CO2 storage through humus build-up

The soil plays a key role in climate protection because it binds large amounts of carbon (C). If this breaks loose, it is combined with oxygen (O2) to produce the greenhouse gas CO2.

At present, the condition of soils worldwide is extremely poor. Humus is being lost, fertility of the soil is decreasing and carbon is being gassed into the atmosphere due to incorrect farming practices. Current agriculture is hardly capable of ensuring sustainable food security and contributes significantly to the climate crisis.

Regarding climate protection, the humus content of soils is therefore a crucial factor, as humus consists of 58% carbon. However, the humus content is very low on most agricultural soils, which means that they can act as important carbon sinks. As a result, agricultural land offers enormous potential to delay and reduce the man-made greenhouse gas effect.


As part of our HUMUS+Program, soil samples are taken by a certified independent expert and analysed by a similarly certified and independent laboratory (see also "Quality standards"). In the course of the soil analysis, the humus content is determined and expressed as a percentage of the dry matter.  When converting to absolute values (i.e. in kilograms, related to the unit area), the density of the soil and the coarse skeleton content must be taken into account in addition to the carbon content.



How to calculate


To illustrate the calculation method we use an example of a field with 1 hectare and a humus content of 1%:


What is calculated? Unit Explanation Calculation Result
area 1 ha =10000m²   10 000 m²
soil volume sampling depth 0,25m 10 000 x 0,25 = 2 500 m³
fine soil Coarse skeleton (stones, etc.) must be deducted. With 5% coarse fraction there is 95% fine soil. 2 500 x 0,95 = 2 375m³
specific weight t/m³ Depending on humus content: At 1% humus: 1.5 (t/m³) 2 375 x 1,5 =  3 563 t/m³
humus content t Humus content (t) at 1 % humus 3 563 x 0,01 = 35,63 t
Carbon content t Humus consists of 58% carbon 35,63 x 0,58 =   20,67 t
CO2- content t The conversion from "C" to "CO2" is done with the factor 3.67 20,67 x 3,67 =  75,9 t