The importance of transparency in keeping a climate-positive ball of wool untangled for Allbirds.
Photo Credit: Allbirds
At the heart of the world’s first carbon-neutral shoe lies a strong thread of sustainability, connecting the regenerative practices of Lake Hawea Station, the innovative spirit of Allbirds, and the cutting-edge technology of CarbonCrop.
The M0.0NSHOT.sneaker, which launched with an initial prototype today (27th June) at the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen, is made from merino wool sourced from Lake Hawea Station. This wool is climate-positive based on farm-level measurements. Alongside regenerative farming practices, Lake Hawea Station has an ongoing program of protection and restoration of its regenerating native forests through pest control and supplementary planting.
CarbonCrop plays a pivotal role in the background, responsible for the ongoing monitoring, reporting, tracing, and permanence guarantees of the carbon removals linked to the wool in the prototype M0.0nshot shoe. It’s these carbon removals that enable the 0.0 in M0.0nshot. Through counting and accounting, CarbonCrop ensures that the climate-positive wool for these shoes remains untangled, credible and impactful.
A tapestry of carbon sequestration
Lake Hawea Station is a working farm and has multiple carbon streams to keep track of. The carbon sequestered by the native forest on Lake Hawea Station is divided into four streams: the NZ Emissions Trading Scheme, the Voluntary Carbon Market, sequestration to back their climate-positive business, and sequestration to back their climate-positive wool for Allbirds.
CarbonCrop uses artificial intelligence and remote sensing data to measure and monitor changes in carbon stock. Multiple remote and local data sources - including satellite and aerial imagery, and calibrated field reference points - are stitched together by machine learning models to consider factors including forest species mix, stage of regeneration, and environmental factors. On a typical farm, we track more than a million data points to track carbon stock and ongoing carbon removals on every square metre of ground. When claims are traced back up the supply chain you find the unique carbon removal unit associated with every tonne of the claim, linked to the specific area of forest with the trees that removed that carbon and continue to keep it locked up out of the atmosphere.
The guardians of accountability
Like wine, carbon removals are counted in vintages and each year, new removals are issued for the sequestration that has occurred in existing and newly added trees. Each year, Lake Hawea Station chooses which carbon removals are dedicated to the ETS, to voluntary carbon removal offsets, which are kept in-house and which are dedicated to climate-positive wool. Each removal must be measured, monitored and reported on to allow for independent verification, year after year.
Equally important is the fact that stored carbon isn’t a one way street - we are constantly working with landholders to increase the carbon stored, but sometimes even the best efforts have setbacks. High integrity removals require continuous monitoring for accidental reversals - like forest loss to landslides or fire. If occurring, these reversals must be reflected accurately in the accounts and compensated for through removals elsewhere, like ‘reserve’ buffers of removal units held back to protect against these events.
Keeping track of all these carbon streams is complicated, especially when you need to constantly check for flows in the wrong direction. You are measuring and monitoring across time and space, and there are different reporting and accounting requirements for the different schemes. You simply can’t do this in a spreadsheet in a way that is transparent, robust and allows for independent verification - essential ingredients to build trust. CarbonCrop’s technology makes this easy.
Building trust through transparency beyond the numbers
Lake Hawea Station and CarbonCrop are committed to transparency and accountability as the only way to build trust in carbon accounting and in this revolutionary product.
These claims rely on carbon dioxide being removed from the atmosphere for over 100 years. Landholders are committing to protect and preserve the forest that underpins their accounts, and keep the carbon locked up in the native forest. CarbonCrop’s data-driven monitoring, reporting, and tracing make sure the incentives stay pointed in the right direction - carbon stock is increased and carbon stays sequestered. The trees grow and keep growing.
The journey of climate-positive wool from farm to feet relies on the vision and commitment of Lake Hawea Station and Allbirds. CarbonCrop’s systems help keep the climate-positive ball of wool untangled, transparent, and a beacon of sustainability.
Climate-positive means more carbon was sequestered in the wool production process than emitted.