Officials at Yamaha Motor Co. say the company made an investment in Andes Ag, a U.S.-based startup conducting research on beneficial microorganism technologies to remove CO₂ from the air. This marks the first investment made through the $100 million Yamaha Motor Sustainability Fund established in June last year specifically for investing in early stage companies working to address climate change.
This Andes investment, which has the goal of acquiring more knowledge about carbon credits/offsets and about natural sources for scalable carbon removal that can be applied in an agricultural context, was made possible through the company’s Silicon Valley-based group company Yamaha Motor Ventures (YMV), the corporate venture capital arm of Yamaha Motor Company.
Andes researches methods to use naturally occurring microorganisms to store atmospheric CO₂ in the soil. The company’s delivery platform uses seeds as vessels for microorganisms. As the microbes thrive in combination with crops (i.e., corn, soybean, and wheat), they convert atmospheric CO₂ into mineral compounds that capture and deposit the carbon permanently into the soil, generating carbon dioxide removal credits which are validated through soil sampling.
In the new Medium-Term Management Plan (2022–2024) announced in February 2022, Yamaha Motor reported that it was making its sustainability efforts a central theme. The Company is exploring new technologies and business models that contribute to sustainability in order to accelerate its carbon neutrality goals, according to a Yamaha Motor spokesperson.