2. Our Sourcing Approach

The success of any carbon removal approach is contingent on the meticulous sourcing of the materials used. Done correctly, effective sourcing can align incentives to promote sustainable land management and improve biodiversity, climate, and community benefits. However, the past has shown us that the large-scale sourcing of natural materials – even when utilized for climate-friendly purposes – can result in adverse consequences such as the degradation of ecosystems, biodiversity loss, community displacement, and public health issues, amongst other challenges. For any carbon removal approach to work at scale, especially those reliant on traditionally-mined alkaline materials or biomass, incentives must be aligned from the start, and a project’s direct and indirect impact on material production and land management must be modeled, tracked, and measured.

Running Tide commits to providing transparency in our sourcing, reporting annually and publicly on the raw materials we use. Our decision-making process is guided by the fundamental principle of creating measurable positive impacts on the climate, biodiversity, and communities, both through the materials we research and deploy, as well as the suppliers we choose to partner with.

Optimizing climate benefit

It is our belief that a carbon removal system, especially one that intervenes in the natural environment and relies on sourcing natural materials, should seek to achieve the highest climatic benefit while minimizing any adverse localized impacts. The system should be designed to have a net positive impact, inclusive of benefits to the climate, ecosystem, and affected communities; it should be designed to be deployed safely, with appropriate safeguard mechanisms and controls in place; and, while starting small, it should be designed for scalability, such that it has the potential to scale to the size of the problem.

Utilization of natural materials

Running Tide’s carbon removal approach utilizes readily available natural materials that, where possible, , including terrestrial biomass, alkaline minerals, and macroalgae. This combination of materials produces a system that is inherently adaptable, enabling it to effectively respond to the dynamic conditions found within the ocean environment. Additionally, the system is designed to leverage multiple natural pathways for carbon removal, is comprised of readily available natural materials, and is simple in its structure, enabling flexibility, scalability, and .

Prioritizing residues

To minimize the carbon intensity of our materials, we prioritize the beneficial reuse of benign waste products in our supply chain, including residues from existing calcination processes in the cement industry or lower-grade biomass left behind from existing harvesting and processing of biomass products (e.g., wood, agricultural crops, etc.). Regarding all residue products, it is a requirement for Running Tide’s suppliers to confirm that our commitment to purchasing such materials does not lead to any compromise in their operational efficiency. In other words, suppliers must assure that they will not deliberately generate additional waste simply because they are aware of a growing market demand for it.

External review and best practices

As we develop and operationalize our sourcing approach for material inputs, Running Tide will seek guidance from our Scientific Advisory Board, convened by Ocean Visions, which enables a direct mechanism for collaboration and oversight with leaders and experts in the scientific community, along with internationally-recognized experts in the forestry, mining, and shipping sectors. This will include annual reviews of our Responsible Sourcing Strategy (this document) to ensure that we stay abreast of best-in-class approaches for sustainable sourcing considerations, and to ensure that our sourcing decisions are reflective of the best available science. Processes have also been designed for supplier vetting and ecological and biogeochemical testing of materials to ensure compliance with sustainability and ethical standards, alongside adherence to required material specifications.

This sourcing strategy has been developed by a cross-disciplinary team of sourcing and logistic experts, carbon market experts, and scientists across Running Tide, and in collaboration with a number of external leaders in the environmental and forestry spheres. It has been developed based on the best available science and industry best practices, as well as learnings from our initial carbon removal operations and large-scale material sourcing throughout 2022 and 2023. We expect this sourcing strategy to continue to evolve as our material and geographic footprint expands, as we garner additional feedback and recommendations from scientific and industry experts, and as carbon removal industry guidelines for material sourcing continue to mature.

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