A marketing products company selling logo-branded USB sticks, including a wood-cased model, promoted itself as having been audited as a no-carbon business by a certification company it had, in fact, set up itself to trade carbon offsets.

On its website, Flashbay says that its [Chinese] factory and UK office have been carbon neutral since 2008 and provides a link to its “carbon neutral certificate”.

Until last week the latter connected to a certificate from The Carbon Free Company. This carried a “No Carbon Footprint” logo and was signed by carbon offset officer Bartosz Wojszka. The certificate also stated this had been issued to Flashbay for reducing its “measured greenhouse gases to net zero through internal change or carbon offsetting”.

The Carbon Free Company website (www.nocarbonfootprint.org) provided information on its carbon offset projects in various developing countries. However, there were no contact details and a web search for Mr Wojszka identified him as a Flashbay graphic designer.

In response to a query from TTJ, Flashbay said that NoCarbonFootprint was a brand it had set up with a view to reselling carbon offsets from the JP Morgan Climate Care Scheme. It stressed that to date it had only used the brand “as a channel through which to purchase carbon offsets for Flashbay Ltd”, but a spokesperson accepted that Flashbay “should probably have published the JP Morgan certificate rather than using NoCarbonFootprint, which is still at an early stage of development”.

He also provided copies of Flashbay’s JP Morgan Carbon Care certificate and the FSC certificate for its “Nature” timber-cased USB sticks.

JP Morgan Carbon Care itself confirmed that Flashbay had purchased 150 tonnes of carbon offsets from its scheme at £7.50 per tonne in 2010, but also pointed out that the offset projects featured on The Carbon Free Company’s website were in fact JP Morgan’s.

The Flashbay website now only shows the JP Morgan Carbon Care certificate and makes no reference to The Carbon Free Company. The www.nocarbonfootprint.org website has also been changed and now simply comprises a holding document headlined “Welcome to the carbon offset portal for Flashbay Ltd”.

Related Files
The No Carbon Footprint Certificate