Founded in 2019, Puro.earth is the world's leading crediting platform for engineered carbon removal. Puro.earth help companies globally in their science-based journey to net-zero. The company evolved into its current form at the Valkea Growth Club startup accelerator founded by Fortum. Puro.earth entered a new phase in its development when the US-based Nasdaq, Inc. acquired a majority stake in Puro.earth in 2021 to elevate its ESG offering.
The challenge: Digital Platform for Carbon Credit Lifecycle Management
Most carbon emission compensation systems primarily focus on reducing emissions. Puro.earth exclusively concentrates on removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and is a pioneer in creating several of the world's first planned carbon dioxide removal methods. Puro.earth requires its partners to use scientifically validated removal methods to capture and store CO2 sustainably with industrial-scale potential.
Puro.earth certifies suppliers according to the developed Puro Standard. To be issued CORCs under the Puro Standard, carbon removal suppliers go through a vigorous verification process by independent, accredited third-party validation and verification bodies to confirm that their products are truly carbon net-negative. Puro.earth CO2 removal certificates (CORCs) are issued through the Puro registry.
Climate- and environmentally-conscious companies purchase CORCs directly from suppliers or via a third-party marketplace of their choice. CORCs can be used to neutralize carbon emissions in a sustainability or annual report or can be resold. If a company wishes to use the certificates to neutralize emissions, the certificates must be retired in the Puro Registry so that their ownership or beneficiary for the CO2 removals cannot be changed. These CORC certificates are no longer available for sale, and the resale of retired CORCs is prohibited.
Puro.earth identified early on the need to digitize the data collection and processes related to its operations and understood the opportunities offered by digitization for effectively sharing information outward. Tracking the lifecycle of a carbon removal credit is essential for building transparency and accountability in the market, as it ensures that multiple individuals or entities do not claim the same credits for the same activity.
Puro.earth started its operations practically with manual processes but has systematically sought to digitize its operations to reduce human errors and enable scaling. The digitization process began in 2021, and a partner was also sought to build the platform.
The solution: Eficode's Comprehensive Service
After a thorough search, Puro.earth selected Eficode as its development partner, and
collaboration began in early fall 2021. SVP, Head of Platform at Puro.earth, Tony Risikko,
described the initial situation:
"Puro.earth started its operations manually. The lifecycle of
CORCs has been recorded in the registry since day one, while our operational processes relied on manual processes. However, this approach exposed us to human errors and was poorly scalable. That's why we started digitizing the process in early 2021 and looked for a partner to assist in building and developing the platform."
The project started from a clean technical slate, free from existing constraints or outdated systems. The main task was to develop the frontend and backend systems to manage CORCs, providing a data repository for storing CORC-related information. The solution was technically complex, and the system was critical for Puro.earth's business operation and development.
The project team applied agile project management methods and used modern technologies and programming languages to ensure the system's performance and scalability would be as good as possible. Initially, the project used AWS as a cloud service, but the application was migrated to Azure with Eficode's help in early 2022.
For source code management and CI/CD, the team used GitHub, GitHub Actions, and GitHub Packages. All coding was done in TypeScript, and infrastructure was managed on the Pulumi platform, enabling the use of the 'Infrastructure as Code' model. The architecture of the developed system is based on microservices, to which various integrations were created through API interfaces.
The project has been extremely interesting from a technical perspective, allowing the team to work with the latest technologies right from the start. Special attention was paid to using modern and scalable technologies in the choice of tools. Adriaan Knapen, who served as the lead developer for the project from Eficode's side, also states:
“The project was technically interesting and challenging. Plus, it was great to be involved in a project that has real significance in the fight against climate change.”
Tony Risikko comments: “The modern software development, cloud, and DevOps practices used in the project have proven to be valuable, enabling the construction of efficient deployment
pipelines and cloud implementations. The project is a good example of a technically advanced, efficient, and Agile-based initiative.”
Observation: Get the basics right first
Tony Risikko, who led the project from Puro.earth's side, summarized the key findings behind a successful project as follows:
It is crucial to have the definitions in the initial stages of the project in good shape. In addition to technical details, it is essential also to understand and document the business needs that guide technical development.
Project management and the Scrum Master's role were central when a small, rapidly growing team built the platform and its features. This allowed the technical team to stay abreast of business needs and thus work efficiently constantly.
Another key to the project's success was that the team provided by Eficode was professional and well-versed in the chosen techniques. The group dynamics worked well, and the team members complemented each other.
Eficode helped ensure these aspects, which facilitated project execution and contributed to the project's success.
The benefits: A banking-grade system that enables scalable business
Over a little more than one and a half years, the project team has developed a functioning and scalable system that allows for seamless and verifiable management of the lifecycle of CORC certificates. This ensures that all parties get the necessary information and that the entire operation can be audited comprehensively.
Eficode's project team says the system resembles banking systems in its complexity and
demands, as Puro.earth's business credibility largely relies on the system being functional and reliable.
Puro.earth's clients, such as Microsoft, Shopify, and the insurance conglomerate Swiss Re, can manage their carbon removal credits quickly and safely through this system. When a client reports that they have neutralized their avoidable emissions from the atmosphere by purchasingCORCs, the system can break down the basis for the carbon removal credits from production onwards.
As part of the Nasdaq group, Puro.earth aims to grow its business, help its clients reduce CO2 emissions, and develop their ESG activities. The system implemented with Eficode enables this now and well into the future.