Shopify: How a leading commerce company buys carbon removal

THE TL;DR 💨: Shopify purchases carbon removal directly from individual suppliers, as well as through partnerships with companies like for highly local solutions like biochar.; Stacy’s take: we need to do more work on permanence research for solutions like biochar to scale in a meaningful way.

Shopify: Investing in climate to future-proof entrepreneurship

THE TL;DR 💨: Shopify’s climate program is deeply intertwined with their mission to support entrepreneursip — the company recognizes climate change as a critical threat to small businesses.; Their climate program delivers value to their merchants and “gives them superpowers” via easy access to vetted science-backed business solutions.

Big Takeaways from Small-Scale Waste Management in Bocas del Toro, Panamá

Bocas del Toro Province is an archipelago of islands just off the Caribbean coast of Panamá. With a rich, cultural history and home to two national parks, the province offers immense opportunity for eco tourism, scientific research, and endless recreation. In a tropical paradise such as this, growth and development is inevitable – yet Bocas shows resilience and adaptability in managing waste problems through small-scale, community-based waste management.

Possibilities for positive growth and sustainable development exist within these types of remote communities who, until very recently, did not have access to the abundant services found in other parts of the world. In taking a closer look at what has worked for Bocas in the realm of waste management (and all of its connected parts), seeds of possibility begin to sprout for conscious, dynamic startups to build regenerative businesses, rooted in community consideration.

Shining Brightly – The Power Of Off-Grid Companies In Africa

Shining Brightly - The Power Of Off-Grid Companies In Africa

Distributed solar power systems are instrumental in the healthy growth of small, West African communities
DayStar Power provides both solar & hybrid power solutions to reduce local companies’ dependence on fossil fuel generators
Yellow supports the residential sector with “last mile distribution” of off-grid solar and an innovative business model that empowers all of its users in local communities

How Cleantech is the New Conservation

The new conservation tying john muir conservation to modern day cleantech companies

The new conservation ties old-school conservation ideology with modern-day cleantech company growth strategies. Marrying to two enables the new and novel definition of The New Conservaton

Hydrogens Tangled Tie to Climate

What makes hydrogen unique is the science isn’t new and, depending on the application, is proven to work. More than 90m tonnes are produced each year, resulting in revenues of over $150bn.

The majority of that production comes from producing ammonia, a foundational ingredient in artificial fertilizer.

Bhutan Is Carbon Negative – What The US Can Learn From Them

The world is moving towards clean energy sources. (Image: Nat Geo)

For many countries like the US, or places like the EU, policy becomes the primary driver in enabling a transition away from fossil fuels. This is where a country like Bhutan can provide valuable insights though it is vastly different in its economic and political structure.

Bhutan is carbon negative and produces 99% of it’s energy needs from hydro

Pricing In The Green EU Deal – Facing Opposition

An aggressive carbon tax is in the Green EU Deal. (Image: Unsplash)

The new Green EU Deal, announced in July, has as one of its aims, setting a high new price for carbon emissions. If it succeeds in raising the price, not even as far as it aims, it’ll make it a lot easier for clean technologies to prosper.

Precision Agriculture & Carbon Management To Aid Rising Water Costs

Another drought is crushing California, how are startups helping solve this challenge. (Image: Unsplash)

Climate tech startups have always had to navigate multiple ‘valleys of death’ to create successful business models. With all the attention and momentum there currently is around the world to manage carbon as well as water, these startups, and those similar to them should find it a lot easier to get the funding, talent, customers, and partners they need. Necessity, perhaps.

The Future Of Mobility Post Revel’s Approval In NYC

Revel gets approval for EV only rideshare service (Image: Revel)

Revel is a transportation company that’s electrifying cities through charging infrastructure and shared electric vehicle fleets. Starting on August 2nd, Revel will be launching an app-based car service for 50 Tesla Model Y SUVs in New York.

The Green EU Deal: It’s A Big Deal

Europe continues to charge forward on climate friendly policy. (Image: Unsplash)

the announcement of a European Green Deal. The coverage mentioned pronouncements of accelerated targets for reduced carbon output, and so on. The news cycle moved on.

