Carbon Offsetting Trends Survey 2008

EcoSecurities and ClimateBiz have just released their survey on carbon offsetting. For those who are members on our sister site CleanTech.Org, we are proud to have supported this project. Thank you to those of you who participated in this survey.

The Executive Summary is as follows:

The voluntary carbon markets continue to welcome new participants on both the supply and demand sides. Companies that previously committed to become carbon neutral appear to be continuing with their offset initiatives in 2008. In Europe, the emergence of the Gold Standard and Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) as the market leading standards is a notable development. The former is facing some minor supply issues which have in our view pushed up its issued price whilst the latter is working with several parties to establish central registries by year end for transfer of ownership and guaranteed retirement.

The primary markets on the development side are very active with new projects coming on line around the world to meet an increase in real demand for VERs and the expected increase in corporate’s looking to balance their unavoidable emissions. In the US, the rapid expansion in demand appears to favour US-located emission reductions, and this same force is shaping the types of offsets most in demand. Forestry remains a standalone sector, which has a real mix in sentiment from buyers. You either love it or you hate it. Whether the projects are reforestation or avoided deforestation, they appear to have mixed feedback in part owing to the lingering questions about effectiveness, immediacy and risk in investing in said projects. Conversely, the types of projects most favoured by this survey’s respondents are well-known projects which have an immediate impact, projects of the ‘charismatic carbon” variety: energy efficiency and wind power. Landfill and agricultural methane collection projects also scored highly in this study.

Reputation is pushing demand not only in types of offset projects in which companies most want to invest, but also in whom they purchase offsets from. When seeking out carbon brokers or retailers, experience and reputation were the top-rated factors, while project types, locations and price rounded out the top five requirements for offset projects.

Interestingly, despite the growth in project development the market has witnessed increases in primary market prices. On the other hand, global economic difficulties do seem to be pushing secondary market prices downwards, thus squeezing the difference between primary and secondary pricing. This perhaps reflects the reduced risk of developing projects as the markets grow and also an increased confidence among larger organizations in originating their own offset projects in the primary markets, a result that surprised us from our survey responses.

Rock Out With Your Dock Out

by Cristina Foung

My favorite green product of the week: Vers 2X wooden iPod dock

What is it?
The Vers 2X is a compact, all-in-one iPod dock. It plays and charges any iPod (or iPhone; it also comes with a universal MP3 dock in case you’re breaking the mold with a Zen or a Zune or something else). It has 2 3” 15-watt speakers, dual port design for deeper bass, and a sweet little silver remote control.

Why is it better?
If you’re going to be playing music, you want it to sound good. Well, the Vers 2X sure does sound good. It amazes me every time I turn mine on how such a little box can produce such solid sound.

But on to the “green factor:” Vers uses wood which displaces 80% of what otherwise would have been plastic. They’ve also done their homework so the wood they use is sustainably harvested. Each unit is also put together with screws (not adhesives or snaps), so each dock can be broken down for easy recycling. There’s no formaldehyde or toxic glue in the wood bonding. And in other chemical news, Vers is RoHS compliant.

The packaging is also made from 100% recycled materials and is 100% recyclable. The class D amplifier used in Vers 2X is 80% more energy efficient than other amplifiers. That means it uses about half the energy to produce the same amount of sound.

Where can you find it?
You can get your 2X for a (suggested retail) price of $149.99 directly through the Vers website or through any of their retailers (, Feel More Human, and many others). Also, back when I got mine, they only had it in Natural Cherry, but now you can choose from Bamboo, Natural Walnut, or Dark Walnut.

Besides her green products column on Cleantech Blog, Cristina is a passionate advocate for green living at the Green Home Huddle at, which focuses on electric cars, energy efficient appliances, and other green products.