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Kubo's CO2-negative greenhouse technology explained

Greenhouses from polluters to carbon extractors

"The ambient air has enough CO2 in it to grow vegetables, but there's not enough ventilation in the greenhouse to ensure a continuous CO2 supply," says Wouter Kuiper with Kubo. This is why currently, external CO2, either bought or created by CHP, is added to the greenhouses. "As the windows of the greenhouse are often opened, the greenhouse industry eventually became a CO2 emitter," Wouter says. With the launch of their CO2-negative greenhouse, KUBO claims to have a solution to this problem. "We're taking the outside air and creating enough air movement to ensure the plants can take the CO2 from this air. Instead of being the polluter, greenhouses become the solution."

Five years ago, the company decided their mission was to combine CO2-negative cultivation with a positive ROI. "Sustainability needs to be affordable, which is possible", Wouter says. To reach this goal, they set up their own research and development facility – and now they've announced their goal is reached: growing CO2 negatively is possible. "To make it clear: It's not neutral. It's negative." The outside air is used as a continuous supply of CO2. Instead of using a CHP, they opt for low-grade heat in this new concept. The result of this cultivation innovation and technical adjustments to the greenhouse is now available on the market as the first CO2-negative greenhouse. "Effectively extracting carbon from the atmosphere during vegetable production."

Richard Jonkman, Kubo, is very clear about it: "We can maintain a stable climate and avoid stress in the plants, resulting in stable growth. Our solution will increase yield and decrease costs."

These details were shared during a digital round-table event with the central question of whether we should abandon the dogma that production growth and environmental pressures go hand in hand – and of course, Wouter fully agrees. "Regarding CO2 emissions, we're no longer a problem – we're a solution."

When asked whether the greenhouse horticulture sector is seen as a problem, round-table participants Jacqueliene Scheidsbach, Impact Centre of Erasmus, and Arne Bac, Rabobank, both answered affirmatively. On the other hand, Dutch entrepreneurs would do well to be adaptive and innovative, they also emphasize. In fact, the Netherlands is still a leader in exporting innovations and knowledge about horticulture. "They feel the pressure to maintain that position." Jacqueline sees the new solution of Kubo as a good beginning to lower the footprint: "It's an important piece of the puzzle."

Wouter adds that the retailer has a lot of influence in the transformation of the industry. Kubo is in contact with some of the bigger retailers and notices they more often ask for action regarding the sustainability of their suppliers. They're more than aware of the need for this: "That boat is sailing." And of course, EU directions like CSRD and ESG helped to make the need urgent. Wouter: "15 years ago we launched Ultra Clima. The CO2-negative greenhouse is the next step, which fits even better in these modern times with the actual topics."

Kubo is talking with three Dutch tomato growers about the concept, and there's more in the pipeline. After tomatoes, strawberries are what they look into. "Every crop has other needs to avoid stress. And the plant is key in finding the best solution according to us. So step by step. Feel free to contact us about it. We want to show our solution to the world."

Kubo is present on GreenTech Amsterdam in stand 01.516.

Voor meer informatie:
KUBO Group
Vlotlaan 710
2681 TX Monster
Tel.: +31 174 286 161
[email protected]