The founder and CEO of Wild + Pine is building a company to maximize the use of a powerful tool to decrease carbon dioxide and mitigate the effects of climate change: the tree.
"Here in Alberta, we're builders, we're tool-makers, we're innovators — we love looking for how we build that next solution, when ... it's been here all along," Chris Kallal told Faaiza Ramji on Episode 20 of Bloom, Taproot's innovation podcast. "We're pretty good at building refineries. But we're also pretty good at planting trees."
Wild + Pine, which caught the attention of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau when he was in Edmonton in April, grows the seedlings that will become the engine of that nature-based carbon removal. It also engages in afforestation — that is, reclaiming ground that had been cleared for agriculture or industry — to put those trees to work. But the opportunity to make an even bigger difference is in selling carbon offsets to businesses of all sizes, in a "verified and transparent and measurable way," Kallal said. That's the idea behind the new StoneWoods Forest Carbon Project.
Kallal is a forester by trade, but he recognizes that to achieve Wild + Pine's lofty goals, he's going to have to focus on the growth of more than just the trees.
"The scale of what we're being asked for is simply not achievable by a small business," he said. "So that's kind of my job over the next six to 12 months. How do I position Wild + Pine so that we can grow?"
Listen to the episode to learn more about what Wild + Pine has done and what's next. And you'll hear about some other climate-solutions news, including a new funding program from Alberta Innovates targeting innovation in agri-business and bioindustry.
Photo: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a bundle of seedlings in the Wild + Pine in April 2022. (Supplied)