Tao Climate Unveils Revolutionising Finalist Entry in Elon Musk’s XPRIZE Carbon Removal Contest

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.

We are proud that our project has also been mentioned in the Guardian.

Collaborative Project with Hemp Technology

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.

Tao Climate is finalist in Elon Musk's Xprize
Tao Climate is finalist in Elon Musk’s Xprize

Sustainable Hempcrete Housing

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.

Hempcrete vs. Mechanical Carbon Removal Solutions

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 primary drawbacks lies in 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.


Hempcrete accommodation for refugees in Ukraine

Hempcrete accommodation for refugees in Ukraine
Hempcrete accommodation for refugees in Ukraine

Transformative Potential and Community-driven Solutions

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.”

About Tao Climate

Tao Climate, a greentech software company, is committed to utilising technology for a positive, measurable impact on the environment and addressing the urgent challenge of climate change. Tao Climate’s mission is to unite industrial hemp growers and makers worldwide, to capture and permanently sequester CO2. By offering high quality carbon credits for sale, Tao Climate generates additional funds for industrial hemp growers and makers globally, ultimately increasing hemp production and closing the UN Emissions Gap of 23Gt of CO2 per year. The company’s proven model ensures the safe sequestration of captured CO2 for decades, in sustainable housing. Tao Climate delivers systemic solutions to the climate and housing crisis, at scale.

Tao Climate is proud to be a selected member of Google’s Startups for Sustainable Development program, leveraging a unique and strong competitive advantage gained through their close relationship with Google.

If you grow hemp, or process hemp and would like to team up with us, please fill out this form, or simply contact us. Thank you!

Watch our short video on YouTube here.

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