Tech Sector Workshop

When: 21st February 2022, 10.00-12.00 GMT
Where: Microsoft Teams

When: 21st February 2022, 10.00-12.00 GMT

Where: Microsoft Teams

What: Carbon Removal Centre convened a diverse group of stakeholders from the Tech sector to explore pathways for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) engagement in Tech organisations. This represented the ‘Engage’ stage of the Centre’s ‘Explore, Envision, Engage’ process, which is aimed at building organisations’ capacity on carbon removal from the bottom up.

Why: For 18 months, the corporate team at Carbon Removal Centre has been speaking to companies to identify the key questions and challenges they face on the topic of CDR. Previous work identified a series of ‘personas’ illustrating the different ways different corporates were approaching CDR. Each face different challenges, and may require different forms of support – yet this is not reflected in the current CDR debate.

To build on this, the corporate team sought to investigate whether these questions and personas were sector specific – with different sector contexts, including different emissions profiles; different infrastructure, expertise, and corporate values; and different value chains, shaping different approaches to CDR engagement. This would inform the clarification of CDR pathways for sectors.

Who: The session brought together 11 external participants, including:

  • Tech Sector Net Zero Body – Lead
  • Tech Sector Corporate (smaller) – Head of Sustainability
  • Tech Sector Corporate (smaller) – CEO
  • Tech Sector Corporate (smaller) – People Coordinator
  • Tech Sector Corporate (larger) – External Advisor
  • CDR Supplier (Enhanced Weathering) – Head of Carbon
  • CDR Trading Platform (Forestation) – Co-founder
  • CDR Trading Platform (Biochar) – Co-founder
  • CDR Trading Platform (range of methods) – Head of Climate
  • CDR Consultancy – Sourcing Manager
  • CDR Networking Group – Co-founder

Members of the Carbon Removal Centre team also participated, including:

  • Victoria Harvey – Corporate Engagement Team – facilitation
  • Francesca Battersby – Corporate Engagement Team – facilitation
  • Tom Mansfield – Programme Coordinator – facilitation
  • Richard Heap – Civil Society Engagement Team – representing civil society persona based on research
  • Mark Turner – Communications Lead – workshop coordination
  • Anisha Solanki – Corporate Engagement Team – workshop coordination

How: In this session, participants were asked to assume a persona, and explore a hypothetical scenario from the perspective of that persona. The scenario involved two Tech sector companies, Company A, and Company B.

  • Company A: An SME with less than 200 employees. Their Scope 1 & 2 emissions are minimal, but Scope 3 is large. They have limited financial resources to focus on climate strategy.
  • Company B: An international corporation with 3000+ employees with a history of high profile ESG issues. They have significant Scope 3 and legacy emissions. They have a large climate budget and are considering large-scale removals.

These companies were considering two possible pathways for CDR engagement:

  • Supporting the Market: Companies buy credits for carbon removals that have already taken place, or will take place in future. Helping CDR to develop by giving suppliers confidence that there will be a market for their product.
  • Building the Market: Companies help to develop the CDR pipeline, for example by investing in technologies or developing their own projects. This also involves other initiatives to support CDR, like building market platforms.

Participants were asked to compare and contrast the (i) drivers and advantages and (ii) challenges and risks of each approach for their persona.

The persona- and scenario-based approach seeks to separate the discussion and the outcomes from the specific organisations involved, and allow an open and exploratory discussion.


  • Tech organisations bring a different cultural dynamic to the idea of corporate CDR engagement. CDR activity in the Tech sector is driven by ‘a culture of being more in risk-taking and trying new things and moving fast and breaking things. Not just doing what everyone else has done.’ [Tech Sector Corporate (larger) – External Advisor]
  • Tech organisations have the opportunity to catalyse CDR development by applying their unique expertise to create the tools for this new sector. ‘There’s a shift into web three environments where you’re seeing a much more innovative certification dynamic coming along, where people are looking for alternative environments to certify, verify and trade credits outside of this very traditional sort of offsetting market… It’s something that tech companies could be right at the heart of if that’s an area of evolution that they wanted to get involved in.’ [CDR Supplier (Enhanced Weathering) – Head of Carbon]
  • Companies vary significantly in size, and different approaches will be needed to realise impact. ‘The smaller ones will struggle to play in this market frankly because of the costs of some of these and how they can play… If you can combine forces with a community group and then all come together, then you can get to the same scale as one large company. So if there can be like a UK consortia or small tech providers that say and perhaps that’s an option to take things forward.’ [CDR Consultancy – Sourcing Manager]
  • Different approaches are needed. ‘It was very interesting to hear these personas. The bigger companies and the smaller companies and how different the perspectives and the needs are… I think that that is maybe the main question, from my side that I leave with – how to serve the different size of buyers with their different needs.’ [CDR Trading Platform (Biochar) – Co-founder]