The Moerdijk company Sivomatic has already delivered one of the most economical and environmentally friendly cat litter on the market. Now they are taking it even a step further. Sivomatic wants to be climate positive and does so by storing 250 tonnes of CO2 from the air in the soil of a farmer through Carbon Farming. This corresponds to 235,000 packages of cat litter. This collaboration has been established together with the farmers’ organization ZLTO.
Carbon Farming offers an innovative solution where CO2 is removed from the air and collected as organic matter in the soil. The plants and crops on the farmer’s soil convert CO2 into carbon chains via photosynthesis. The organic matter built up in this way also promotes soil fertility and the growth of crops. Sivomatic embraces Carbon Farming and collaborates with arable farmer Arjan Schrauwen from Zevenbergschenhoek. In the coming years, he will work to bind CO2 in the soil in his fields.
Soil management and biodiversity around the corner
On the basis of scientific research, a set of agricultural measures has been developed that make it possible for a farmer to fix CO2 from the air in the soil for a long time. Plants and crops convert CO2 from the air into biomass. Various measures ensure that the carbon bound in this way is actually retained in the soil. The selected measures are feasible and provide the greatest possible benefit. Measures such as green manure and catch crops or small-scale tillage are important measures for soil life, eg in the form of worms. Better underground biodiversity also leads to more above-ground biodiversity: food for birds and other animals. Field edges with deeply rooted plant species bind carbon from the atmosphere in plants and soil. In addition to CO2 sequestration, there are additional benefits: biodiversity is increasing and agriculture is more resistant to climate extremes.
50 tons of CO2 per year
Over the next five years, field farmer Arjan Schrauwen will have to work a stone’s throw from the Sivomatic site in Moerdijk. He receives a financial compensation per measured tonne of captured carbon and is guided by experts on the way to an optimal result. The farmer captures 50 tonnes of CO2 in the soil every year with the help of Sivomatic’s financial contribution. ZLTO monitors progress using (soil) measurements and annual reports.
Hendrik Hoeksema (Director ZLTO): “The farmer ensures a direct reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere by binding carbon in his soil. The whole world is looking for new ways to sequester carbon while forgetting the power of local farmland. From ZLTO, we connect businesses and farmers to capture carbon locally with visible results for the immediate environment. “
This means that in 5 years no less than 250 tonnes of CO2 will be captured in the ground, which would normally remain in the air. In comparison, this corresponds to the CO2 emissions from Sivomatic’s production of 235,000 packages (6L) of cat litter.
About Sivomatic’s sustainable ambitions
Sivomatic has been investing in sustainability for years. Jeroen de Ridder, CEO of Sivomatic: “We are proud to work with a carbon farmer in the area. We hope to be an example in the Netherlands, our production sites elsewhere in Europe and our parent company in America. Sivomatic attaches great importance to corporate social responsibility. The production sites in Moerdijk and Austria have been climate neutral for years and certified according to the Climate Neutral Certification standard from the Climate Neutral Group, verified by Ecocert, which means that every year we reduce the calculated footprint of the sites and the product to -50% in 2030 and 100 % in 2050; we compensate for the rest of our emissions. We see the transition to climate positive as a very logical next step in our sustainability ambitions. “
Local CO2 cycle
More and more companies are seeing the need for climate-positive business operations. This can rarely be done all at once. Compensation for unavoidable CO2 emissions can be a transitional measure. Compensation is often sought far from home, such as tree planting in South America. Would it not be even better if companies had the opportunity to organize CO2 compensation locally? Many farmers in the Netherlands are eager to get started. Therefore, ZLTO connects supply and demand.
The Schrauwen-Deijkers partnership has been serious about producing more sustainably for years. Agerlandmand Arjan Schrauwen: “We participate in various projects such as Clean Water for Brabant, BodemUP and Duurzaam Praktijknetwerk Akkerbouw. For us, it all started with the Skylark project and later developed into a challenge to work more and more sustainably. We are increasingly reducing chemical plant protection through mechanical weed control. For years, we have maximized fertilization with coarse farm manure and green compost and less and less with artificial fertilizer. A few years ago, we started with Non Turning Soil Preparation, which ensures a richer and better soil life and a year-round overgrown soil. This ensures even more carbon sequestration in the soil. We see the collaboration with Sivomatic as a good opportunity to contribute to their climate ambitions. It is nice to see that two very different companies are striving for the same ambitions ”.
With this step, Sivomatic wants to demonstrate that the carbon cycle works locally with the help of farmers and with visible results in the immediate vicinity. Hopefully many more companies will use the power of a local CO2 circuit in the future! More information about carbon farmers can be found on the website: www.go2positive.com.
Photo: Unveiling of collaboration on carbon agriculture at Sivomatic Moerdijk. Pictured (from left to right): Jeroen de Ridder (Sivomatic), Arjan Schrauwen (farmer), Pauline Joosten (Moerdijk municipality) and Kathleen Goense (ZLTO).