DeepGreen Pens Open Letter To BMW, Volvo, Google, Samsung SDI & Other Brands
DeepGreen has written an open letter to various brands, such as BMW, Google, Samsung SDI, and Volvo. Before I dive in and share the open letter, I want to re-share what DeepGreen is: a deep-sea mining company that has a vision of a zero-carbon, circular economy with goals to source metals with the least environmental and societal impact. I interviewed its CEO, Gerard Barron, back in August of last year — you can read that here.
In more recent news, DeepGreen announced that it will soon combine with Sustainable Opportunities Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: SOAC), which has deep operational and capital market capabilities in the energy and resource sectors. DeepGreen will soon be renamed The Metals Company, Inc, once this deal is closed, but for now, it is still DeepGreen and that is who the open letter is written by.
Open Letter to Brands Calling for a Ban on Seafloor Minerals
The open letter by DeepGreen, which you can read here, states that the company shares the same goal as BMW, Volvo, Google, WWF, and others who want to achieve net-zero emissions while also protecting the oceans and other ecosystems from climate change.
DeepGreen started its letter to the brands by agreeing that seafloor mineral development should be approached cautiously and with an exacting commitment to science-based impact analysis as well as environmental protection. The company’s mission is to provide battery metals sourced from deep-ocean nodules that generate zero solid waste. There are not toxic tailings, and when compared to land-based sources, they produce a fraction of the carbon emissions.
“Such environmental benefits can be achieved only through collecting polymetallic nodules, 4,000 meters deep on the abyssal plain where the abundance of life is up to 1,500 times less than in the vibrant ecosystems on land from where battery metals are currently sourced. Nodules lie unattached on the seafloor, and DeepGreen’s approach to collecting them differs from other extractive processes that could affect the integrity of the seafloor crust that are the impetus for the moratorium being put forth by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).”
DeepGreen noted that the largest land-based deposits of nickel, which is a key ingredient in EV batteries, lie beneath biodiverse, carbon-sequestering ecosystems in Indonesia and the Philippines. Brands that choose not to look at alternative mineral supplies will, unfortunately, be complicit in increased deforestation and destruction of terrestrial habitats. Polymetallic nodules, such as what DeepGreen sent me as a gift for my mineral collection last year, can deliver key battery metals with up to 90% fewer carbon emissions equivalent. And with no child labor.
“In order to achieve electrification of the vehicle fleet without destroying terrestrial ecosystems, we need to explore creative solutions for the mineral supply chain, including the responsible use of seabed minerals. Car companies like BMW and Volvo that are pledging to go all-electric should focus sourcing decisions on actual indicators of impact, and once they see the full data, they will most likely reconsider.”
DeepGreen also brought up the important role of battery recycling in regards to meeting future demand but noted that it is irresponsible for major companies to advance the notion that this will be enough for the transition to EVs. Currently, there is still a lack of available material for recycling. The company noted that there needs to be a massive injection of these metals in order to create a sufficient stock if we want to stop extracting from the planet and enable a closed-loop economy.
“A life cycle sustainability analysis on battery metals demonstrates that obtaining critical metals from ocean nodules has the least planetary impact in terms of biodiversity, carbon, ecosystem services and human communities. We believe the science is on our side, and that the consumers ultimately will be, too.”
DeepGreen noted that the science that WWF is calling for is the same science it is doing. The extraction of ocean nodules can not happen until rigorous, multi-year environmental impact studies are conducted, vetted, reviewed, and approved, DeepGreen pointed out.
“If this peer-reviewed science, which is a major contributor to society’s knowledge of the deep sea, shows that the risks outweigh the benefits, the global community through the International Seabed Authority — not WWF — can decide that extraction will not occur.”
You can read the full open letter and the following list of detailed notes here.
Featured image provided by DeepGreen.