prowess, Brilliant Planet’s method also de-acidifies local coastal areas, contributing to improved biodiversity. Furthermore, the deployment of this innovative solution creates high-quality jobs in vulnerable rural areas, allowing those most affected by climate change to become an integral part of the solution.

Through partnerships with visionary companies like Block, Brilliant Planet continues to make strides in the high-integrity carbon removal sector. As Adam Taylor, CEO at Brilliant Planet, emphasizes, “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.”

Conclusion: Leading the Way to a Sustainable Future

Brilliant Planet and Block, Inc.’s collaboration marks a significant step towards a sustainable future. By harnessing the power of nature-based carbon removal, they are contributing to the fight against climate change. Brilliant Planet’s desert algae burial method, combined with Block’s commitment to net zero carbon, creates a synergistic partnership that sets an example for other businesses to follow.

Through the Watershed Marketplace, ambitious companies gain access to high-quality carbon removals, accelerating the adoption of innovative carbon removal technologies. This strategic approach showcases how businesses can take proactive steps to address climate change and work towards a net-zero future.

As Brilliant Planet’s carbon removal capacity expands, the world moves closer to achieving crucial climate goals. By combining innovation, sustainability, and collaboration, Brilliant Planet, Block, Inc., and Watershed demonstrate the power of collective climate action. As Brilliant Planet’s demonstration site begins construction, it is evident that a sustainable future is not only possible but actionable today.

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