The voluntary carbon market will play a vital role in providing investment for climate initiatives, says Rachel Mountain

Innovation sometimes doesn't make it from theory to production. But it should become something truly transformational particularly in the voluntary carbon market where investment is vitally necessary to drive the transition to low carbon.

For many corporations sustainability has been a strategic focus for years, particularly as organisations look to differentiate their products, appeal to customers and cut costs through reductions in energy usage. Innovation has often played an important role in this process, as improvements in technology and manufacturing processes have helped pave the way for organisations to reduce their impact.

However, not all organisations are on the same sustainability transition curve. Many are starting out on the journey, some are advanced and others against the myriad policy and regulatory issues are adopting a wait-and-see approach.

Wherever your organisation sits in its transition to a 'low carbon diet', to truly mitigate all your company's carbon emissions is a near-impossible task and many of the necessary mitigation activities take time to implement.

There is, however, a simple answer for organisations looking to accelerate the transition to a low carbon business carbon offsets. As part of an integrated carbon management strategy, which incorporates measurement, mitigation and offsetting, carbon finance driven through the purchase of offsets can play a transformational role in shaping innovative solutions to carbon reliance.

For instance, approximately 1.25 billion people in developing countries use traditional stoves that use either fossil fuels or firewood. This fuel is often expensive, accelerates deforestation and the toxic fumes affect health. Switching to alternatives may seem like a relatively easy thing to do, but in reality they have proven to be difficult to get off the ground.

However, the voluntary carbon market now plays a vital role in 'hot housing' such initiatives, providing a much-needed carbon finance investment to really get them off the ground, build scale and reduce emissions.

Rachel Mountain is head of global marketing at greenhouse gas reduction company EcoSecurities.