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De Beers invests USD 2 million in a start-up on Earth Day

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On the occasion of Earth Day, De Beers Group has invested US$2 million in Kelp Blue, a start-up focused on growing and managing large-scale giant kelp forests 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. 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.

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.”

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’ 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.”

 

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