How To Accomplish Net Zero By 2050

We need a different approach to hit net zero by 2050. (Image: Unsplash)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently published Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector. The IEA makes the case that in order to reach net zero by 2050, we need to accelerate the development and deployment of clean technologies by 2030 – essentially, we should be focusing our efforts today on technologies already in the market, as well as technologies that are market-ready.

Small Cuts In Subsidies For Fossil Fuels

Continued support for the rise of renewables through more fossil fuel cuts. (Image: Unsplash)

Recent news shows some governments cutting back on subsidies for oil and gas companies. But these are small moves, given the vast scale of the subsidies showered on fossil fuel companies, and they’re not yet cemented in place.

Drones And Climate Change

Drones can help us in our fight against climate change. (Image: Jason Blackeye)

As corporations tackle climate change, many industries and verticals can leverage new technologies in their day-to-day operations to reduce their emissions and costs while increasing safety. Drones, a subcategory of autonomous vehicles, can play both a direct and tangential benefit in the environmental space through a variety of alternatives to “business as usual” with some being implemented at scale while others still being tested. Drones are particularly interesting because they touch both the consumer and enterprise verticals, meaning they can have broad reach and appeal.

A (key) week in the death of oil

The endgame for oil companies has become far more evident. (Image: Jonathan)

Change happens gradually, and then suddenly. This week, the endgame for oil companies became a lot closer and a lot more evident, suddenly, discontinuously, a jump.

How Startups & Climate Tech Companies Fit in with Doughnut Economics

How do climate tech companies fit into the doughnut economics model. (Image: Unsplash)

The Doughnut Economics model–a framework represented by an area between two rings (hence the name “doughnut”) in which an economy is considered prosperous if all 12 of its designated social foundations are met without overshooting its nine major ecological capital ceilings.

Board Games as a Solution to Climate Change

The board game version of Project Drawdown (Image: Solutions)

From talking to hundreds of founders over the last couple years, I’ve learned that one of the biggest challenges to technology adoption is educating consumers. Education is key for changing consumer behavior.

Oil execs are talking about life after oil. Should we believe them?

As the fossil fuel industry sunsets how are oil companies thinking about the transition? (Image: Zbynek)

The fossil fuel executives’ answers mostly spoke to keeping their businesses vibrant in the context of an energy transition away from oil and gas. They described capital spending peaks on oil and gas production. They didn’t push back on the need to transition beyond fossil fuels.

Synthetic Biology and a Window into the Future of Food

Synthetic Biology will enable decarbonized food (Image: Eater)

The pre-pandemic world of May 2019 might seem like an eon ago but it is less than two years since Beyond Meat went public and kicked off an explosion in the alternative protein market. We’ve since seen a proliferation of start-ups tackling plant-based meat and dairy, as well as a burgeoning cultured meat space.

E-mobility has won the race: VW

The race to dominate the EV market has officially kicked into high gear. (Image: Michael Fousert)

Volkswagen held its first ‘Power Day’ event on March 15th 2021. The CEO announced, “e-mobility has won the race” and laid out the company’s vision for battery technology, charging infrastructure, and expanding its own battery manufacturing capacity.

Analysis of the Plastics and the Circular Economy Sector

Circular economy startups have emerged with significant traction in the past year. (Image: Gary Chan)

Manufacturers have produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics over the last 60 years. In the last four decades, global plastic production has quadrupled. If this trend continues, plastic manufacturing will make up 15% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Why GreenTech Media Shut Down

Why GreenTech Media Shut Down

The cleantech community was shaken today when Eric Wesoff announced on his new blog that GreenTech Media was shutting down.

Turn CO2 Into Gravel – Save The Planet

Blue Planet Systems

Carbon capture technologies is an emerging market in the cleantech space that needs to be watched as it is likely to be instrumental in enabling a future that actually results in a world where our climate crisis has been avoided.

The Arrival Of Climate Focused Banks

Ando & Atmos Cleantech Banks

Ando (backed by Jigar Shah) and Atmos (Led by Ravi Mikkelsen & Pete Hellwig) offer savings accounts that are designed to help you grow your money and help the environment at the same time.

Funding Taking Flight

Ampaire & ZeroAvia

ZeroAvia, raised a $37.7M Series A, backed by some big investors, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, Shell Ventures, and Ecosystem Integrity Fund.

