Press release

Indigo Launches The Terraton Initiative™ to Remove One Trillion Tons of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere by Unlocking the Potential of Agricultural Soils to Sequester Carbon

Sponsored by Businesswire

Indigo Agriculture, a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help
farmers sustainably feed the planet, announces the launch of The
Terraton Initiative™ to accelerate carbon sequestration at an
unprecedented scale. For the first time in human history, atmospheric
carbon dioxide has exceeded 415ppm, representing an increase of one
trillion tons – or, a teraton – of atmospheric carbon dioxide since
pre-industrial levels of 280ppm. Utilizing the potential of agricultural
soils, The Terraton Initiative seeks to remove one trillion tons of
carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With Indigo’s integrated approach to
agriculture, and partnerships with representatives from across the value
chain, The Terraton Initiative will unlock the most scalable, immediate,
and affordable opportunity to address climate change that exists today.

Regenerative farming practices, currently implemented by a small
percentage of growers, are management techniques that sequester carbon,
while restoring soil health and resiliency. Minimal tillage, cover
cropping, crop rotations, and perennial cropping, among other practices,
increase soil’s carbon content, water permeability, and water retention,
which also increase a crop’s ability to withstand drought and flooding.
If implemented on the 3.6 billion acres of farmland across the globe,
regenerative farming practices, combined with increased scientific
understanding and new technologies, have the potential to return the
carbon levels in agricultural soils from an average of ~1% back to ~3%.
This shift is enough to account for the sequestration of one trillion
tons of carbon dioxide.

“The potential for agricultural soils to capture and store atmospheric
carbon dioxide is the most hopeful potential solution that I know of to
address climate change,” said David Perry, Indigo’s CEO. “It is the only
action we can take today that has an impact, potentially one trillion
tons, that matches the scale of the problem. Instead of just reducing
the speed at which we approach the climate cliff, leveraging
agricultural soils, combined with emissions reductions, enables us to
start backing away from the cliff entirely.”

To catalyze The Terraton Initiative, Indigo is creating Indigo Carbon™,
a market providing growers with the financial incentive to implement
regenerative farming practices and remove carbon from the atmosphere. In
partnership with the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) and
other organizations, Indigo will use its digital agronomy capabilities
and satellite imagery analysis to measure and verify soil carbon
sequestration and on-farm emission levels.

The other side of the market will be made up of food companies looking
to offer products that are climate positive, businesses seeking to be
carbon neutral, not-for-profit organizations seeking to maximize the
impact of their sustainability investments, investors and insurance
companies seeking to hedge climate risks, and individuals that want to
contribute to climate change solutions. Growers who join Indigo Carbon
within the first twelve months are eligible to receive a minimum of $15
per metric ton of carbon dioxide sequestered. The market price will
ultimately be set by supply and demand, but at $15 – $20 per metric ton,
Indigo Carbon offers the most economical price to remove carbon dioxide
from the atmosphere, while providing substantial incentives to farmers.

Ed Smith, Head of Indigo Carbon, said in a statement, “Transformational
change requires more than just commitment. We have to align incentives
across the entire system. Doing that will require engagement from within
and outside of agriculture. This includes AgTech companies, input
providers, non-profits, government agencies, consumer packaged goods
companies, retailers, and each of us as consumers.”

Partnering initially with the Soil Health Institute, The Rodale
Institute, and a network of grower partners, Indigo is launching The
Terraton Experiment, the world’s largest atmospheric carbon
sequestration experiment. The goal of the experiment, which will include
tens of thousands of farms followed for a decade or more, is to quantify
farming practices that maximize soil carbon sequestration and understand
the impact of these practices on farm profitability and crop nutrition.
The results of this experiment will form the blueprint for maximizing
soil carbon sequestration. Indigo will make the data from this study
available to other research institutions.

“Through the process of photosynthesis, agricultural plants have the
ability to economically pull more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere
than any other technology,” said Geoffrey von Maltzahn, PhD, Indigo’s
Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder. “The Terraton Experiment will
represent the world’s largest atmospheric carbon sequestration
experiment, bringing together growers and partners from across the
scientific community in an open-source platform. Through our combined
efforts, we expect to unlock ways to accelerate the drawdown of a
teraton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while enriching our soils
and improving the health of our food system.”

Sequestering one trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere
into the world’s agricultural soils will require effort from
stakeholders around the world and across industries, from technologists
and investors to consumers and growers. To encourage innovation and
participation in the effort, Indigo is launching several open calls to
action. This includes The Carbon Cup, a nation-wide sequestration
competition to spark on-farm innovation. Broken down on a
region-by-region basis, first place growers competing in The Carbon Cup
will receive recognition and a monetary prize for their efforts.

Additionally, Indigo is launching The Terraton Challenge, calling on
innovators and entrepreneurs to develop technologies for maximizing soil
carbon sequestration rates, improving soil carbon measurements, and
reducing the need for chemical and fertilizer inputs.

“Working with Indigo, I hope to get more farmers to grow with a
regenerative approach and improve the health of our global agricultural
soils,” said Rick Clark, a grower based out of Indiana. “If you are a
conservationist, and a good steward of the land, then you are building
soil health and will be better off financially. Soil health, to me, is
the main driver for our farm and its success.”

For more information regarding The Terraton Initiative, or if you wish
to join the effort to bring about a more beneficial agricultural system,
you can visit Indigo’s website here.

About Indigo

Indigo improves grower profitability, environmental sustainability, and
consumer health through the use of natural microbiology and digital
technologies. Utilizing beneficial plant microbes and agronomic
insights, Indigo works with growers to sustainably produce high quality
harvests. The company then connects growers and buyers directly to bring
these harvests to market. Working across the supply chain, Indigo is
furthering its mission of harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably
feed the planet. In 2019, Indigo was ranked #1 on CNBC’s Disruptor 50
list and #35 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list. The
company is headquartered in Boston, MA, with additional offices in
Memphis, TN; Research Triangle Park, NC; Sydney, Australia; Buenos
Aires, Argentina; and São Paulo, Brazil.