Many people do not know that the solution to climate change is right under our feet, the ground.
Agatheia, the first accelerated start-up from STEP Tech Park, will explain in detail what we meant through our opening sentence.
Today, we officially open the series of interviews with the start-ups that have joined the STEP-IN program!
Davide and Gianmario are Agatheia’s founders and creators of NoiCompensiAmo project. They are two environmental scientists but also two convinced environmentalists who have embraced the mission of sustainable agriculture.
Hi Davide and Gianmario, can you explain to our community how the startup and NoiCompensiamo were born?
At the end of 2016, UNI published the first standards for regulating the voluntary market of carbon credits from agroforestry practices. So, during the following months, we decided to give the idea a chance. Starting to promote good agronomic practices achieved by sustainable agriculture using the carbon credits.
What do you mean exactly?
Our model is very simple. We calculate the carbon footprint of a farm according to UNI EN ISO 14064:2019 (Carbon Footprint of organizations) regulation and the resulting credits go on the voluntary market. In this market, companies interested in offsetting their CO2 emissions are able to communicate their commitment to sustainability and can get credits to compensate for their emissions.
NoiCompensiAmo was born to support specific areas from scientific dissemination to education in schools, going through collaborations with other start-ups, always keeping in mind the topic of CO2 compensation. What is the current status of the project and what are the future plans of NoiCompensiamo?
We have already accomplished some certifications with companies in the Italian wine and hazelnut sectors and part of the certified credits have been resold to companies that have believed in our approach.
How does it work and what are the benefits for a farmer?
We analyze the carbon footprint of the farm and the lands are analyzed together with the support of third-party laboratories.
The farmers get additional services according to their needs. This whole process of calculation, certification and analysis is Agatheia’s responsibility and the resulting data is shared with the farmers who can elaborate improvement strategies for their own company. Furthermore, it helps them to implement agronomic practices that reduce soil erosion, the use of agro-drugs and chemical fertilizers. Following these tips, the capacity of the soil will improve to gradually absorb and release rainwater, counteracting the catastrophic effects of heavy rains.
The transition to a sustainable economy passes through the standardization of a tool like the voluntary carbon credits. What are the advantages for companies that choose to use credits for their compensation and why do you think they should choose to compensate through sustainable agricultural practices?
Nowadays, sustainability is a necessary path to respond to the rising knowledge of global consumers. We became increasingly sensitive and attentive to this topic and we ask for a similar commitment to companies in order to buy products and services that come from sustainable activities.
On the other hand, companies can only improve production processes and what we offer allows them to go to the next step by compensating for residual emissions that cannot be canceled in any other way.
Carbon Offsetting gives to companies an opportunity to differentiate from their competitors. It is a proper commitment to improving their environmental performance. In addition, they actively participate in the protection and conservation of the agricultural environment, increasing its capacity to supply eco-system services (water, air, soil, etc.).
Tell us about your latest project and how you neutralized the CO2.
The latest project concerned the calculation and emissions offsetting for a company in Ancona, Italy (t33 Srl) which provides evaluations, studies, and capacity building solutions to public administrations.
t33 has decided to neutralize their emissions for the years 2019 and 2020 through carbon credits made from sustainable agriculture projects.
They used credits created by Arnaldo Caprai through good agronomic practices. All credits are certified by ICIM SpA following a custom made protocol in collaboration with Agatheia Srl.
You were one of the first startups to apply for our STEP Call 4 Future 2020 and one of the first to join our acceleration program. You are now almost at the end of the acceleration program, so what did you like about the program and what are the advantages that you think could help any start-up that accesses the STEP-IN?
The opportunity we had to join STEP Tech Park was what we were looking for. We were lucky to work with experts from different disciplines and we were able to begin an in-depth analysis of our startup. This is an opportunity which we can definitely recommend to any person who has the dream to build a startup.