Aug 15 • 52M

Life Cycle Assessments with John Dees (Carbon Direct)

My Climate Journey podcast

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A growing body of knowledge about climate change and potential solutions. This series traverses disciplines, industries, and opinions with hundreds of deep-dive conversations with science, technology, and climate leaders.
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Today's guest is John Dees, Senior Science Analyst at Carbon Direct.

Carbon Direct is a science-first carbon management firm that enables organizations around the world to reduce, remove, and monitor their carbon emissions. They combine science, technology, and market expertise to help these organizations take action and reach their climate goals. They’re doing some incredible work with clients and portfolio companies spanning 28 countries.  

If you've been a longtime listener of the show, Carbon Direct might be a familiar name. The CEO, Jon Goldberg, and Chief Scientist, Julio Friedmann, have been guests in the past. We’ve also talked to Nili Gilbert who's the current Vice Chairwoman before she joined the Carbon Direct team. This episode is unique because John Dees comes from a different background. He's in the trenches, living in excel, and working on life cycle assessments (LCAs) for carbon emissions. We cover the process of doing these LCAs, their level of accuracy, and how they compare across different firms. We also talk about different incentives of the organizations that do LCAs and where they fit into the overall path for carbon removal and our clean future. 

In today’s episode, we cover: 

  • An overview of Carbon Direct and where John sits in their portfolio of services

  • Projects that require life cycle assessments (LCAs)

  • How he thinks about climate and how his perspective has evolved

  • How John got involved with carbon removal

  • Scaling carbon removal to a level that matters 

  • Characteristics to consider when selecting CDR technologies

  • Barries holding CDR back 

  • The process behind developing LCAs for different projects 

  • Types of clients and business drivers for Carbon Direct's LCA services 

  • The need for LCA standardization and challenges in doing so

  • Tooling for LCAs and blind spots 

  • Differences in LCAs between small vs. big companies and across sectors 

  • Incentives for a company to care about LCA accuracy 

  • For-profit LCA work vs. non-profit approaches 

  • When companies should start thinking about tracking LCAs

Full transcript of My Climate Journey podcast with John Dees

Episode recorded August 1, 2022

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