Jonathan Shopley, Chief Executive of CarbonNuetral, has warned that the already controversial carbon offset industry is at risk of being discredited by 'cowboy' operators. He went on to say that standards need to be drawn up, so that customers can trust providers.
"There are credibility issues and there are cowboys around. It is probably to be expected for an industry at this stage but we need a set of standards and outside verification so that self-regulation can engender trust and integrity in the market," said Shopley.
Shopley's worry is obvious; if corrupt companies undermine the respect and reputation of offsetting then his company loses out too. It's quite common for large companies to offset their operations, and that large, blue-chip money is a large amount of the business for offset companies.
CarbonNeutral has already developed its own set of standards, and by highlighting other companies lack of them is perhaps a wise marketing move as much as it is a call for industry regulation.
CarbonNuetral is one of the larger offsetting companies in the UK, "We have doubled our revenues over the last financial year and whereas two years ago we would get one inbound call a week about offsetting, it is now over 100." ::The Guardian