2006: Five Young Enviropreneurs Pool Resources
Their backgrounds were scientific, economic and environmental. Zurich was their home and the world their responsibility. Each had their own perspective on ways to deal with climate change. They quickly discovered these differing perspectives, borne of differing disciplines, could work together as one. They decided to re-invent themselves from the NGO 'myclimate' to become 'South Pole Carbon'.
'South Pole' was their dream: the fight against climate change was a huge business opportunity ready to be embraced. They realised the business world would only become 'green' if becoming sustainable meant making money.
Motivated by how well their own 5-disparate approaches melded as one, they decided to move forward and bring together people from innovative NGOs, multinational organisations and top notch business consultancies. Officers from the World Bank, UNFCCC experts and McKinsey consultants became a part of the picture.
Going Global and Striking Gold
South Pole Carbon grew from day one. Within a few months, the first satellite offices in Bangkok and Beijing were established. The SPG Penguin spread to nearly every continent, taking South Pole Carbon to Indonesia, Taiwan, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Vietnam, Australia, Kenya, Ghana, Iran and more.
In 2010, Swiss family-owned firm Corisol joined in the fight against climate change. That same year, South Pole Carbon opened an office in India and launched its maiden project - Malavalli. It was the first project in the world to issue Gold Standard credits and it's now part of the Gold Standard portfolio. In 2011, South Pole Carbon established offices in Medellín, Colombia, as well as a local presence in Kampala, Uganda, thus strengthening operations in South America and East Africa.
Creating New Standards and Partnerships
In 2012 more than 70 South Pole Carbon Gold Standard projects were underway. We've since established ourselves as the leader in issued Gold Standard VERs. Awards received reflecting our leading position in the marketplace include:
- Environmental Finance: Winner of Best Project Developer award 2011-15
- WEF Schwab Foundation: Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2011
- Bank of the Canton of Zurich: Sustainability Prize for SMEs 2013
- WEF Global Agenda Council on Climate change: Member
- City of Sydney Environmental Business, overall Business and Super-Regional Business of the Year Awards, 2012
Also in 2012, South Pole Carbon joined forces with Australia's most successful carbon offset provider, Climate Friendly. South Pole Carbon has since become a major shareholder in Climate Friendly, sending out a strong signal regarding the growth of the green economy.
The Evolution of the Penguin: From South Pole Carbon to South Pole Group
In early 2015 we expanded our scope in climate change leadership and went from "South Pole Carbon" to South Pole Group. Thus we became one of the leading providers of sustainable climate solutions. We now offer a full spectrum of sustainability services, including climate policy and strategy advisory, in addition to high quality carbon credits. We have successfully developed over 500+ emission reduction projects in renewables, forestry, agriculture, industry, households and public institutions. The company has additionally teamed up with Sweden's Respect Climate to better serve the markets it operates in across the value chain.
We're now a top-notch provider of a complete suite of sustainability solutions for climate change and renewable energy. The new name and branding reflects the move beyond being an emission reduction project developer, wholesaler and retailer: our extended expertise now focuses around the key business lines of carbon credit solutions, renewable energy, sustainability advisory and green finance. We have grown to become, among others, one of the major global advisors for climate-related policies, sustainable supply chains and climate impact assessment for investments.
Why the Penguin?
The penguin's natural habitat is the South Pole, Antarctica - the last untouched continent and the final frontier of climate preservation. The ability of the seventeen different species to adapt to different climate zones makes the penguin an inspirational (and lovable) symbol for climate change awareness.
South Pole Group's underlying vision remains strong as ever - to create a sustainable society and economy that positively impact our climate, ecosystems and communities.