We represent the new business as usual. Up until now, businesses put profit before everything, regardless of the moral cost. That way of thinking has brought us to a tipping point. We are no longer able to sustain our way of life if we keep producing and consuming like it’s what we were born to do.
The planet has a limited number of resources yet we continue to deplete them at a rate of 1.5 earths per year. That means we eat into 50% of next year's resource budget each year. This is the definition of unsustainable.
We are so used to having the best things at the most competitive price that we struggle to adopt more sustainable products. We believe the only way for human civilisation to become planet compatible is if the most sustainable product is also the highest performing at the best price.
We have to beat the old system at its own game otherwise we won’t transition fast enough. If it is possible to produce a product that has an overall positive effect on the planet then it should be done. If a product has an overall negative effect on people and planet then it should be abandoned.
Companies must be honest and rigorous in determining how planet compatible their products are.
When we came across biochar in 2018 we were stunned at its ability to be a valuable soil amendment whilst at the same time being a way to remove carbon from the atmosphere.
Of all the ways to permanently sequester carbon, not one of them has as many co-benefits as biochar.
So, does that mean biochar is one of the products that fit the planet compatible criteria? Well, it's looking likely. The IPCC, Project Drawdown, the Royal Society and Exponential Roadmap all include biochar in their plans for how we reach net zero emissions. The Royal Horticultural Society and all leading academic institutions recognise biochar's ability as a soil amendment so why is it not in every farm and garden centre?
The reason is simple. No one has convinced investors to finance large scale local production of biochar because they aren’t convinced the market is there. The market isn’t there because no one can make it for a low enough price. No one can make it for a low enough price because no one has committed to building the production infrastructure to achieve economies of scale.
This is the cycle we are breaking. We know there will be a market if the price is right. We know biochar will have a positive effect on people and the planet.
We have accepted that it is our purpose and mission to do everything it takes to bring biochar up to scale and make a significant impact on avoiding the worst of climate change.
This is why we are here, this is why we started Earthly.