Soil quality is a growing focus in the sustainability space, and for good reason: Fertile soil naturally stabilizes the climate and ensures resilient supply chains. But a third of the planet’s land is severely degraded, and fertile soil is being lost at the rate of 24 billion tons a year, according to a 2017 United Nations-backed study. So, a small but growing group of companies — some directly in agriculture or ranching, others indirectly via sourcing — are investing in healthy soil initiatives.
Soil, no matter how healthy, may not be the spiciest climate solution. It’s not a giant machine that can suck carbon directly from the air — or is it?
In fact, Earth’s soils contain more than three times more carbon than is stored in the atmosphere, and four times more than the amount in all living plants and animals.