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BC Road Builders Association, DevvStream ink carbon offtake agreement

DevvStream will pre-purchase 25,000 carbon credits generated in 2024 and 2025

IMAGE: BCRB vice president Matt Pitcairn
BCRB vice-president Matt Pitcairn. (Courtesy the BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association)

The BC Road Builders and Heavy Construction Association (BCRB) has entered into the first offtake agreement of its new greenhouse gas reduction program with DevvStream Holdings Inc.

Vancouver-based DevvStream has agreed to pre-purchase 25,000 carbon credits generated by the program in 2024 and 2025. It will have a right of first refusal for any additional credits generated by BCRB.

The program is set to become operational by early next year, with the first verified carbon credits expected to be delivered by late 2024.

“As an industry, we recognize that transportation in general is one of the larger emitters of greenhouse gases around the world. So we wanted to see how we could do our part to try and reduce our industry’s footprint," Matt Pitcairn, vice-president of the BCRB, told Sustainable Biz Canada.

"Not just our industry in British Columbia, but hopefully develop a framework that can be used in other jurisdictions around the world to help lower the GHG (greenhouse gas) impact of the transportation sector as a whole. Our angle is on the infrastructure, which facilitates the transportation sector.”

Founded in 1966, the BCRB is a non-profit organization representing firms in the B.C. road building and maintenance industry. Its 290-plus member companies include highway maintenance contractors, construction contractors, underground/utility contractors, paving contractors and various service and supply companies in the industry.

BCRB and DevvStream

Founded in 2021, DevvStream (DESG-NE) focuses on the monetization of environmental assets, with an initial concentration on carbon markets.

Pitcairn said the program has taken about two years to build and noted BCRB and DevvStream “were in great alignment.”

The program is designed to enable road construction and maintenance organizations across Canada and the U.S. to generate carbon credits by implementing eligible activities, including electrification of fleets and upstream equipment, as well as use of low carbon versions of materials such as asphalt.

It is expected to be registered under the Verified Carbon Standard program from Verra. Under the requirements of the program, only actions that exceed regulatory requirements are eligible to generate carbon credits.

All data will be verified by an independent verification body. There was no disclosure of which organizations would handle the verification at the time of publication.

“We haven't yet developed our first batch of credits, we're still putting foundation in place,” Pitcairn said. “So I can't comment on that yet.”

In May, DevvStream launched its own blockchain-based Buildings and Facilities Carbon Offset Program.

“By pre-purchasing carbon credits from the BC Road Builders Program, we are not only supporting the reduction of carbon emissions but also fostering innovation in the construction and maintenance industry. This project exemplifies the kind of forward-thinking solutions needed to address the climate crisis,” Sunny Trinh, DevvStream’s CEO, said in a statement.

“We look forward to developing our partnership with BCRB to expand this program to other regions beyond North America."

Future of BCRB’s offtake program

Pitcairn said there will be an initial focus on fuel-switching. "If that's moving from light-duty diesel pickup trucks to light-duty electric trucks (or) looking at what technology exists to convert other equipment to electric."

He hopes to prove the model to get buy-in from the industry, and "expand the eligible activities that we can look at to further help the industry reduce its greenhouse gas footprint.”

Pitcairn sees the program potentially being used in other Canadian provinces and even in the U.S., although there is no official timeline for this expansion yet.

He also acknowledged the possibility of changing the eligible activities involved in the program down the line as technologies progress and presumably improve.

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