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One of South Korea’s largest banks backs carbon-credit generation with biochar

NH Investment & Securities, a prominent South Korean securities firm, has teamed up with 4EN to venture into the agricultural carbon-offset credit market. With over 120 branches and subsidiaries, NH provides various financial services, including investment banking, wealth management, brokerage services, and merchant banking. Now, it also plans to back biochar initiatives in its carbon-credit market strategy.

One of Korea’s Largest Banks Backs Carbon Credits_visual 1

While the purchase of carbon credits dropped last year, their demand is expected to rise, particularly for hard-to-abate emissions sectors. Carbon credits from land-based projects, such as agricultural carbon credits, are becoming increasingly popular as they are considered higher quality.

Within NH’s investment framework, biochar will be produced by converting spent coffee grounds or cow manure into a charcoal-like substance. Biochar can absorb and store carbon when buried underground, making it a viable option for carbon credits. Additionally, biochar can enhance soil nutrients, increase crop yields, and improve soil carbon dioxide retention.

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NH's parent company, Nonghyup Financial Group, has over two million member farmers who can supply plant residues and animal waste to generate biochar. NH plans to convert waste from Nonghyup's massive agricultural sector supply chain into biochar (or even electricity), thus promoting sustainable farming practices while generating carbon credits.

NH's deal with 4EN, a Seoul-based biochar producer, is expected to generate 167,000 tonnes of carbon credits by 2030. 4EN focuses on developing alternative fossil fuels and quantifying greenhouse gas reductions, particularly from biomass and waste resources from agricultural fields and industrial activities. 

With the potential to generate biochar credits priced between $3 to $20 per metric tonne of carbon dioxide, NH's entry into the agricultural carbon-offset credits market is expected to be profitable. Especially for hard-to-abate industries, being able to offset one’s carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits is a significant step in balancing out carbon emissions. Check out DGB Group’s projects generating carbon credits and restoring nature, designed to pave the way to a net-zero future.

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