In order to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, actions taken should not be limited to the local level. We must act globally and invest in innovative collaboration and aim to put all means we know of to use. Sufficient emission reductions will not be achieved with only the current policies and mitigation tools.
St1’s vision is to be the leading producer and seller of CO2-aware energy. In the spirit of our vision, we research, develop, produce and invest in possible future energy solutions to be able to provide our customers with CO2-aware energy while creating a positive societal impact. We promote a sustainable carbon cycle through many projects that you can learn more about in this article.
Power-to-X offers the possibility to integrate different sectors, utilizing CO2 as raw material in producing a wide range of products, from hydrogen to different liquid and gaseous fuels. It combines our Nordic wind potential with low-carbon fuels and energy carriers, creating investments and employment in the area. One of the biggest advantages of these synthetic fuels is their compatibility with existing liquid and gaseous fuel storage and distribution infrastructure. We are actively building new projects and partnerships in Power-to-X to move towards our first production site.
St1 is actively developing its own carbon sequestration programs. In addition, we are developing opportunities and solutions to increase companies’ role in carbon sequestration. Viable land could be increased by large-scale carbon sequestration through nature’s own methods – by sequestering carbon in forests and soil. Locally approved and well-implemented afforestation projects, combined with agriculture, would benefit communities in areas suffering from land degradation.
In order for St1 to be successful in carbon sequestration projects, many factors need to be considered in addition to the carbon dioxide that is bound. These include the social acceptability of the projects, the aspirations and benefits to the local population, various ecological aspects in the area, including biodiversity, workers' rights and other human rights issues, in addition to the verification of carbon sequestration and the transparency of carbon credits.
St1 wants carbon sinks to be seen as an incremental tool, not a substitutive one. In order for carbon sinks to become an official and commercial method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, an internationally accepted verification method for carbon sequestration will be the prerequisite for the economic basis and wider use of the concept.
Morocco pilot project- Carbon farming research in dry areas
To examine and improve the utilization of carbon sinks, St1 is running a three-year pilot project for researching sustainable carbon sequestering through afforestation in Morocco. The pilot project is implemented together with the Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique and its affiliated fertilizer company OCP. The field tests are directed and monitored by LUKE, the Natural Resource Institute of Finland. The pilot project is funded by Business Finland, under its Developing Markets Platform, previously named the BEAM programme.
The pilot project will examine carbon sequestration by trees under various controlled conditions in Morocco. The research project involves testing seven tree species and various irrigation and soil improvement methods to find the optimal growth conditions for large-scale, cost-effective afforestation and carbon sequestering. The aim of the experiment is an annual increase in total biomass of at least 10 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. This arid afforestation pilot seeks to demonstrate under what conditions and measures the forest could be grown in a semi-arid area. Besides the pilot project, carbon capture measurement and verifying methods are studied.
Preliminary research results show that carbon sequestration is possible even in dry areas with small amounts of irrigation. Carbon sequestrating trees can also be used to improve the conditions for local food production in places where it is absolutely needed. Afforestation or the agroforestry concept can also slow desertification in arid areas. Moringa, which grows well and produces oil-rich beans and protein-rich leaves, has been shown to be a potential agroforestry tree species in the experiment. The pilot will be completed next year and the results will be utilized in future carbon farming projects.
LIFE CarbonFarmingScheme pursues the expansion of carbon sequestration activities by providing best practices and guidance for future carbon farming schemes. The project is also looking for incentives for farmers and foresters to implement carbon farming practices in the EU.
St1 is the coordinator of the consortium, whose partners are the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG), Tyynelä Farm, the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (Luke), Puro.earth, and the North European Oil Trade (NEOT).
The aims of the LIFE CarbonFarmingScheme are as follows
- Develop guidance for policy makers for the implementation of a carbon farming incentive scheme.
- Identify factors in efficient markets by studying demand from sectors mandated to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, alongside supply from the agricultural and forest sector.
- Demonstrate the rules in 10 test farms and 10 forests, two from each of five different pedo-climatic regions in Europe.
The two-year project started in 2020 and has received funding from the LIFE Preparatory Programme of the European Union. LIFE is the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU. Preparatory projects address specific needs for the development and implementation of EU environmental policy and law.
With the aim of promoting a well-functioning voluntary carbon market, the project will uncover the key factors in supply and demand measures to invite the private sector to accelerate climate action. The results of the project will be fed into the development of the EU agricultural and climate policies.
Negative Emission Technologies and Practices (NETPs)
NEGEM is a Horizon 2020 project focusing on quantifying and deploying responsible negative emissions in climate resilient pathways. NEGEM will study Negative Emission Technologies and Practices (NETPs), a portfolio of mechanisms to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and to permanently store it on land, underground, or in the ocean.
The project will evaluate the real-world potential of deploying NETPs responsibly at scale, based on crosscutting and integrated analyses of technical, environmental, social and economic aspects to provide an informed assessment of their impact, acceptability, and feasibility within planetary boundaries.
The outcome of this assessment will then be used to outline concrete pathways that include the deployment of NETPs under specific conditions and with appropriate governance structures, which can contribute to achieving climate neutrality, as laid out in the Paris Agreement and within the context of key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The project period is 2020 – 2024 and the work is carried out by a consortium of scientists, together with climate and policy experts from leading international organizations in 11 countries. The scientific and technical work is organized in nine work packages, supplemented by project management and coordination. St1 is involved in two of the work packages and our role is to bring a corporate perspective to the work.