South Pole Carbon Asset Management: Going for Gold?

Posted: 12 Apr 2012

See all articles by Forest L. Reinhardt

Forest L. Reinhardt

Harvard Business School

Jost Hamschmidt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Mikell Hyman

Harvard University

Date Written: March 31, 2009


In late 2008, Christoph Sutter, CEO of South Pole Carbon Asset Management, reflects on his firm's early success at originating carbon credits in developing nations, and selling them to governments and firms who seek to offset their greenhouse gas emissions voluntarily or to fulfill regulatory obligations. South Pole's early strategy has focused on being a first mover in the niche market for premium quality carbon credits. But as the market evolves in the face of significant policy uncertainty, Sutter wonders what South Pole's strategy should be for the future. This case study can facilitate discussions about environmental markets, about opportunities for entrepreneurship raised by new environmental regulations and about challenges in markets for tradable pollution permits.

Learning Objective: To explore firm strategy in an uncertain regulatory environment.

Suggested Citation

Reinhardt, Forest L. and Hamschmidt, Jost and Hyman, Mikell, South Pole Carbon Asset Management: Going for Gold? (March 31, 2009). Harvard Business School BGIE Unit Case No. 709-030. Available at SSRN:

Forest L. Reinhardt (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States
617-495-6610 (Phone)

Jost Hamschmidt

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Mikell Hyman

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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