Climate change is a threat to all humanity, and we must find effective solutions for fighting it. Mere reduction of emissions will no longer suffice.
"Even if we cut the current emissions in half right now, there would still be too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Reducing emissions is unequivocally the most important step, but in addition to that, we also need to capture CO2," says Antero Vartia, Founder & CEO of Compensate.
The Finnish Compensate foundation is developing an ecosystem focusing on the compensation for CO2 emissions. In the CO2 offset system, the emissions generated by consumption are compensated by capturing carbon elsewhere. The non-profit foundation aims to revolutionize the CO2 offset system worldwide, while also generating business worth billions of euros for Finnish companies providing new solutions.
The Compensate project received a capital loan as one of the winners of the Business Finland competitive bidding for Growth Engines. With the help of the Growth Engine capital loan, Compensate will be able to scale up its operations.
Finland is in an advantageous position. "Now, we will be able to recruit top talents to build the ecosystem. With Business Finland's assistance, we can show the world that this model works and establish ourselves as a credible player on the global market," says Vartia.
There are already operators providing CO2 offsets in the world, but they are isolated, functioning in limited areas. Compensate wants to develop an overall solution for carbon capture.
"Taking responsibility personally must be part of any everyday activity causing emissions. So far, we have sought the world, but we have not succeeded in finding an operator that would provide an overall solution. The parties currently providing compensation for CO2 emissions are point solutions," Vartia describes.
Compensate accepts compensation payments from companies and individuals and uses them in full for carbon capture. Through the foundation, companies can offer their customers an easy way to compensate for the carbon footprint of their actions. Compensate intends to generate business amounting to billions by making carbon capture cost-efficient but responsible.
In addition, in collaboration with the scientific community, Compensate seeks to identify more effective means for carbon capture. Alongside reducing carbon emissions, the ecosystem will try to expand the carbon capture market by means of photosynthesis and later also by means of new carbon capture technologies.
The humankind has means for carbon offset and sequestration, but they are as yet not used in a sufficiently large scale. The most significant aspect of the ecosystem developed by Compensate is that the act of compensation is integrated into every part of society and consumption, to existing customer journeys and platforms.
"When considering carbon sequestration, the challenge has always been that we do not know who should pay for it: the state or companies. Still, all emissions are caused by human action. Therefore, it is also important to bring individuals into the equation. When we cause emissions, we should also take responsibility and action for remedying the damage we have caused," Vartia says.
"We are building a system that enables compensation to become a part of everyday life. Even though climate change is a threat, it also entails a major business opportunity," Vartia says.
Antero Vartia presented Compensate at the Growth Engine event on 13 September 2019:
Business Finland uses the name Growth Engine to describe cooperation networks − ecosystems − aimed at new business activities amounting to more than one billion euros. Growth Engines are implemented through an enterprise-driven partnership model between companies, research organizations and public actors, which strives to find solutions to global market disruption and create new growth sectors in Finland.
Read more about Growth Engines