The New Idea
After years of developing fair trade channels for organic produce around the world and pioneering the retail distribution of fair trade products in France, Tristan is now opening the market for carbon neutral products. While his cradle-to-grave approach to assess, reduce, and offset carbon emissions is initially costly for companies seeking to achieve the zero-carbon target (ZCT) label for their products, Tristan is leveraging powerful market incentives. The ZCT process dramatically reduces production costs and increases the perceived value in the eyes of customers. Tristan and his pioneering cooperative of Pure Project Entrepreneurs have already convinced major corporations and brands to go ZCT. This success is setting a benchmark in the market of carbon operators and is forcing other players to be more rigorous in their assessment of carbon emissions, to reduce before they offset, and to be more transparent in setting the price of carbon tons. The fluidity and effectiveness of carbon markets are improving rapidly. Carbon neutrality for mass-market consumer goods requires offsetting large-scale, transparent carbon emissions. This calls for direct ties to offsetting projects with an increased capacity to capture carbon effectively over the long-term. With a UN-certified partner specializing in reforestation, Sistemas de Circulación Ecológica or Ecological Cyclical Systems (SICIREC), Tristan leverages the reliability of fair trade cooperatives and the similarities between organic farming and creating forests to multiply high-quality, sustainable agro-forestry projects. In doing so, he is building carbon wells through a sustainable, concerted, and transparent co-development system, with high economic, social, and environmental returns. At their current performance, Tristans forest projects will have offset nearly 30 million tons of carbon by 2013. They are setting a precedent on how to multiply carbon wells in tropical regions with limited risks and at a lower cost.Carbon neutral products will only become mainstream when consumers understand the source, impact of, and solutions to carbon emissions. With his first ZCT products, Tristan is using marketing techniques and smart packaging to simplify the message and to effectively educate customers about sources of carbon emissions, the realities of global warming, and responsible stewardship of the environment. Tristan also enables customers to track online the growth of forest projects to which they are contributing and to witness their impact when they purchase carbon neutral products.