Professor Mike Bonaventura

Chief Executive Officer, Crichton Carbon Centre

PhD Cognitive Sciences, CEng.

Mike worked on the design, development and implementation of decision support systems with the Global 3000 for over twenty years. For 15 of those years, this work focused primarily on finance and performance management systems. While the value of intangible assets such as brand and intellectual property have been known for some time, it was only in the late 90s that environmental assets (and liabilities) started to feature on the financial agenda. This was undoubtedly due to the obligations imposed on companies operating in those sectors to reduce their emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. In order to understand this asset class more fully, Mike decided to explore the environmental markets. His subsequent contributions include:

  • The design, development, and implementation of systems for the validation and verification of offsets from UNFCCC CDM projects in south-east Asia.
  • The design of the market infrastructure for forward trade and physical delivery of project-based offsets in the voluntary markets for the leading US commodity exchange.
  • The design and specification of the interoperability protocol linking the Verified Carbon Standard Association [VCSA] registries, which extends the UNFCCC Data Exchange Standard [ITL/DES], originally developed to link the CDM registry with the European Emissions Trading System [EU ETS], to accommodate the nostro-vostro accounting practices used by correspondent banks.
  • Collaboration with the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Climate Action Reserve, and the Western Climate Initiative in designing programmes that integrate environmental assets and liabilities.
  • Advisory services to early stage companies developing energy efficiency technologies, specifically in the context of the UK Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme [CRC].
  • Market design advisory services to market participants operating in the US, Europe and Asia.

As a result Mike has a detailed knowledge of the methodologies, protocols and market rules governing both the compliance and voluntary environmental markets and the procedures used to account for environmental assets and liabilities. While market based approaches are necessary, given the models that determine our economic activity, they are not sufficient. What is really required is a fundamental change in production and consumption behaviours.

Consequently, Mike joined the Crichton Carbon Centre in June 2010 as CEO, leading the organisation with the specific remit to facilitate the transition to a low carbon society through practice led engagement with individuals, households and communities as well as businesses, small and large, operating in the traded and non-traded sectors.

When not working, Mike likes to do stuff that is free: growing vegetables, sailing, walking and listening to his daughter’s fiddle music.


“Top-down, model driven legislation on environmental issues is necessary but not sufficient. We need everyone to be aware of the challenges that we are facing and a recognition of the fact that their individual actions really can make a difference. Making that link is what we do at the Crichton Carbon Centre”