Carbon Removal

We’ve been following Carboneer’s progress for a while and have been so impressed with their focus on creating carbon removal with deep co-benefits for the local communities they work with. Having delivered their first tonnes during 2023, a strong focus on verification, and with ambitious scaling plans makes them natural partners for us. 

Biochar has as a high level of technology readiness - meaning we understand it and can deploy it quickly. It also has a range of uses, from improving soil health and crops when spread on farmland, to replacing fossil fuel based materials in products or construction. It has so much potential to scale up to the size we need from the carbon removal industry!

We’re thrilled to include Carboneers in our Carbon Removal Portfolios.

Type: Biochar 

Permanence of carbon removal: 1000+ years

Additionality: High

Stage: Growth 

Location: Ghana, India, Netherlands

Who are the Carboneers?

Carboneers develops decentralized biochar projects in the Global South by providing distributed farming communities with training, tools and technology to create biochar and carbon dioxide removal credits as a source of both income and an alternative organic fertilizer.

They’ve chosen to operate in the Global South because:

  • Biochar has a greater positive impact on tropical soils 
  • Waste biomass - the main ingredient - is more abundant
  • The socio-economic impact is greater for local farming communities
  • Biomass is often seen as waste and burnt, contributing to poor air quality

All steps in their production process are tracked with a mobile application using GPS data. With that visibility and traceability the carbon credits are created, verified and certified through rigorous third-party auditors.

A key benefit of their model is that it uses agricultural waste that would otherwise be burnt, to create a fantastic carbon negative product – the wonderful biochar we know and love!

Carboneers Biochar Logo

Biochar production by farming communities in the Global South can easily unlock one gigatonne of permanent carbon dioxide removal with a cascade of socio-economic and environmental co-benefits.

Berend de Haas

Director, Carboneers

We’re big fans of biochar, and see it as a fantastic carbon removal solution with huge potential to scale using readily available waste agricultural biomass around the world.

When biochar is created its internal surface area is the perfect place for nutrients and micro-ogranizms that are beneficial. This makes it great as a soil enhancer, as well as an alternative to expensive and fossil-based fertilizers. It’s a carbon removal win with many co-benefits.

Carboneers' Story

In September 2021, Carboneers was initially founded as Dutch Carboneers by Mart de Bruijn, an environmental economist, and Berend de Haas, a biologist.

Starting out as consultants in the biochar and carbon credit space, Mart and Berend soon realised that in order to truly contribute to solving the climate change problem with biochar carbon sequestration, projects need to be rolled out in the Global South. This is mainly because over 85% of the worlds biomass is located in the Global South, and a lot of it isn't utilized due to a lack of use cases, infrastructure and incentive for farmers.

In February 2023 the first two projects began with a local partner in India, Together for Restoration, and later that year, in December 2023, two more projects were rolled out in Ghana, with another local partner, Eroceht.

By that point, Dutch Carboneers was working in collaboration with over 2000 rural farming communities and multiple local implementation partners, therefore it was time for a rebrand: cut the Dutch, just Carboneers.  

How does Biochar work?

It's more permanent than storing carbon in trees. In the right conditions, biochar has the potential to safely sequester carbon for 1000 years or more.

Selecting Biomass

Careful sourcing of waste biomass like corn cobs, cacao pods, rice straw and peanut shells from smallholder farmers. This prevents the waste from being openly burnt and releasing the captured carbon into the atmosphere.

Carboneers - biomass collection from a farm in India
Carboneers - Pyrolysis training to make biochar

Pyrolysis Training

Rolling out the tools and know-how to create biochar locally - close to the source of the waste biomass - as well as track the process end-to-end for quality.

Soil Improvement

The biochar is given back to the local communities, mixed with manure and compost to increase water holding capacity, nutrient retention and beneficial microorganisms to increase crop yield as well as sequestering carbon.

Carboneers - Biochar used for carbon removal and soil improvement
Carboneers - engaging local communities in India

Engaging Local Communities

A share of the sales of carbon credit sales go straight back to the farmers as an additional income source. In their India project, 65% goes directly to farmers and supervisors.

Scaling Plans

From their current scale - with three active projects in Ghana and India - they're aiming to rapidly grow to a million tonnes per year of biochar removal over the next few years, and numerous active projects.

To support this ambition and ground their progress in the science, Carboneers projects are certified by CSI Global Artisan C-Sink standard, third-party audited by CERES CERT and for their dMRV they use PlantVillage, as well as their own additional dMRV systems.

We love Carboneers' work in the Global South, and their approach of getting the absolute most out of what many would consider waste. They’re sequestering carbon for hundreds of years from something that would have otherwise been left to rot or burnt, releasing CO₂ back into the atmosphere where it would have contributed to climate change.

We’re also inspired by the pollution and air quality co-benefits of preventing the burning of such large quantities of biomass in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

To achieve Net Zero (& beyond) we need to grow global carbon removal capacity to somewhere between 5 to 10 gigatonnes per year by 2050. Biochar has the potential - from a carbon storage permanence, additionality and scaling potential - to contribute a significant proportion of the total we need to develop and deploy. 

Climate Justice + Co-benefits

Zopeful's Carbon Removal Portfolios primarily look at solutions that are as-permanent-as-possible-for-the-$, combined with additionality and verifiability. As you may know from our climate courses, we're very conscious of climate justice issues as well. There can be no full transition to a zero emissions world that isn't just. We're including carbon removal partners in the portfolios that engage and include local communities in the countries they operate in.

In Carboneers' projects, farmers are regarded as the carbon rich and should benefit the most from the production of biochar and sequestration of carbon.

Carboneers provides the right tools, training and technology to create and use biochar. Afterwards, farmers get back the biochar produced from their agricultural biomass and profit from its soil enhancing capacities.

That makes the carbon credits the financial motor behind these projects, and of this revenue, over 60% is shared with the smallholder farming communities. With Carboneers' projects in Ghana and India, over 3000 jobs have been created locally in which more than half of the positions are held by women.

There is not one solution for our immense climate problem, that is why we really appreciate Zopeful's portfolio approach.

Mart de Bruijn

Director, Carboneers

Carboneers Biochar Team


Slowing and reversing climate change not only requires us to drastically reduce emissions from current levels, we also need to take out hundreds of billions of tonnes we’ve already added to the atmosphere over the last 200 years.

Carboneers approach of working in a decentralized way with local communities and small-holders to enhance their crop yields - as well as add an additional income source through carbon credits - feels like a fantastic opportunity to support communities already impacted by climate change on the ground. It also reduces the need for large centralized pyrolysis machines, minimizes the upfront cost to start production, opens access up for this opportunity to a wider group of farmers, as well as reduces transport related emissions of moving the biomass and biochar around.

Slowing and reversing climate change not only requires us to drastically reduce emissions from current levels, we also need to take out hundreds of billions of tonnes we’ve already added to the atmosphere over the last 200 years.

To achieve Net Zero (& beyond) we need to grow global carbon removal capacity to somewhere between 5 to 10 billion tonnes per year by 2050. Biochar is one of a range of promising and scalable carbon removal solutions that can help us achieve that. 

Read more about Biochar and why we include it in our Carbon Removal Portfolio 👇

Find out more about Biochar and BiCRS

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We're excited to be working with an inspiring group of global CDR companies taking the fight to the Climate Crisis. They're doing amazing work that holds a tonne - pun intended - of promise.

Zopeful Carbon Removal Portfolio-1

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