Five Winds International L.P.

Are Voluntary Carbon Offsets for You?

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The rapidly growing market for voluntary carbon offsets presents challenges for companies who want to purchase offsets and, at the same time, avoid criticism of how they manage their carbon footprint. The reality for most businesses is that they cannot reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to zero, and if they do want to go the extra mile to achieve “carbon neutrality” or another target, they may need to consider offsets. Unfortunately, the voluntary carbon offset market is beset by problems typical of any rapid growth market: lots of entrants, loose standards and the potential for unsavory players to exploit the situation. It is also important to understand that voluntary carbon offsets are outside the United Nations climate change process and regional and national emission trading schemes and that even in these schemes offsets can be

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