Is QuantumScape’s Breakthrough The Real Deal?

QuantumScape recently announced their breakthrough in developing a solid state battery cell. This new cell can charge to 80% within 15 minutes – while also packing an energy density significantly higher than the best lithium ion batteries on the market. Why does this matter? This would be significant for EVs entering into the market should these […]

The Marriage Between Smart Homes & Solar Begins

Microgrids are an emerging grid architecture as we are learning day by day. More utilities are beginning to see the advantages of having such an architecture available for them to load balance and deliver a higher level of resilience to their customers than ever before. Southern Company’s subsidiary Mississippi Power is currently piloting “smart neighborhoods” where Tesla […]

Powerhouses Join Forces To Push For A Ban On Gas Powered Vehicles By 2030

Earlier this year California passed a mandate to phase out the sale of gas powered vehicles by 2035. With President-Elect Joe Biden winning the election it’s no surprise of the timing that these 28 companies joined forces to help drive legislation to ban the sale of gas powered vehicles by 2030.

Sustainable Food Trend Recap

The need for sustainable food is growing. Not only is sustainable food generally better for overall health, but it also has a better impact on the environment in terms of resource usage.

PanelClaw acquired by Esdec

PanelClaw one of the remaining few independent solar racking companies in the industry globally has reportedly been acquired by Esdec.

Make Way For The Short Sellers

For years people were short on Apple, Amazon, Tesla (still are) and many other companies that still stand tall and strong today.

Net Metering Has Been Chaos

Net Metering has been one of the big value contributors in the residential solar market. Allowing homeowners to receive equal bill credits for every kWh of energy they send back into the grid via a Net Metering program makes the incentive to go solar easy to understand.

The Year Of Taking Net Zero Pledges

Net Zero commitments are the new fad this year for companies. According to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), more than 1,500 companies have committed to net-zero emissions.

Is Nikola Motors A Fraudulent Company

The evidence in the Hidenburg report show how the company has been faking videos of it’s trucks functioning, lying to people about the tech they have, and manipulating the “booked revenue” Nikola has closed on.

What Does The Organic Waste Market Look Like?

We can look to where Europe is today to see where the US will be in a couple years with regards to food waste. There will be a big evolution in consumer sentiment toward sustainability and food waste.

The California Rolling Blackouts

The rolling blackouts were claimed to have been both for power safety, but also because of capacity based issues. This claim that capacity was the issue was being challenged by “experts” that monitor and watch the grid – claiming that capacity wasn’t the issue but a grid management issue that caused the need for the outages.

California Prepares For Rolling Blackouts…Again

This past week death valley recorded 130 F temp numbers and due to this excessive heat crazy thunderstorms and weather patterns seem to be on the horizon, especially for Northern California. The California ISO even declared a stage 3 emergency to protect the grid from causing wildfires or entirely collapsing due to excessive heat.

Wait. You Throw Your Leftovers In The Trash?

Kitchen and Garden Waste

Vermont is the first state to enact an organic waste ban. The goal is to prevent food waste being sent to landfills. In 2012, the state of Vermont passed the Universal Recycling Law

An RFP for 4,000 MW of Renewable Energy…

NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo sent out one of the largest solicitations for renewable energy within the state of NY. In turn setting the bar for what kind of actions need to be taken to address climate change across the US and abroad.

An Oat of This World Raise 🥛

Oatly just raised $200 million at a $2 billion valuation, effective selling a 10% stake in the company. The Blackstone Group led the round of fundraising, along with other backers – Howard Schultz, Oprah Winfrey, Roc Nation, Natalie Portman, Orkila Capital, and Rabo Corporate Investments.

Deconstructing Sunrun’s Acquisition of Vivint Solar


Sunrun to acquire Vivint Solar for $3.2 Billion which would push Sunrun to 500,000 customers and more than 3 GW of assets on their books. The combined value of Sunrun + Vivint pushes it to an estimated $9.2 Billion based on the closing price July 6, 2020.

Does Thermal Energy Storage Make Any Sense?

