A Carbon Neutral Laptop Option

Our mission is to remake Consumer Electronics to respect people and the planet. We’re reducing environmental impact by designing products to last longer through easy repair and upgrade, maximizing use of recycled and recyclable materials, and finding ways to extend life through re-use, and we’re always looking for opportunities to do better. Today, we’re excited to introduce an option to make your Framework Laptop fully carbon neutral through carbon capture and sequestration. To celebrate Earth Day, all Framework Laptop orders through this Sunday, April 24th have $100 USD of carbon capture included for free!

We estimate that manufacturing and transporting a Framework Laptop generates a third of a metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. Most of the emissions come from processing materials like aluminum and steel and from energy-intensive chip fabrication. We’d love to see foundries and fabs improve their energy sources, but instead of waiting, we’re setting up a path to sink the same amount of carbon instead. We’re enabling the option for carbon neutrality by buying carbon capture and sequestration from carbon suppliers and reselling it through the Framework Marketplace. We’re committed to building a climate-conscious product ecosystem, so we’re doing this entirely at cost, passing through the pricing we pay and eating payment processing fees.

Our first supplier is Running Tide, an amazing startup based in Maine that is literally sinking carbon in the ocean through floating bio-buoys that grow kelp microforests over a period of months and then sink to the ocean floor, sequestering carbon for hundreds to thousands of years. The carbon sequestration industry is brand new, and Running Tide is one of the first companies to deliver practical carbon capture at commercial scale, with a path to bringing down costs in the future. We’ll continue to look for opportunities to fund creative startups in this industry to collectively scale up from kilotons to megatons and eventually the gigatons that are needed to head off climate change.

We’ve purchased 334 metric tons at $300/ton, which covers 1,000 Framework Laptops worth of emissions at $100/laptop. We’ll continue to buy more inventory as all of you order it. We’re designing ways to introduce this into the Framework Laptop ordering flow, while in the meantime you can pick it up directly from the Framework Marketplace to add to your order. Feel free to make your existing Framework Laptop carbon neutral or even buy carbon capture totally separately from a laptop!

25 Likes

That sounds awesome! Keep up the fantastic work Framework Team!

1 Like

Sinking carbon in the ocean? Does that even make any sense? Is that what “carbon neutral” means anytime someone says it?
It doesn’t decrease the demand for fossil fuels.
It isn’t free.
All the fruits are sank in the ocean aka destroyed.
In what way is this beneficial?

1 Like

It’s probably counted as environmentally beneficial because it’s removed from the atmosphere. The only way to actually eliminate it from the planet would be to shoot it into space. Someone must have done some kind of greenhouse math for this.
I’d be more concerned about how this upsets the oceanic biosphere. Taking biomass from the surface and sinking it in an unnatural way (albiet with natural materials, assuming the buoy is biodegradable) sounds like it would disturb the food chain and population levels. Granted, I’m not a biologist. And the minutiae of methodology probably isn’t worth the controversy in this space.

Carbon neutral does seem like a political scam to encourgare consumerism.
I would rather any ‘excess’ profit go to making the manufactuirng fair trade.

It not that we are all suffering from consumerism fallout but that some are getting treated worse and worse whilst other fly high and make it worse.

2 Likes

Give the people what they want.:slightly_smiling_face: It’s impressive that the Framework team is always coming up with fresh ideas. To me it sounds a bit like combining “paying it forward” and a social credit system. I do love the way you guys are always pushing the envelope, though. It’s exciting to be a part of this group of innovators, if only in a peripheral way.

The idea behind ‘carbon neutral’ is that an amount of carbon equivalent to that generated during manufacture of a thing is removed from the atmosphere, so production of that thing doesn’t increase the amount of carbon already in the atmosphere.

There are two aspects to managing pollution. The first is reducing generation of greenhouse gasses, which ends up with less carbon and other pollutants in the air. Achieving that is up to the manufacturers, and since reducing emissions costs more than not reducing emissions there need to be other incentives. The most common are tax credits, energy credits, reduced tariffs, etc; things that offset the cost. Earning public good will is another motivator, or a motivated board of directors who see reducing emissions as valuable despite the costs.

