2023 Workshop: Business of Carbon Offsets

The Business of Sustainability Initiative’s inaugural workshop will convene speakers from all parts of the value chain – including buyers, project developers, carbon registries, and NGOs – to focus on the market for voluntary carbon offsets. The in-person and invitation-only workshop is designed to facilitate candid conversations in order to identify innovative solutions from the perspectives of all market participants. The primary goal is to ensure markets can be more efficient in the fight against climate change. View the full list of speakers and biographical information.


Breakfast and Coffee  

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. 

Opening Remarks from Vishal Agrawal, Henry J. Blommer Endowed Family Chair in Sustainable Business and Academic Director of the Business of Sustainability Initiative

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.

Session 1: Buyers

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.


  • Max DuBuisson, Vice President and Head of Sustainability Policy and Engagement, Indigo Ag
  • Christie Gamble, Director of Business Development, Cloverly
  • Tina Jeffress, Senior Manager of Energy and Sustainability, Panasonic

Moderated by Safak Yucel, Associate Professor of Operations Management, McDonough School of Business

In the first session of the day, we will hear the perspectives of buyers of voluntary carbon offsets. What are their primary considerations for choosing which offsets to purchase? How do they trade-off between the price, the project type/location, vintage, and availability? Do additional project attributes, such as contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, affect purchase decisions? By discussing these questions in detail, we will establish a unified understanding of the demand side of the market for voluntary carbon offsets. 

Session 2: Project Development

10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.


  • Kaitlyn Allen, Senior Vice President of Business Development, ClimeCo
  • Kevin Townsend, Head of Sales, Anew Climate
  • Jonathan Shears, Senior Sourcing Specialist, South Pole
  • Daniel Sierra, Business Development Director for the Americas, Puro.earth

Moderated by Vishal Agrawal

In this session, we will focus on the perspective of project developers who design, implement, and operate emissions-reduction projects. What are the most recent challenges and opportunities in different projects, such as clean cookstoves, forestry and land use, and renewable energy? What market considerations are the most important in determining which projects to invest in? Our primary goal is to understand the market’s supply side for voluntary carbon offsets.

Lunch Break   

11:30 – 12:30 p.m.

Session 3: Carbon Registries

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.


  • David Antonioli, Former CEO, Verra
  • Christiaan Gevers Deynoot, Secretary General of the CCS+ Initiative
  • Sarah Leugers, Chief Growth Officer at Gold Standard

Carbon registries play a significant role in the two-sided marketplace for voluntary carbon offsets by tracking projects and establishing standards. In this session, we will hear from executives in carbon registries to learn more about their perspectives. How do they determine eligibility for new project types? What are the most recent approaches to maintaining market integrity by addressing additionality, permanence, and leakage? What are the most recent trends that they observe in project development, credit issuance, and retirements?

Moderated by Safak Yucel

Session 4: NGOs, Government, and Rating Agencies

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.


  • Gordon Gillerman, Director of the Standards Coordination Office, NIST
  • Deborah Lawrence, Chief Scientist, Calyx Global
  • Caroline Normile, Senior Policy Analyst, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Caitlin Smith, Manager of Carbon Markets, RMI

Moderated by Vishal Agrawal

Several non-governmental organizations issued best practices and recommendations for the market for voluntary carbon offsets to function properly. In this session, we will first hear their perspectives to identify best practices for purchasing voluntary carbon offsets. With the increased importance of using voluntary carbon offsets for compliance purposes, we will also discuss what the government can bring to the table regarding regulatory frameworks. Finally, we will discuss the emerging trend of rating agencies that assess the quality of carbon offsets.

Breakout Sessions: Identify Needs and Open Questions

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Participants from various parts of the industry will be assigned into groups for a breakout session. Each group will focus on several issues in the market for voluntary carbon offsets to identify needs and open questions. The groups are encouraged to discuss their current challenges candidly. Georgetown faculty will be available to engage with the group.

Concluding Discussion and Takeaways

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Closing Reception 

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.