Lowering nonprofit building costs with carbon capture technology

Stylized shot of the Clean O2 Carbon Capture Units.



Carbon Capture for Nonprofits pilot project uses small-scale carbon capture technology as a new, innovative solution for addressing climate change and lowering nonprofit operating costs.

Nonprofits in Alberta are facing unprecedented pressures associated with the continued economic and environmental challenges in our province.

For nonprofits that operate buildings, energy conservation measures can help reduce their environmental footprint while also improving their financial resilience through lower overall operating costs.

But, finding ways to reduce energy use in buildings can be time-consuming and expensive, making it difficult for nonprofits to lower their costs.

To help reduce overall operating costs in an inexpensive way, small-scale carbon capture and storage units can be used to instantly reduce building energy use and emissions.

CleanO2 has developed an innovative modular solution, the CarbinX™ unit, capable of reducing building heating system emissions by up to 20% by combining carbon capture and waste heat capture in one system.

The carbon capture and storage technology developed by CleanO2 captures CO2 from the equipment exhaust before it is released to the atmosphere and sequesters it through chemical reaction into a solid product. The heat from the exhaust as well as the exothermic reaction within the unit is recovered and used, resulting in lower natural gas consumption.

The CleanO2 business model not only includes free preventative maintenance for their customers but also helps contribute to the creation of valuable products (such as soaps and detergents) made from up cycled and permanently sequestered CO2, also known as pearl ash.

That is why Alberta Ecotrust Foundation, with support from lead partner Cenovus Energy Inc., has collaborated with the technology provider, CleanO2, to launch Carbon Capture for Nonprofits.

“This initiative helps to progress small scale carbon capture for alternative uses and allows nonprofit organizations to dedicate more of their financial resources to their primary work,” said Susan Grey, Director, Sustainability at Cenovus. “This will have positive outcomes for a number of groups across the nonprofit spectrum and demonstrates our commitment to help solve environmental, economic and social challenges.”

This program works with nonprofits, charities and social housing organizations in Calgary and Edmonton to install the Clean O2 CarbinX™ unit in nonprofit buildings, so they can reduce emissions, lower costs, and improve building performance.

Carbon Capture for Nonprofits will explore the potential emission reductions associated with the units, with implementation projected in the next year.

As a Visionary Partner of Alberta Ecotrust, Cenovus has invested more than $1 million into the organization over time, and now with their investment as lead partner on this project, we will aim to install 4 units in nonprofits across Calgary and Edmonton this year.

This project is part of our Climate Innovation Fund, which targets major urban greenhouse gas emissions in Calgary and Edmonton by identifying, investing in and scaling up a broad range of solutions that address climate change.

About the Climate Innovation Fund

Alberta Ecotrust Foundation is a founding member of the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network, implemented in partnership among seven local centres across Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Funded by the Government of Canada, LC3 is part of a national investment in municipal climate action to accelerate urban climate solutions and to help achieve Canada’s climate goal of net-zero by 2050.

As an LC3 centre, Alberta Ecotrust received a $43.4 million endowment from the Government of Canada to create the Climate Innovation Fund. The Fund provides programming in Calgary and Edmonton, taking on a nimble, accelerator role, complementing and advancing the leadership work undertaken by the municipalities. Learn more about the Climate Innovation Fund.

For more information, please contact:

Jessica Lajoie, Program Specialist, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation