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Bionic Planet: Reversing Climate Change by Restoring Nature

May 13, 2024

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Two weeks ago, climate pioneer Interface Inc announced they would become carbon-negative across all their operations by 2040, enabling them to move beyond the use of carbon credits.

Some people heralded this as a sign that the days of offsetting emissions are over, but that’s not exactly true – at least not yet.

Most companies aren't as far along on their climate journeys as Interface is, and we still need offsets to accelerate reductions in the next decade. The fact is a company's decision to offset or not depends on its unique circumstances.

In this episode of Bionic Planet, we delve into the remarkable journey of Interface, Inc., a flooring tile manufacturer that has been at the forefront of climate action since CEO Ray Anderson (pictured) the 1990s.

The episode explores how Interface's early efforts to offset emissions paved the way for their groundbreaking carbon-negative carpet line, which absorbs more greenhouse gas than it emits over its lifecycle.

We replay a 2021 interview with Buddy Hay, the industrial engineer who played a pivotal role in quantifying Interface's emissions, and we detail the company's transition to offsetting, the challenges they faced in measuring and reducing their carbon footprint, and the evolution of the voluntary carbon market, the role of verification and validation in offsetting, and the importance of natural climate solutions -- as well as how the company used offsets the right way: to reduce emissions in the present while developing technologies that enabled it to move beyond offsetting in the future.

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