in UK, United Arab Emirates

Questions for Lotus F1 about carbon credits and Advanced Global Trading

Since 2012, the Lotus Formula 1 Team claims to be “targeting carbon neutral status”. It is doing so with the help of Advanced Global Trading – a Dubai-based company selling carbon credits as investments.

Advanced Global Trading publicises its relationship with Lotus F1 on its website, in company publications and in press releases. In its corporate magazine, Arena, AGT states that, “Thanks to AGT, the Lotus F1 Team is now carbon neutral.” But exactly what does AGT do for Lotus F1?

Lotus F1 explains on its website that,

The new relationship with AGT will see every aspect of Enstone come under greater scrutiny than ever before, with the objective of minimising carbon emissions from all processes and procedures at the race team’s base. AGT will also work with Lotus F1 Team partners to help achieve their environmental plans and their Corporate Social Responsibility goals.

Which is pretty vague. In a press release dated 28 May 2013, AGT explains further:

Advanced Global Trading has been provided with last season’s data for all Lotus F1 Team’s season’s races and an independent agency based in the UK is now calculating the operation’s cumulative emissions, which will then be offset by Advanced Global Trading AGT by purchasing and retiring this value in Verified Emissions Reduction Carbon Credits.

Charles Stephenson, AGT’s CEO says,

“We’re delighted to continue this association with the Lotus F1 Team, and are eager to see just how many VERS are necessary to offset for an operation of this magnitude.”

And in Arena, AGT claims to have sold large numbers of carbon credits in 2012:

“AGT carbon credits have recorded a 14.97% ROI ytd for clients which was due at least in part to large purchases of credits by major multinationals Microsoft, Co-op and Lotus F1 Team.”

Three weeks ago, REDD-Monitor sent some questions to the Lotus F1 Team about its relationship with Advanced Global Trading. Having received no reply, I sent the questions again earlier this week to the Lotus F1 press office.

I look forward to posting Lotus F1’s reply on REDD-Monitor.

From: Chris Lang
Date: 12 August 2013 13:24
Subject: Lotus F1, Advanced Global Trading and carbon credits
To: pressoffice@lotusf1team.com
 
Dear Sir or Madam,
 
I run a website called redd-monitor.org. I have a few questions about Lotus F1 Team’s partnership with Advanced Global Trading. I sent these questions via the Lotus F1 website on 25 July 2013. As I have not received a reply, I am resending them.
 
1. Are you aware of the controversy surrounding AGT’s sale of carbon credits as investments? Here are a couple of reports in The Nation (a UAE newspaper): http://bit.ly/17s49js and http://bit.ly/1bkZx3t.
 
2. What services does AGT provide for Lotus F1 Team? Has Lotus F1 Team for example bought carbon credits from AGT?
 
3. How much has Lotus F1 Team paid AGT for its services so far since the partnership started in 2012? Or does AGT pay Lotus F1 Team sponsorship in return for having its logo on the cars?
 
4. How did the partnership with AGT come about? Did AGT approach Lotus F1 Team, or did Lotus F1 Team approach AGT?
 
5. What due diligence did Lotus F1 Team carry out before agreeing to the partnership with AGT?
 
Please consider your response to be on the record.
 
Thanks and best regards,
 
Chris Lang

 

Leave a Reply

  1. Chris, I think it is an excellent tack to ask companies that have purchased VERs to make themselves ‘carbon neutral’ about their supplier, when the ‘supplier’ appears to involved in investment scam. (What about CNI and McLaren?) After all these companies are doing it for PR purposes and might take a different view if they realised the ‘other side’ to the business their suppliers are involved in.

  2. Hello Chris,

    I wondered if you got any further with the Lotus and AGT story?

    I have recently done an article on CNI UK and McLaren so would be interested in any comments you have.

    Regards,

    Christopher

  3. As a small investor who was foolish enough to believe this , i have been anxiously watching this story for some time. Seems there is little we can do to stop them and even less chance of getting money back. I would have hoped the DeD would have done something about it by now !!