California Dairies and DSM Venturing invest in carbon credit insetting firm Athian
The investment from DSM Venturing, the corporate venture arm of Royal DSM, and California Dairies Inc. (CDI), the second largest farmer-owned co-op in the US, concludes Athian’s seed funding round. In addition to the investment, two executives from CDI and DSM Venturing will join Athian’s board of directors ‘in an observer capacity’.
Previous investors in the business include Elanco Animal Health Incorporated, Tyson Ventures, and Newtrient.
Athian claims to be the world's first carbon marketplace, which enables the creation, banking, buying, and selling of certified carbon credits for the livestock sector.
Its platform is an analytics tool designed to financially incentivize farmers to advance on-farm sustainability measures. To earn revenue through the platform, farmers need to capture and claim carbon credits earned through sustainability efforts – whether that’s completed projects or ongoing ones.
Carbon insetting and offsetting: What’s the difference?
According to the World Economic Forum, the practice of carbon offsetting relies on obtaining carbon credits to ‘offset’ unavoidable emissions. That way, the provider of the credits benefits from implementing sustainability practices as well as earning revenue from the credits it has sold to the organization that required credits to improve its carbon footprint.
However, offsetting is associated with balancing the positive impact of emission reductions outside the company’s direct and indirect supply chain, and as such cannot replace tangible emission reduction practices. That’s where insetting activities are needed.
According to the International Platform for Insetting (IPI), the action represents an implementation of nature-based solutions such as reforestation, agroforestry, renewable energy and regenerative agriculture. Insetting is also associated with action that’s directly related to the company’s value chain. According to IPI, businesses are increasingly using insetting as a ‘credible and valuable’ solution to align their activities with global climate targets, and often transition from offsetting to insetting activities.