The second aspect is reducing the amount of carbon already in the atmosphere, which is where ‘carbon-neutral’ and sequestration come in: pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and locking it up somewhere else to reduce the overall effect of global warming. Sinking it in the ocean is an appealing approach because that’s one way nature already deals with excess carbon in the atmosphere.

Interestingly, almost every mass-extinction event in Earth’s history coincides with and was likely caused by increased volcanism, which pumps extreme amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and caused periods of global warming. Earth’s ecosystem eventually recovered from those events by sequestering that carbon in plants. In each case I understand it took hundreds to thousands of years to restore equilibrium.

The plants which sequestered that carbon millions of years ago eventually decomposed into the fossil fuels we burn today; we’re releasing ancient carbon nature sequestered from earlier warming events.

14 Likes

Sounds very interesting!

Does Running Tide have any kind of report on how well they’re doing? For example, how many tons of plants they’ve planted/CO2 they’ve dumped, what is their success rate, what are the running cost ($$ & C02) of these operations, etc.

Would like to purchase this once Framework comes to Japan, but would also like to know some more details beforehand.

1 Like

This is excellent to see! I’ve been supporting Climeworks and Wren for a long time, but I can’t support them right now on my disability pension.

I’ve looked into Running Tide a little bit and their science is really interesting. For those interested, Climeworks stores carbon in rocks deep underground (high cost per volume, but long-term sequestration), Wren supports and starts projects to prevent new carbon release and planting forests etc (very low cost per volume, but only short-term sequestration). We need all these strategies but they work on different timescales.

The carbon-loaded rocks at the bottom of the ocean are the planet’s biggest carbon storage unit. One of the ways that carbon gets there is through marine snow. Artificially sinking decomposing biomass to the bottom of the ocean sounds like exactly that on an accelerated timescale. SciShow did a video in 2020 that focused specifically on marine snow, but they talked a lot about the relationship to the carbon cycle in general.

I have heard rumblings of 3D ocean-farming projects in Maine, and it would be cool if what Running Tide is doing could help support that biosphere in a bottom-up approach.

2 Likes

A more detailed report or some charts on the emissions of the Laptop would be very interesting.

I think fair trade and carbon neutrality have to go hand in hand and I would love to see more engagement from Framework in both space.

2 Likes

Hi @Matthias_Schmitt and welcome to the forum.

I often see this apparent dilema when there is a choice between Fairtrade of workers and the environment. Where as they can go together my view is that environmental health is dependent upon Fairtrade.

If people are treated decently why care about the environment, and if people are not treated decently why care about the environment.

So I have a choice of T-shirts, [fairtrade] [organic] [second hand] in that order.
Whereas all of them can be seen to be carbon sensitive, fairtrade the least so, carbon nutrality is none of those.

So thank you for your thoughts.

All the best

Kudos to Framework for going beyond just the minimum to do business.

I am not that familiar with Running Tide, but I will certainly look into their methods.

As a land manager, permaculturist, and someone directly affected by the current mega drought in the western US, I would love to see other options available that would actively re-sink the short cycle carbon lost from our soils in the last century through our farming, ranching, mining, and development practices. Sinking carbon to the bottom of the ocean is definitely a long term benefit, but in my opinion, revegetation and restoring soil carbon will have a greater benefit in shorter time periods in terms of reversing desertification type climate change effects, restoring watershed function, and ecosystem function. “The Carbon Farming Solution” by Eric Toensmeier does a great job of putting facts, figures, and deployable methods to this problem. I am trying to implement these on the land under my direct control, and my wider watershed, and soon to be collaborating with Restoration Agriculture Development as they try to scale up their design and install of ecosystem based commercial scale agriculture.

So, my suggestion is not necessarily to stop the program with Running Tide, but to add additional options for which method / program to support.

Thanks F.W!

1 Like

on planet earth I think all this is an excuse to consume ‘permanently’ there’s no soul in extending human explotation under the guise of permaculture, carbon nutrality and the likes, but each is free to dig their own grave and drag others into the same or adjacent furrows.

