7. Material and Supplier Vetting

As mentioned throughout, Running Tide has implemented a number of internal checks and balances to ensure that suppliers across our carbon removal supply chain are aligned with Running Tide’s values and that the materials we purchase are environmentally and socially sound. These internal processes are described below:

Supplier identification

Running Tide identifies suppliers of interest based on material availability, geography, and pre-screening of company environmental standing via public documentation. We vet suppliers through additional channels based on relationships developed through our Scientific Advisory Board and similar experts throughout climate and natural resource management related fields, and engage directly with environmental NGOs, universities, and industry groups with relevant expertise in environmental stewardship and community relations. Once relevant suppliers have been identified and vetted through the appropriate channels, our full diligence process begins.

Supplier data sharing

As part of the diligence process – and prior to agreeing to material procurement – Running Tide evaluates a potential supplier’s value chain and the carbon intensity of their operations, which directly informs their potential eligibility as a Running Tide supplier. We seek counterparties who have completed at least an initial assessment of their carbon footprint and have a mature sustainability strategy in place, or who are currently working with potential counterparties to complete this assessment, and have clear reporting and disclosure processes.

Supplier initial risk screening

Running Tide conducts initial screenings to ensure that any potential supplier takes appropriate measures to ensure workplace safety and ethical business conduct, and is monitoring and minimizing negative environmental impacts across its operations. In addition to ensuring environmental protection and compliance, this process includes screens around health and safety (such as compliance with occupational health and safety laws and regulations) and human rights and fair labor practices (including anti-discrimination and the prohibition of child labor or forced labor), along with a deep-dive into a potential supplier’s publicly available documentation (such as , the supplier’s Annual Report, and the supplier’s Annual Sustainability Report, as applicable).

Material evaluation

While the process is dependent on the type of material in question and the material’s origin, the general process flow for evaluation prior to sourcing is as follows:

  1. Biological carbon removal materials are assessed based on how endemic they are to the region in question.

  2. Environmental and socioeconomic impacts of material production are assessed to promote ethical sourcing of materials.

  3. The additionality of materials is assessed (i.e., the expected end state of the materials in the absence of Running Tide activities and the associated impact on the fast and slow carbon cycles), along with the expected embodied emissions associated with their production and transportation. Candidate materials are pre-screened for potential environmental hazards, including harmful trace, minor, and major elements, pesticides, and herbicides. Running Tide does not pursue any materials that exhibit abnormally high concentrations of potential environmental hazards during this initial stage of screening.

  4. Experiments are conducted at Running Tide’s laboratory facilities and in collaboration with external labs to analyze the biogeochemical evolution of input materials, including dissolution, leaching, and remineralization, in order to maximize the net carbon sequestered through our activities while minimizing any negative environmental impacts.

  5. Additional experiments are conducted to monitor potential ecological and biogeochemical impacts:

    • Experiments are conducted both in the lab setting and (eventually) in the field, and the natural waters (seawater, groundwater) that have reacted with the deployed materials for environmental hazards are screened and tested. The resulting concentrations of analytes (elements, herbicides, pesticides) are compared in these water samples to their concentrations in unreacted (i.e., control) waters and – for regulated analytes – to the range of concentrations allowed by law to ensure that concentrations in the reacted waters do not pose an environmental hazard. Running Tide does not pursue any materials that generate reaction products that exceed these thresholds during this second stage of screening.

    • Environmental impacts of our activities on the seabed are assessed by conducting experiments in which we place the materials that are intended to sink to the ocean floor in benthic environments proximal to planned deployments sites. The impact of placing these materials on the ecology (diversity and abundance of species) and biogeochemistry (DIC, POC, DOC, pH, alkalinity, DO, elemental concentrations, nutrients, turbidity, etc.) of these environments is then quantified.

  6. Reacted waters are screened from successively larger field trials to monitor potential ecosystem impacts. Water samples are collected to monitor for a similar suite of environmental parameters (DIC, POC, DOC, pH, alkalinity, elemental concentrations, turbidity, etc.) as evaluated during the laboratory and smaller-scale field experiments. The resulting concentrations of the analytes present in the larger-scale field trials are then compared to the concentrations of these analytes in unreacted (i.e., control) waters and – for regulated analytes – to the range of concentrations allowed by law to ensure that the concentrations in the reacted waters continue to not pose any environmental hazard when deployed at successively larger scales.

Supplier Code of Conduct

All suppliers must sign Running Tide’s Supplier Code of Conduct, which ensures their compliance and commitment to Running Tide’s operational and ethical standards. The Supplier Code of Conduct covers a range of mandatory requirements suppliers must adhere to in order to exhibit their commitment to safe and responsible business practices, including considerations around legal practices, human rights and fair labor practices, health and safety considerations, and third-party compliance and monitoring.

Supplier Climate Attestation

All suppliers must sign Running Tide’s Supplier Climate Attestation, which details the environmental and climate requirements a Running Tide supplier must strive for and adhere to. The goal of this Climate Attestation is to both reduce Running Tide’s own value chain emissions as well as to encourage our suppliers to take action to mitigate climate change and increase their level of sustainability disclosure. This attestation is modeled on procurement best practices across a range of sectors, including Salesforce’s supplier Sustainability Exhibit.

While rigorous testing of materials prior to their procurement and careful supplier vetting alone will not ensure the intended positive impact, these actions help to set a high bar that both our suppliers and materials must clear prior to being incorporated into Running Tide’s carbon removal operations.

Last updated