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12 Dec 2023

Neustark and Zürcher Kantonalbank have agreed to partner over a new carbon dioxide removal deal

Amy Power
Neustark and Zürcher Kantonalbank have agreed to partner over a new carbon dioxide removal deal

This partnership encompasses two large companies, working together to increase the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere. Neustark is a leading business involved in the expanding field of carbon removal. Zürcher Kantonalbank is the largest cantonal bank in Switzerland and they recently made a substantial purchase of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from Neustark.

Neustark is reviewed as a leading industry in their field, due to their innovative solutions to the issues of Co2 pollution in the atmosphere. One of their approaches they have developed and put into practice, is their technique to store Co2 from the air within recycled mineral waste. One material they use for this is demolition concrete.

Zürcher Kantonalbank is one of the largest banks in Switzerland, with its assets reaching a total of CHF 200 billion and the company also employs more than 6,000 people. The partnership between the bank and Neustark started when the bank purchased 4,200 tons of CDR from Neustark, in order to aid the bank in the removal of the carbon emissions from its operations and help them achieve net zero. Going through with this process will help the bank and will also be aligning with the partnership’s aim to reduce emissions as much as possible and then remove the rest. Consequently, making the company and industry greener and benefitting the environment at the same time.

The collaboration between the two companies will focus on providing Zürcher Kantonalbank with the chance to permanently remove seven hundred tons of carbon dioxide annually. This carbon will be removed from the bank’s emissions and this operation will commence in 2025. The contract states that Neustark will help the bank remove the total of 4,200 tons throughout the duration of the contract.

This purchase made by the bank is similar to purchases many large multinational companies who are involved in the financial and tech industries are making and have made. These large companies have taken on new and pioneering roles as CDR purchasers, which means they are now embedding carbon removal within their climate strategy. Zürcher Kantonalbank joining this group of large companies, highlights the idea that local and regional companies should also be joining this carbon market and that they have the opportunity to do so. Following other companies and joining this market will present them with the ability to remove Co2 from their operations and achieve net zero.

This decision to purchase CDR is the most recent step of many previous ones which Zürcher Kantonalbank have taken to reduce their operational carbon dioxide emissions. Their previous steps have brought them to the point where they have already reduced their emissions by 70% and the remaining emissions the bank has produced have all been successfully offset. The bank made the choice to purchase the CDR once they made the choice to neutralise all their residual emissions. These emissions included hard-to-abate or unavoidable emissions, which necessary operations produce. These will be neutralised through negative emissions certificates. One incentive to do this was the decision made by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) who stated that once a company achieves their long-term target, cutting emissions by >90%, they must then use permanent carbon removal and storage solutions to counterbalance the final <10%. This will cover the residual emissions which cannot be eliminated.

This partnership will benefit both companies, as well as the environment and through these benefits, the results will hopefully incentivise other companies to follow Zürcher Kantonalbank’s footsteps.

Head of Carbon Removal at neustark, Lisa Braune, commented, "Of course, companies should first reduce their emissions to the max, but there will always be a portion that is difficult or impossible to avoid. And this is exactly where neustark comes into play with its negative emissions technology, permanently removing CO2 from the air."

Zürcher Kantonalbank CSR Manager, Marit Kruthoff, added, "We are teaming up with neustark to have a large part of our residual emissions removed via their innovative and high-quality mineralization technology. By working with a regionally based start-up like neustark, we are also proud to contribute to the scaling of the local and global carbon removal industry to help us achieve net zero."

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