Pachama is a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in developing solutions for forest restoration. It was founded in 2018 and was named in honor of Pachamama, the Mother Earth goddess for the indigenous people of South America. The stated mission of the company is to solve climate change by restoring forests. Pachama harnesses satellite imaging with artificial intelligence to measure carbon captured in forests. This technology provides transparency and assurance to carbon buyers worldwide. Every project on the Pachama platform is validated using remote technology to ensure that users are supporting credible carbon projects. Investors include Bill Gates's climate venture firm and Amazon. Some partnerships include Gitlab, Microsoft, SoftBank, World Surf League, Glovo, and Shopify. The company states that it hopes to democratize carbon credits, giving small farmers and family-owned forests access to vital funds.
Pachama's cofounders, Diego Saez-Gil and Tomas Aftalion, are from Argentina. Saez-Gil, who acts as CEO of the company, began his career building technology companies in the United States and returned to South America and traveled to the Amazon rainforest. There he saw deforestation and realized the potential of forests to solve climate change. He then moved to California and joined forces with CTO, Aftalion, where the two started the planning phase for the company by thinking about the role technology could play in protecting and restoring Earth. The two partnered to create a company to restore nature to solve climate change.
Pachama uses machine learning with satellite imaging to measure carbon captured in forests. Pachama satellite models are trained using a vast network of partner field plots in order to apply the models to brand-new forests, making carbon and biomass estimates without manually measuring more trees.
Pachama uses artificial intelligence for monitoring and is used for remote verification and monitoring, providing a new standard of assurance in the impact of these investments. LiDAR technology, which uses light to measure distance, converts to create 3-D representations of a forest. This is supplemented with a range of other satellite data, including high-resolution imaging. The company also utilizes data from the previous years of a forest’s history to infer what would have happened to the forest without a carbon project. The company uses radar data to monitor forest canopy and catch deforestation as it may be happening. Pachama’s stated goal is to develop these tools into a suite that can be used by organizations and individuals to create new forest carbon projects, preserving and growing millions of hectares of forest worldwide.
Pachama builds solutions with the intention of modernizing forest carbon markets. It has a platform that allows users to review and support forest efforts around the world. The platform is intended to simplify the process of buying and selling carbon credits and allows companies to track projects through data.
A carbon credit is a financing tool that is designed so people can support projects that are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or recapture carbon from the atmosphere. A single carbon credit is equal to one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent gases. The United Nations Kyoto Protocol formalizes carbon credits and develops key principles and rules for guiding verified credits. Pachama works exclusively with projects that have third-party verification and pass the company's own standards.
Purchasing carbon credits allows users to support forest projects through the Pachama marketplace, offset different companies' emissions, and restore nature. The company states it has protected and restored over 1.5 million hectares of forest, validating more than thirty forest projects on three continents as of November 2020.
Pachama Originals is a program that allows individuals and companies to invest in forest projects. Those who invest in a Pachama Originals project get benefits including a guaranteed supply of carbon credits, a fixed rate for future carbon credits, and technology-backed insights throughout the project's lifetime.
Diego Saez Gil - How Pachama Uses Tech to Solve Climate Change
January 28, 2020
How AI startup Pachama brings transparency to carbon offset projects
March 9, 2021
Innovation in Carbon Capture and Utilization: Pachama
June 26, 2020
March 14, 2019
Pachama Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum
June 15, 2021