Interview #2 – What it’s like to be a Carbon Offsetter
Less than 6 years out of high school Nick Armstrong (see photo) is about to launch COzero – a new carbon offset business.
Neerav Bhatt: Hi Nick.
I’ll start by asking what you’ve done since finishing high school (Sydney Boys High Class of 2001).
Nick Armstrong: I successfully completed a Bachelor of Science (Human Geography) degree at Sydney University as well as helping start up a GreenPowerTM retailer called Greentricity, eventually selling it off to Australian Power and Gas.
Neerav Bhatt: What was your reason for selling the Greentricity business?
Nick Armstrong: Basically we found it difficult to compete against the really big GreenPowerTM retailers like Origin Energy, then Australian Power and Gas offered to buy Greentricity and integrated it into their existing business.
Neerav Bhatt: So what is COzero and why will it succeed independently long term where Greentricity didn’t?
Nick Armstrong: COzero is a social responsibility and networking service that allows Members to create unique personal profiles online, calculate carbon dioxide and equivalent emissions, purchase offsets and participate in community activities such as carpooling.
It will succeed long term because this is very much an emerging market, there are less than a handful of players at present and we’ve spent a lot of time planning our strategy.
Neerav Bhatt: So when someone becomes a COzero member and pays to offset their emissions, what actually happens?
Nick Armstrong: COzero is a registered member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the foremost environmental exchange in the world, as a Carbon Retirer.
As an example our COzero Travel division will retire, or remove, carbon from the environment on behalf of COzero members who choose to offset their travel related emissions through the Chicago Climate Exchange, stopping the credits from being sold-on at a later point in time. Once retired, credits cannot be traded further, ensuring that the carbon has been removed from the environment completely.
Neerav Bhatt: How do COzero members know that their money is being spent on measures that will make a positive difference to Climate Change?
Nick Armstrong: We have accreditation from GreenPower™ which is a national government accredited program that sets stringent environmental and reporting standards for renewable energy providers.
Also offsets are calculated using guidelines from the Australian Greenhouse Office and we are strictly audited to make sure we follow through on all products sold to members.
Neerav Bhatt: Thanks for making yourself available for this interview Nick, its made Carbon offsetting a bit easier to understand.
COzero systems are currently in the final testing stage, you can contact Nick directly at narmstrong@COzero.com.au or by calling 1300 BE NEUTRAL. You can be a part of the Beta trial by signing up at www.COzero.com.au.
What do you think about COzero and the future of Carbon Offsetting? Feel free to make a comment.