The framework is fun and fairtrade would make it more palatable.

Hope this isn’t too antogonoistic but people will espouse their concerns and views and I find this environemental concern here and with Fairphione very disturbing.

Love the Framework the Fairphone and all you crazy people who bought one. It shows some great insight, not to the future but who you want to be.
:om:

I am not sure why you replied with permaculturist struck through. You state later that your intent was to not be antagonistic, but I cannot see any other purpose for that edit.

For now I will chalk it up to not understanding my meaning, and more importantly not understanding what permaculture is, does, and most importantly could do if more human activities were designed with its principles as guidance. There are quite a few using the word without truly comprehending its meaning and methods, so no surprise there. I will simply invite you to look more deeply into the subject, and will be happy to point you to the primary source writers and designers doing amazing work, if you care enough to ask.

Is doing “less bad” by the environment good enough? Nope. Is Framework doing less bad than the competition? Yup, so they got my money. All I was suggesting was a way to do just a little bit more good and give people more options. The bottom line is this: what atmospheric carbon reduction strategy will it take to pull back from mass extinction risk? All of them.

4 Likes

Yes I see what you mean. What I mean is that I agree broadly but not with permaculture, which clearly does raise the issue as to why, but I though it best to at least clarify my view that I do not accept or agree that ‘permaculture’ is of any use in the carbon neutral strategy.

But you pointis valid in that I probably could better have said nothing.

Been reading permaculture 40 years ago. My neighbours tout it and I have to ‘fight’ back.

Different philosophy. I have no future vision of mass extinction and consider it a hype, like religion ~ heaven or hell.

I could go on about Carbon Neutrality but I think my views are a bit extreem to be added too.

All the best. I have no specific problem with how others justify their consumerism, but this is a public forum I engaged in as I like the Framework ethic. I wouldn’t join a permaculture forum, or a vegan one, though I practice both for 50 years without such words.

The average carbon footprint in individual energy some 20 years ago was ‘estimated’ as the equivalent of 6 tones of hydrocarbons (UK and EU) 9 for the USA 11 for Canada.

The average for an Ethiopian was 28Kg, mine is the same about 28Kg. But I add another 3000 Kg as I live in a rich society and use computers and solar panel.

A carbon neutral laptop sounds like a delusion.

Will Framework respond to the recent issues at Running Tide?

1 Like

CO2 is food for plants. No matter how much we produce, there will always be plants who are happy to consume it.

We should be much more worried about the numerous other chemicals produced while making computers that are toxic, like heavy metals and phthalates.

Obsessing about CO2 is trendy now, because big business and big media have made it thus, but it is all meant as a distraction from the serious pollutants, which big business has no intention of decreasing.

Whereas I agree with your sentiment the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere isn’t being absorbed by plants quick enough to stop climate change.

However for those who want to help, next time you spend £1000 or $1000 on tech spend the same on a piece of land and let the rest of nature take it’s course. Plants will grow and absorb CO2. Don’t farm it, leave it alone and don’t invest in any Carbon scheme.

DIY

No conspiracy theories or political discussion here. There are plenty of other forums for that.

3 Likes

I’m a little surprised by your response but thought it best to clarify and not message you privately.

This is a response to the notion of carbon offsetting by Framework.

  • I have no conspiracy tendency that conflicts with the notion that CO2 is indicative of climate change.
    @Abe_Linkn didn’t really say there was conspiracy but pointed that there is an obsession with CO2 whilst other matters are ignored and I agree

  • However my action is to buy land, some 40 acres, let nature use most of it, grow my crops, I’m vegan, collect rain water and burn wood (oops CO2 creator)

I don’t think a carbon neutral laptop makes any sense as the laptop doesn’t live in isolation.

So am I to understand that discussing this notion of Carbon offsetting as being a valuable action is out of bounds, even though it seems Framework support this.

So no doubt any discussion that covers businesses trying to look ‘good’ can be seen as political with the current climate changes and business do conspire to make profit with an ever increasing cost to the environment.

Where I disagree with @Abe_Linkn is that the serious pollution on the planet is the so called ‘human’ race that exploits what, where and whenever it can.