Renewable energy

Sympower: Do impact companies need carbon removal?

Sympower is the leading independent flexibility service provider in Europe. In 2019 alone, their services directly prevented the emission of 29,000 tons of CO2, spearheading the transition towards a greener energy landscape. Their own emissions were a tiny fraction of that. So why did the company choose to fully compensate their emissions although there was no pressure on them to do so? How did they get started? Which methods are the using and why? Read on to learn more about Sympower’s carbon removal strategy, and find out what’s next in their net zero journey. (Spoiler, it’s ambitious!)

Sita Bates

Forest and Nature Management Specialist



Based in



Renewable energy

Sustainable Strategy

All emissions with long-term CDR


Why carbon removal

Having a postive impact is no excuse for inaction

While the services of Sympower enable significant CO₂ reductions, the company still has operations, which include offices, web servers and business travel. All of this results in CO₂ emissions.

The emissions of Sympower are a tiny fraction of the reductions enabled, but they are still very real, and Sympower does not want to ignore them:

“Recognising that every effort matters and the urgency of the climate crisis, we find it essential to calculate our CO2 emissions to become conscious of their main contributors, to help us decrease them over time, and remove the remaining ones.”


From our conversations with Sympower, it was clear that there was no outside pressure from shareholders and clients to become either Climate Neutral or Net Zero. However, there was a strong drive within the company to take action, and this was shared by management.

This is also clearly reflected in the way the company has requested our support. Sympower has not made any big splashes about their activity, but instead asked Klimate to attend Sympower team day to teach everyone interested in carbon removal, and give them a change to ask questions.

This was a great way to engage employees, and make them feel that Sympower is going above and beyond what is expected in terms of sustainability.


Carbon removal strategy

How much do we need to remove and how?

When we started the conversations with Sympower, the company did not have a clear picture of their emissions, but they did have a few ideas about how to go about it:

- They were not looking to do this for marketing purposes - this was driven by internal passion for taking action on climate change
- They had not yet calculated their emissions, and needed guidance on how to go about it
- They were looking to do it in the right way, focused only on methods that permanently remove their emissions

Step 1 - Finding out how much to remove

At Klimate, we have taken a strong position that we do not calculate companies' CO₂ emissions, as we believe there is a clear conflict of interestHowever, as Sympower did not know their emissions, we started out talking to them about the different options for calculating their emissions.

We introduced Sympower to one of our calculation partners, as well as online resources to calculate emissions. In the end, Sympower decided to calculate their emissions in-house, which was mainly for two reasons:

  1. As mentioned, the company was not looking to use their removal for marketing. For that reason, they would not be subject to scrutiny under marketing laws, which in many countries requires third-party validation
  2. Doing it in-house saved on cost, freeing more budget to spend on carbon removal, which is where the positive climate impact really is.

If you are also starting your journey and need to calculate, you can learn more about different ways to do so here.

Once Sympower had figured out their emissions, it was time to figure out how much of it to remove, and how.

Step 2 - Selecting removal target and portfolio

From the start, Sympower was clear that they did not want to include short-term carbon removal options like planting trees.

This ruled out all of the portfolios with a relatively low cost per ton. Together with Sympower, we created a portfolio that was relying mainly on Biochar, but also left room for some more frontier solutions like Bio-Oil and Direct Air Capture.

The team at Sympower really bought into The Oxford Offsetting Principles, and wanted to ensure that they sent a strong market signal on top of removing their emissions. This is what the first portfolio looked like:

With this portfolio, Sympower encountered a relatively high cost, and the next step was to get it approved by the management, and the board. Specifically, they needed to decide if they wanted to opt for removal of all of their emissions, or start with a subset like scope 1 and 2.

In the end, they ambitiously decided to move forward with removing all of their emissions from 2020. Here’s what Simon Bushell, The founder and CEO of Sympower had to say at the time:

“I think that there is no one solution to the climate crisis. There is not a single group of people that needs to make a difference, it has to be a collective effort. If all of us come together, we have a good chance of reversing the damage. Collaborations such as the one between Sympower and Klimate are needed. In the end, we are all aiming for the same goal, only with different means.”

Simon Bushell, CEO, Sympower

This was early 2021, and we think it’s likely that Sympower must have been one of the first companies in the world to remove all of their emissions using permanent removal.

Sympower was a small company and had relatively low emissions, which made it more feasible for them than it would for larger companies. However, it is incredibly ambitious, and we are really proud that Sympower chose Klimate to join us on this journey.


Moving forward

A commitment to the future and the past

Future emissions

Since we started working with Sympower, they have repeated their commitment by offsetting their emissions for 2021, and we are working together to create long-term plans for securing access to carbon removal for the next 5 years.

At Klimate, we are creating CPAs, an instrument that allows us to leverage the future commitment of our clients to scale supply, and thereby secure the best carbon removal for the investment for our clients. Sympower is part of pioneering this model together with us.

Taking responsibility for the past

Meanwhile, Sympower has just announced that they are also removing all of their historical emissions. We are not aware of any other companies that have made this kind of commitment.



The leading independent flexibility service provider in Europe

Sympower's automated software platform allows them to harness the inherent flexibility of electrical processes and sell it on various balancing markets. Sympower’s daily operations create extra revenue streams for their customers, create a more reliable power grid, and help the transition towards renewable energy. The company is active in 12 countries and is helping hundreds of commercial and industrial businesses create more value by optimising their energy use through their flexibility services.

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Finding the right way to remove your CO₂ emissions can seem overwhelming. Our team is here to help. Book a meeting to walk through how our solution might fit your needs.

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