For some voluntary carbon offset buyers, the co-benefits of these projects are more important than the carbon

For some voluntary carbon offset buyers, the co-benefits of these projects are more important than the carbon. In an interview with Ecosystem Marketplace, Zubair Zakir, Global Sourcing Director at The Carbon Neutral Company, gives his take on why buyers seek out projects that tell great stories and have visible human impact. In this post, we are to summarize what Zubair Zarik has told to Ecosystem Marketplace.

Ecosystem Marketplace’s State of the Voluntary Carbon Markets 2014 report reveals that more than a third of offsets transacted under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the leading standard on the voluntary carbon market, in 2013 also adhered to a co-benefits standard – the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard or the SOCIAL CARBON standard. And Allie Goldstein confirms this fact.

Allie Goldstein also speaks about the tendency to pay more for verified co-benefits. “In a voluntary marketplace, where there is no obligation to do anything, if the decision to purchase is based on whether or not a particular outcome can be achieved, that in of itself is the premium. So when you see how the spread of project types has changed year by year and the growth of cookstoves and REDD over the last five years, that is a reflection of the interest in the additional benefits those projects deliver”.

He comments as well the case of one of his clients, Marks & Spencer. “At the end of last year, M&S started a project with UNICEF. A really important part of their carbon offset strategy was to work with one of their existing NGO partners to help their NGO partner benefit from this thing called carbon finance, but also work with the partner that has household recognition to consumers. Unfortunately, most consumers still know relatively little about offsetting. But they know what UNICEF is, and they know what it stands for, and they have trust in that brand.

Goldstein also gives in this interview his point of view about the role of the voluntary carbon market. “I think South Africa is a great example, as California has been, of using the strength of what the voluntary market has been able to do very well”.

You can read the completed interview here:§ion=news_articles&eod=1