Verdane, Equinor and Södra announce Njord Carbon initiative

By Verdane | January 17, 2023

Even if the world succeeds in dramatically cutting its collective CO2 emissions, there is an urgent need to remove billions of tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere. Verdane, the European specialist growth equity investor, has therefore joined forces with Södra, a globally leading forest industry group, and Equinor, an international energy company and global leader in permanent CO2 storage, to develop an international initiative called Njord Carbon. Njord Carbon will aim to sustainably remove and permanently store biogenic carbon emissions. This technology is critical to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, according to recent IPCC and other reports. Njord Carbon will serve to provide highly durable and cost-efficient carbon dioxide removals at scale. It could also help accelerate the global market and infrastructure needed for bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and other permanent carbon removal solutions at scale. Njord Carbon welcomes further partners committed to permanently engineered carbon emission removal.

Njord Carbon’s purpose is to help enable the transition towards a sustainable world by making high-quality carbon removals available at scale and at an affordable price point. Through its constituent partner organisations, Njord Carbon will offer certified, waste-based, permanent carbon dioxide removal credits. By separating out and permanently storing COoriginally captured by growing trees, Njord Carbon stands at the forefront of tech-enabled negative emissions – and goes beyond others that simply reduce emissions from existing industrial processes.

Behind the initiative are Verdane, an expert in scaling sustainable businesses; Södra, a globally leading forestry company; and Equinor, a leading global energy company that has deep knowledge of storing CO2 permanently underground. To scale the initiative, Njord Carbon is actively looking for additional partners with access to sustainable sources of waste-based, biogenic CO2; and high-quality underground storage. Njord Carbon is also seeking ambitious early movers in the carbon removals space – from customers and technology providers, through to financiers.

Bjarne Lie, Managing Partner at Verdane, says, “We believe Njord Carbon will offer a significant reduction in the cost of high quality, permanent engineered carbon removals compared to all other existing alternatives globally. In April, Verdane became the first Private Equity firm to commit to neutralise all future residual scope 3 emissions with permanent engineered carbon removals. Njord Carbon will allow us to purchase such offsets at a very different price point in the future, and we hope the reduced costs will encourage many other businesses to make the same commitment.”

Erik Osmundsen, Partner at Verdane, added, “We believe it is in the interest of all organisations committed to net zero to ensure they use the highest quality carbon removals possible. Together with Södra and Equinor, we’re excited to continue scaling Njord Carbon by bringing more partners on board from across the value chain, including early adopters who want to take a leadership position in sustainability.”

Lotta Lyrå, CEO of Södra, says, “Södra is constantly working to create additional value from its members’ raw materials and increase our contribution to the climate transition – preferably through new partnerships. We are developing the work of family forestry, making our processes more efficient and reducing emissions. But our development does not stop there. We always want to improve, and carbon capture strengthens our long-term work towards an ever greater positive impact on the climate, while broadening our base and creating new value from a by-product of our mills.”

Andreas Hornfeldt, Head of New Business at Södra Innovation, added, “Södra is constantly working to increase our positive contribution. We are developing our sustainable family-based forestry, streamlining our industrial processes and reducing our emissions. But our development does not stop there. We always want to be better and bioenergy carbon capture and storage strengthens our long-term work towards an increasingly positive effect for the climate.”

Lisa Rebora, Head of Emerging and Future Business at Equinor, says, “Carbon management and removals are critical elements in transitioning to a net zero world and the BECCS value chain provides a pathway for Equinor to achieve this in the Nordics. We look forward to work together with Verdane to explore the opportunities in the Nordic market for carbon removals.”

Bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is a negative emissions technology (NET) that captures biogenic carbon emitted from sustainable, waste-based bioenergy used in the pulp and paper, waste-to-energy, and other production processes. BECCS, like DACCS (direct air capture with carbon storage), is a permanent carbon removal technology that stores CO2 for thousands of years underground. Compared to DACCS, BECCS is a more mature technology that can be integrated into existing companies’ infrastructures, allowing for significantly more cost-effective removals credits, without sacrificing capture quality.

This initiative follows on from Verdane’s announcement in H1 2022 regarding its partnership with three engineered carbon removals companies to permanently neutralise all Verdane’s residual scope 1-3 emissions. Njord Carbon is financed by Verdane Holding AS, and not by funds advised by Verdane, and Verdane aims to partner with firms inside and outside the private equity industry to scale the initiative.

Enquire about joining the Njord Carbon initiative by contacting [email protected]