Bamboo as a natural carbon sink

Bamboo is a natural carbon sink, biologically speaking species of the grass family. They have a unique dense rhizome structure that contributes to the rapid growth rate of bamboo shoots and culms.  Moreover, when a bamboo culm is harvested, the rhizome system is still alive and it will produce new shoots again in the following growing season.
This combination of rapid growth and continuous annual recurrence of shoots and culms means that over time bamboo groves functions better as natural carbon sink than tree forests.  A 2019 report from BAMCORE in the USA claims that woody bamboo afforestation and reforestation:

  • Significantly out-performs wood afforestation and reforestation
  • Provides best near-term carbon capture
  • Ultimately leads to more carbon capture and storage per hectare of land

The significant role that bamboo can provide for climate mitigation is even more striking when bamboo’s potential to create durable products is taken into account.  

With modern technology, bamboo products for furniture, interior design and construction are long-lasting and generally recyclable.
When you combine bamboo’s potential displacement factor with bamboo’s natural carbon sink, well managed bamboo forests can sequester from 200 to almost 400 tons of carbon per hectare or around 800 to 1.450 tons of ‘carbon dioxide equivalent’ per hectare.
Our long term goal of 8.000 hectares of bamboo plantation in southern Europe would mean that we could help to store up to 3 million tons of carbon per year or some 11 million tons (!) of ‘carbon dioxide equivalent’.  By comparison, the emissions of carbon dioxide in the whole of the UK was provisionally estimated to be in the order of 360 million tons in 2018.

rhizone structures brings a natural carbon sink