Apr. 22, 2021
Indigo Agriculture
Sumitomo Corporation

Collaboration Agreement for Agricultural Soil Carbon Storage

Sumitomo Corporation and Indigo Agriculture (hereinafter, “Indigo”) are pleased to announce that the parties have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to explore new business approaches to improve the sustainability of Sumitomo's existing businesses, looking at a wide spectrum of areas centering on agricultural technology and soil carbon storage in Japan and Asia.

One potential collaboration includes Sumitomo’s investment in agricultural carbon offsets through Indigo Carbon, a program designed to support farmers in transitioning to practices that reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by maximizing soil carbon sequestration and abating on-farm emissions. Agriculture, currently a major carbon emitting industry, has the potential to be a nature-based solution to climate change. Through a set of farming methods, known as regenerative practices – including crop rotation and cover cropping – farmers have the ability to curtail on-farm carbon emissions and pull atmospheric carbon dioxide into their soils. 

These methods, however, entail increased on-farm workload and production costs. To support farmers in transitioning to these practices, the Indigo Carbon program provides a financial incentive to farmers in the form of a third-party-verified carbon credit for soil carbon sequestration and on-farm emissions reductions. The program enables companies to turn to agriculture as a nature-based means of achieving their climate goals by purchasing verified agricultural carbon credits. Ultimately, the Indigo Carbon program aims to facilitate a shift to sustainable farming while improving grower profitability and addressing the climate crisis. 

Sumitomo Corporation will collaborate with Indigo to explore new businesses approaches to higher added value for existing businesses, looking at a wide spectrum of business areas centering on agricultural soil carbon storage. Additional areas of exploration include: sale of carbon-free LNG and steel oil/gas pipes with carbon credits; generation of carbon credits in Japan; and expanding the distribution of Indigo’s biological seed treatments. Under the Agreement, Sumitomo Corporation and Indigo are exploring potential paths to addressing the global challenge of achieving a low-carbon society.

Indigo Ag improves grower profitability, environmental sustainability, and consumer health through the use of natural microbiology and digital technologies. The company’s scientific discoveries and digital platforms benefit stakeholders across the global agricultural ecosystem, including tens of thousands of growers across millions of acres. Working across the supply chain, Indigo Ag is furthering its mission of harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet. In 2019, the company launched Indigo Carbon – a scientifically backed program that provides growers with a new revenue stream in the form of verified agricultural carbon credits. Indigo Ag is headquartered in Boston, MA, with additional offices in Memphis, TN; Research Triangle Park, NC; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Basel, Switzerland.

Sumitomo Corporation is a trading and business investment company. The entire SC Group consists of more than 900 companies in diverse fields such as Metal Products, Transportation and Construction Systems, Infrastructure, Media and Digital, Living Related and Real Estate, Mineral Resources, Energy, and Chemical and Electronics. Sumitomo Corporation will create a next-generation business that will contribute to carbon-neutral society, by establishing sustainable energy cycle and achieving decarbonization through the Agreement.


■ Overview of Indigo 

Company name : Indigo Agriculture
Head office : Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Established : 2014
Main business : Indigo is one of the world's leading companies in the agriculture sector, engaging in a range of operations across the agricultural ecosystem. The company has developed technology-driven innovative agribusinesses, such as: production of microbial-coated seeds, performing AI-enabled search for effective microbes to enhance the growth of specific crop species; and online marketplace operation for farmers and buyers to engage in direct negotiations for crop prices and quality.

Corporate Communications Department, Sumitomo Corporation
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