Microsoft has employed blockchain technology to purchase soil carbon credits in Australia. In combination with Regen Network — built on the Cosmos (ATOM) blockchain — the CarbonPlus Grassland credits were initially issued to two ranches in New South Wales.
The carbon credits are used as a measure of soil sequestration, which is the process of capturing atmospheric carbon dioxide and storing it in soil. This is achieved through Regen Network’s remote sensing technology, and is also said to help monitor animal welfare, soil health and general ecosystem health.
A total of 43,338 tonnes worth of carbon credits were issued to the Wilmot Cattle Co, in an initiative prompted by natural capital firm Impact AG, before Microsoft purchased them. The Wilmot ranchers have reportedly increased the concentration of soil organic carbon on their lands up to 4.5%, achieved through managed grazing practices. The ideal concentration of soil organic carbon is said to be 4–6%.
Microsoft announced in 2020 that it would seek to cut its carbon footprint to zero by the year 2030. What’s more, Microsoft also aims to eliminate an equal volume of carbon to that which it has been responsible for producing since commencing operations in 1975.
Regen Network CEO Christian Shearer celebrated the initiative, adding that it inspired hope in the concept of natural approaches to combating climate change.
“Our work with Impact Ag and Wilmot Cattle Co makes us more hopeful than ever that agricultural and nature-based solutions to climate change are not only real, but have the potential to rapidly sequester carbon and build resiliency into our food systems,” said Shearer, adding, “The scale at which Microsoft is purchasing carbon credits should give us all hope that business can and will be a catalyst for change.”