When Future Forests, which would later become The CarbonNeutral Company, was founded in 1997, it had a simple goal: provide assistance to individuals and businesses looking to offset their carbon emissions. Their venture proved timely — that same year, participating countries adopted The Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCC to combat global climate change, bringing attention to the issue. The company quickly found a niche within the consumer market to go with its recognition among environmentally-conscious enthusiasts.
As general attention towards climate change grew, so did private sector businesses’ sustainability goals. Shifting away from just the individual consumer, the company began building innovative solutions to help businesses reduce their carbon emissions.
In 1998 the company coined and registered CarbonNeutral® as a trademark, facilitating certification of businesses that successfully offset their carbon emissions, and later became the first company to package and sell carbon offsets to business and consumers. By 2002, The CarbonNeutral Company became the first company to set up a global proprietary offset standard – The CarbonNeutral Protocol.
Today, The CarbonNeutral Company provides offset-inclusive carbon management strategies to both corporate clients and SMEs, sourcing carbon offsets from within the voluntary carbon markets.
Throughout this progress, the company navigated the changing tides of the carbon marketplace and was at the forefront of driving the implementation of the standards that now underpin the voluntary carbon markets through the establishment of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance. Through the experience of its team, The CarbonNeutral Company monitors upcoming policy changes and evaluates their impact on business. This positions the company to advise its customers – whether they are voluntarily managing their carbon footprint or striving to meet reduction targets in preparation for compliance schemes. Today, the company is fully equipped to create customized carbon portfolios for each customer, to help them plan carbon reduction programs, measure their carbon emissions, set and meet effective emissions reductions targets, and communicate their carbon reduction programs to stakeholders.
Since becoming the first company to establish a publicly accessible register of carbon reduction projects, The CarbonNeutral Company has greatly diversified its portfolio of carbon offset projects. With more than 220 projects on six continents, The CarbonNeutral Company is dedicated to not only reducing carbon emissions but also to providing more sustainable environments in the developing countries where the projects are situated. These projects can vary by type, standard, and location; popular projects include forestry initiatives in rural African regions, and methane capture initiatives in South America. Regardless of the project’s origin, The CarbonNeutral Company’s market-leading quality assurance scheme ensures that they are validated and credible. [See photos of a forestry initiative above.]
Though lagging policy initiatives have created an uncertain future for the compliance market, many businesses continue to take leadership in their sectors and meet customer and consumer demand by voluntarily managing their emissions. These offset programs offer businesses a market-based approach with cost effective and flexible opportunities to shift towards low carbon operations, products, and services. And they deliver much-needed private sector capital to resource conservation and renewable energy initiatives.
We are shifting to a low carbon economy, slowly but surely. The CarbonNeutral Company strives to be a resource for all businesses, who increasingly realize the importance of developing carbon reduction strategies, which will both prepare them for the future and deliver immediate business value.