On September 7th Microsoft announced that they will pay $20 million to Heirloom in exchange for 315,000 metric tons of CO2 over a decade.
Heirloom is a Californian carbon capture startup company, who harness “the natural properties of limestone” to “capture CO2 pollution from the atmosphere and permanently store it in a range of ways, including in concrete,” a press release said. Heirloom says that their technology enables limestone’s natural ability to absorb CO2 from the air, changing the time scale it would take to do this naturally “from years to days.” Therefore, Microsoft’s investment is a huge step forward for Heirloom, as this deal will provide the company with funding and stability which is what it needs as the only Direct Air Capture (DAC) facility in North America. The CEO of Heirloom, Shashank Samala agreed that this a positive move for Heirloom as the funding will help their “rapid scale-up, fueling exponential growth like what we’ve seen in the renewable energy industry.”
This deal is also helpful for Microsoft as it brings them closer to their goal of being carbon negative by 2030, when they hope to remove more CO2 from the air than they emit. Currently Microsoft emits 13 million tons of CO2 per year, so the 315,000 metric tons of CO2 is a small addition, but a helpful addition, nonetheless. It is especially significant as Microsoft’s investment will help Heirloom grow and develop their business. They have already begun to do this with companies besides Microsoft as well, as they have started to work with Shopify and Klarna who are both receiving credits for helping to boost the technology which Heirloom uses.