– De Beers will have access to potential carbon credits generated by Kelp Blue to complement the company’s core carbon reduction and removal strategies as it strives to be carbon-neutral across its operations by 2030
LONDON, UK – Media OutReach – 22 April 2022 – De Beers Group today announced it is investing US$2 million in Kelp Blue, an innovative start-up focused on growing and managing large-scale giant kelp forests, initially off the Namibian coast. These underwater forests have the potential to safely and permanently lock away vast amounts of CO2 in the ocean. Research has shown that kelp forests have carbon sequestration properties exceeding those of terrestrial forests and that they help sustain healthy marine ecosystems, providing food and shelter for countless species.
In line with De Beers Group’s Building Forever sustainability goals, the investment supports a pioneering nature-based solution for sequestering carbon and enhancing biodiversity, while also delivering skills development and job creation in Namibia, where De Beers has recovered diamonds in joint venture partnership with the Namibian Government for almost three decades.
In 2021, Kelp Blue was awarded a licence to cultivate Giant Kelp off the coast of Namibia and is now in the pilot phase. The business will contribute infrastructure development in and around the town of Lüderitz, benefitting the local community by creating employment and upskilling opportunities in kelp cultivation and processing. During the pilot phase, the business will generate a range of direct and indirect jobs in biotechnology, engineering, processing, support services and logistics in Namibia
The initiative will also support De Beers in its goal of being carbon neutral across its operations by 2030. While De Beers Group’s primary focus in achieving this goal will be on increasing efficiency and replacing fossil fuel and fossil-based energy from its operations with renewable alternatives, carbon credits resulting from the investment in Kelp Blue will support the company in removing any remaining emissions, alongside other nature-based initiatives.
Neil Ventura, Executive Vice-President, Strategy and Innovation at De Beers Group, said: “We are committed to being carbon neutral across our operations by 2030, and to achieve this ambitious target we will need to recover a share of our emissions after we have removed and replaced the majority of the fossil fuel energy in our business. Instead of simply purchasing carbon credits on the market, we are looking to identify potential long-term, sustainable and innovative nature-based solutions for this – particularly those that can deliver additional carbon capture benefit beyond our own business. While there is still work to be done to understand more about the scale of opportunity, Kelp Blue is an innovative start-up with significant potential, and we are proud to invest in its future.
“Alongside protecting the natural world, another priority of our Building Forever sustainability framework is to partner with communities in our host countries on sustainable development opportunities. The potential benefits in Lüderitz and elsewhere in Namibia – in terms of employment and supporting ‘green’ solutions to wider challenges – highlight just how well Kelp Blue’s objectives align with our own sustainability approach.”
Daniel Hooft, Founder and CEO of Kelp Blue said: “We are very pleased to have De Beers alongside us, thinking about the future, today. De Beers has communicated its commitment to protecting the natural world through its 2030 Building Forever sustainability goals, with its focus on carbon neutrality, minimising its water footprint and delivering a net positive impact on biodiversity. These are one hundred per cent aligned to Kelp Blue’s core passion and purpose. De Beers’ early investment in our offshore pilot – a world first in terms of scale and ambition – specifically helps us accelerate the quantification and verification of the carbon sequestration pathways, which is essential for the whole seaweed industry in terms of scientifically establishing the potential of this novel nature-based solution.”
About De Beers Group
Established in 1888, De Beers Group is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers Group employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with diamond mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. Innovation sits at the heart of the De Beers Group strategy as it develops a portfolio of offers, including its jewellery houses, De Beers Jewellers and De Beers Forevermark, and other pioneering solutions, such as diamond sourcing and traceability initiatives GemFair and Tracr. De Beers Group is committed to ‘Building Forever,’ a holistic and integrated approach for creating a better future – where safety, human rights and ethical integrity continue to be paramount; where communities thrive and the environment is protected; and where there are equal opportunities for all. De Beers Group is a member of the Anglo American plc group. For further information, visit www.debeersgroup.com.
About Kelp Blue
Kelp Blue is a sustainable oceanic aquaculture enterprise focused on addressing the challenges of climate change and restoring the health of marine ecosystems through cultivating giant kelp. The kelp canopy will be harvested year-round to produce sustainable agri-foods and bio-stimulants. Founded in 2020, Kelp Blue has its headquarters in The Netherlands and operations in Namibia. Kelp Blue’s management team delivers accelerated change by combining decades of experience and expertise from multiple industries. Through the creation of marine ecosystems, Kelp Blue’s Namibian operations are aligned with the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goal Number 14: Life below water. Kelp Blue is committed to diversity, 60% of the workforce is female. Visit http://kelp.blue/ to learn more.
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