Voluntary Carbon Market

There are two mar­kets for car­bon off­sets: compliance and voluntary. In the larger com­pli­ance mar­ket, com­pa­nies, gov­ern­ments, or other enti­ties buy car­bon off­sets in order to com­ply with caps on the total amount of car­bon diox­ide or unit of carbon dioxide equivalent they are allowed to emit. This mar­ket exists in order to achieve com­pli­ance with oblig­a­tions of Annex 1 Par­ties under the Kyoto Pro­to­col, and of liable enti­ties under the EU ETS.

In the smaller vol­un­tary mar­ket, indi­vid­u­als, com­pa­nies, or gov­ern­ments pur­chase car­bon off­sets to mit­i­gate their own green­house gas emis­sions from trans­porta­tion, elec­tric­ity use, and other sources. For exam­ple, an indi­vid­ual might pur­chase car­bon off­sets to com­pen­sate for the green­house gas emis­sions caused by per­sonal air travel. Increasingly, com­pa­nies are offering car­bon off­sets as an up-sell dur­ing the sales process, so that cus­tomers can mit­i­gate the emis­sions related with their prod­uct or ser­vice pur­chase (such as off­set­ting emis­sions related to a vaca­tion flight, car rental, hotel stay, con­sumer good, etc.). In 2008, about $705 mil­lion of car­bon off­sets were pur­chased in the vol­un­tary mar­ket, rep­re­sent­ing about 123.4 mil­lion met­ric tons of CO2e reduc­tions.

Off­sets are typ­i­cally achieved through finan­cial sup­port of projects that reduce the emis­sion of green­house gases in the short– or long-term. The most com­mon project type is renew­able energy, such as wind farms, bio­mass energy, or hydro­elec­tric dams. Oth­ers include energy effi­ciency projects, the reduction of indus­trial pol­lu­tants or agri­cul­tural by-prod­ucts, reduc­tion  of land­fill methane, and forestry projects. Some of the most pop­u­lar car­bon off­set projects from a cor­po­rate per­spec­tive are energy effi­ciency and wind tur­bine projects.


We are pleased to offer you trad­ing or car­bon off­set­ting with fol­low­ing instru­ments and standards:

– Gold Stan­dard (GS) VER

– Vol­un­tary Car­bon Units / Verified Car­bon Stan­dard (VCS VER)

– Cer­ti­fied Emis­sion Reduc­tions (CER) from Clean Devel­op­ment Mech­a­nism (CDM)


These credits all comply with the high­est stan­dards for vol­un­tary car­bon off­set­ting. For further information feel free to con­tact our consultants.