NREL and other labs are also pushing forward on evaluating thermal energy. Companies like Brayton Energy & Echogen have also been participating in various grants to develop a thermal energy storage system with a target price of $0.05/kWh

How Batteries Reduce The Cost Of Microgrids

Relay Substation

oday the predominate way of approaching grid modernization is adding IoT like capabilities to as much of the grid as possible, adding new solar and wind farms where possible to fill energy demand and shifting to natural gas as opposed to coal.

Enel Backs Hydrogen As A Future Fuel

Enel will begin with 2 – 3 projects first before they decide if now is the right time to invest into more projects. It all comes down to economics.

What Lyft’s Move To 100% Electric Means For The Future Of Ride Share

Lyft Commits To 100% EV Fleet

Lyft or Uber will likely never replace publicly funded transport. But if they enter from a sustainability angle where the state doesn’t have to invest their tax payers money into a large fleet of EVs it could open up the states that didn’t sign up for the ride share hype early on.

Gemini Solar Project Creates Stronger Argument For Energy Storage


Earlier in May, the Trump administration approved Nevada’s Gemini Solar Project. This will be the largest solar project in the United States and will be the eighth-largest solar project in the world when completed. The project will produce 690 MW of electricity, be capable of 380 MWh of battery storage, and annually offset 385,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (about the same as the emissions from 83,000 cars).

California Needs Natural Gas To Keep The Lights On

California Needs Natural Gas

Solar and battery storage groups and environmental activists aren’t letting PG&E deploy natural gas based generators to ensure resiliency – citing that it doesn’t help get California closer to their aggressive renewable energy goals.

Net Metering Might Get A Face Lift

Net metering might get overhauled to a point where it will most definitely be more valuable to include battery storage or utilize load shaping technologies to get the best value from your solar system.

The War Against Single Use Plastic Continues

The pandemic has disrupted supply chains and shifted demand and supply of goods. As a result, manufacturers are stepping up to try to piece together the fragmented supply chain and fulfill an increased demand in goods. Many of these goods consist of plastic, including PPE (gloves and masks) and plastic packaging for consumer-packaged goods (food and cleaning supplies).

Tech Companies Lead The Way For Climate Action

tech companies are leading climate action

Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, pledged $10 billion to fight climate change and created the Bezos Earth Fund. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, announced a $1 billion climate innovation fund. And many other companies followed. The money is there, all that is left are the actions.

The 1 Million Mile Battery Is “Almost” Here

Tesla 1 Million Mile Battery

Frontier technology is always “almost” here, but the conversation around a 1 Million Mile Battery Pack has heated up with an old incumbent – GE – joining the conversation. We all have heard of Tesla working on a Million Mile pack, but even with significant jumps in energy density of a single cell it still feels that it will take years before we hear about cars with Million Mile ranges on their packs.


Covid 19 Impact on Sustainability

It can be tough to get into the zone and sometimes impossible to measure up to pre-COVID levels. But we live in a different world now – life is different, so productivity needs to be measured differently, too.


You probably know about the giant floating Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But not all Plastic floats. Human activity is creating garbage patches on the ocean floor, too. Specifically micro-plastics. Specifically in biodiversity hotspots.

Progress in Portable EV Charging

Mercedes Electric Vehicle

In times of uncertainty, you just might be crazy enough to consider purchasing that Tesla Model 3 you’ve been dreaming of. But what exactly does making that purchase mean?

How often do you need to charge the vehicle? How far can you go without recharging? At your destination, are there EV chargers? These just may be some of the questions you think about.

There are some startups that are working on this line of issues, known as range anxiety.

Shell Didn’t Really Just Make That Investment…


Fascinating week in oil! As you may have seen in the headlines, oil prices went negative. Specifically West Texas Intermediate (the benchmark for US crude oil) oil price went negative for two days because they’re traded as futures contracts. Production has barely changed but usage has sunk so we have way more supply than we can even […]


Covid 19 Impact on Sustainability

Sometimes we need a little break from the news. There’s no good about the unseen enemy that leaves serious illness, death, and mass anxiety in its wake (and that just COVID-19 – we’re not even going to start on the economy).

