Unique XPRIZE Partnership with Ukraine’s Hemp Technology LLC Delivers Sustainable Housing While Removing Over 1,000 Tonnes CO2e
Hemp for the XPRIZE! Tao Climate, a trailblazer in sustainable solutions and a selected member of Google’s Startups for Sustainable Development program, proudly announces its finalist entry to Elon Musk’s XPRIZE Carbon Removal contest. In collaboration with project partner Hemp Technology in Ukraine, the project focuses on deploying hempcrete housing for 170 internally displaced people and war orphans in Lviv, Western Ukraine, while permanently and safely removing over 1,000 tonnes of CO2.
Tao Climate, a member of the Berlin-based Greentech Alliance, leverages cutting-edge technology to grow hemp at scale, and make a positive impact on the environment by effectively removing CO2 at scale. The collaborative project with Hemp Technology LLC, a Ukrainian hemp building company, and Hempire, which supplied materials locally, underscores the power of nature, sustainable innovation, clarity of vision, and social impact, providing a compelling and effective solution to the climate crisis.
XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling the biggest threat facing humanity – fighting climate change and rebalancing Earth’s carbon cycle. Funded by Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation, this $100M competition is the largest incentive prize in history. Tao Climate and Hemp Technology’s finalist submission signifies a bold step forward in the quest for scalable, impactful solutions to the climate crisis. Tao Climate has already successfully passed several milestones in the competition to make it into the final.
The joint submission revolves around the construction of sustainable hempcrete housing for 170 internally displaced people and war orphans in Lviv, Western Ukraine. A third party has independently verified the safe and permanent sequestration of the captured CO2. Hempcrete is a composite material made from hemp hurds, lime, and water. This centuries-old construction material not only provides resilient, efficient shelter but also offers unparalleled environmental benefits, including permanent carbon sequestration. Tao Climate’s vision is to actively support Ukraine’s sustainable reconstruction with hempcrete buildings, during and after the conflict.
While energy-intensive mechanical carbon removal solutions like Direct Air Capture (DAC) aim to mitigate climate change by extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they often face significant limitations when compared to the natural prowess of industrial hemp. One of the major drawbacks is the speed and scalability of the processes. DAC technologies require substantial energy inputs and intricate machinery, making the removal of CO2 a slow and resource-intensive endeavour.
In contrast, Industrial hemp can capture up to 15 tons of CO2 per hectare, through photosynthesis, in a growth cycle of only around 100 days, as recognised by the EU Commission. Hemp cultivation on only 25% of the world’s agricultural land used for dairy and livestock would close the UN Emissions Gap of 23Gt of CO2e annually. Industrial hemp emerges as an environmentally conscious crop, displaying an impressively minimal demand for water and flourishing without the necessity of pesticides or herbicides. Its cultivation not only benefits important microorganisms in the soil but also promotes the well-being of crucial pollinators such as bees. Particularly noteworthy, in hotter climates, industrial hemp can be harvested up to three times per year.
The conventional construction industry accounts for 8% of global emissions annually, with cement production being the main driver for the industry’s negative effect on our climate. Industrial hemp emerges as a key player in the pursuit of carbon neutrality with the proven potential to minimise or even replace concrete usage and pave the way towards a sustainable construction industry.
Notably, industrial hemp can also replace fossil fuels and fossil fuel products such as plastic.
This groundbreaking initiative not only showcases the transformative potential of hemp-based construction but also emphasises the efficacy of community-driven solutions to global challenges.
“At Tao Climate, we are unwavering in our commitment to harnessing the power of nature for a sustainable future,” affirms Gary Byrnes, CEO of Tao Climate. “Our collaboration with Hemp Technology represents an ideal synergy of innovation, environmental stewardship, and social impact. Together, we present our finalist submission to the XPRIZE Carbon Removal contest, highlighting the vast potential of hempcrete housing to mitigate carbon emissions and uplift lives.”
Sergiy Kovalenkov, Founder of Hemp Technology, emphasises, “This project exemplifies the power of collaboration and creativity in addressing complex global challenges. We are thrilled to partner with Tao Climate and contribute to the advancement of sustainable solutions through hemp-based construction, pioneering a new era of environmentally friendly housing that prioritises both people and the planet.”
Felix Roick, COO of Tao Climate, states, “We have proven that our model works under the harshest of circumstances. What we have achieved in Ukraine is remarkable. With our technology, we can scale up and easily replicate it around the world. We’re effectively removing CO2 from the atmosphere while enabling sustainable housing for millions of people worldwide. It’s a win-win for the planet and humanity.”
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Learn more about the XPRIZE Carbon Removal contest.
Hempoffset is an operating brand of Tao Climate.
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Founder and CEO at Hempoffset.com and TaoClimate.com.
Hempoffset works with hemp growers and makers worldwide, to capture and sequester CO2 at scale, while building a sustainable world.
Tao Climate works with companies and individuals that want to measure, minimise and manage their carbon footprints. Tao Climate is the way to carbon neutral.
We are proud members of the Google Startups for Sustainable Development program.