New California Battery Project Could Edge Out Gas Peakers

Grid Scale Storage Replaces Gas Peakers

California is taking a different direction and is making more investments in battery-based grids. Using battery plants in power peaks is still mostly uncharted territory, but that’s right where the new battery project is aiming. Clean Power Alliance Executive Director Ted Bardacke told Greentech Media, that the goal is to show California that battery plants can […]

Europe is Making Commitments and Bets on a Carbon-Free Hydrogen Future

Hydrogen Replaces Natural Gas

Europe, still on track with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C, are more committed than ever and are starting the process of phasing out coal plants. What’s going to replace them? Many companies and countries are betting on carbon-free hydrogen. The Netherlands calculates that gases will still make up 30-50% of […]


Covid 19 Impact on Sustainability

Times of crisis mean disrupted supply chains and resource shortages. In World War II US, that meant metal and rubber drives to collect scarce resources to be recycled for military purposes. Salvaged kitchen fat used to produce glycerin for drugs and explosives; pots, pans, car bumpers, and toys being melted down for steel; and “victory” or […]

Electric Vehicles As Portable Storage For The Grid

CA Covid Energy Load

Vehicle to Grid & Vehicle to Building technology has become a new emerging technology that has come with the rise of Electric Vehicles. The concept is simple – if I am driving around a 100 kWh battery pack in my EV why can’t I use that stored power to run my home or help the utility […]

Tesla Enters the Virtual Power Plant Game…In Australia…

Tesla Virtual Power Plant

Tesla doesn’t stay out of the news, and nowadays we typically want to avoid the daily digest of Musk’s tweets unless it gives us a way to introduce some progress in a space that is beneficial to the de-carbonization & resilience efforts associated with the Electric Grid. And some results about their pilot in Australia with […]

Hydrogen is coming and it might be the perfect replacement for Natural Gas

Hydrogen is coming and it might be the perfect replacement for Natural Gas

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the whole stigma around hydrogen isn’t the greatest. We’ve reported something similar with Volkswagen tearing into the “Hydrogen for passenger vehicles” debate. But we are extremely bullish on the value hydrogen will bring to the decarbonization value “green hydrogen” will bring to the market. As a more energy-dense & lighter storage source […]

Strike 3!! Coal is OUT–

Economically, Coal is Out Right now, in every major market, it’s cheaper to make new investments in renewables than in coal. According to Carbon Tracker, if governments and investors don’t cancel coal projects they stand to lose more than $600 billion. AND by 2030 it will be cheaper to build new renewable energy than to […]

We Can Still Save Our Oceans

We Can Restore Our Ocean’s Within 30 Years – But We Have To Act Now A major new scientific review says that we have a narrow window of opportunity to be able to restore the world’s oceans to their “former glory” within a generation. So we have this window – what’s the prescription? In order to […]

Renewable Energy Needs Grids With Long-Duration Storage – We’re Almost There

There’s no getting around the fact: renewable energy required grids have long-duration storage, and we just don’t have that infrastructure in place yet. It makes sense – operating a fully renewable grid is a lot different than running one fossil-fuel based. For starters, where operators could power up and down a natural gas plant however […]

🦠 😷 COVID19: The Solar Edition 🤒 🧻

Covid 19 Impact on Sustainability

Damn it, Jim, we’re – well, no, we’re not doctors. And we’re not here to talk about COVID19 itself, but the effects it has on industries. This week, COVID19: The Solar Edition. California Usually Has Too Much Solar Energy – COVID19 Means Wasting Even More of it. Even in a normal year, California grid operator CAISO […]

EPA Suspends Environmental Rules Enforcement In Response To Covid19

City Smog

Last week we talked about how lower economic activity can mean lower emissions (until they come roaring back on the up-turn). It’s – at the very least – a slim silver lining to economic disruption. But the white house has different plans. EPA Suspends Environmental Rules Enforcement In Response To Covid19 Last week we talked […]

The Good & Bad In Solar

capitol hill

Massachusetts solar had a rough year. In 2019, new installations fell 50% and the sector’s workforce shrank by 30% – and not from lack of interest!

💨Emissions Drop Across The World

Climate Watch Featured Image

You’ve seen the memes (even we couldn’t help ourselves at the top of this post): as industries slow, people fly less, and emissions fall. There’s truth that lower economic activity can mean lower emissions (especially when people aren’t allowed out of their house to commute an hour to work), but unless we get serious about […]

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