An investigation into the early stages of New Zealand's voluntary carbon market
The voluntary carbon market (VCM) is a relatively mature field where institutions have become firmly established. This empirical paper explores findings obtained from interviewing key actors within the VCM in New Zealand, at a time when the organizational field was beginning to emerge (2010/2011). Fourteen semistructured interviews were carried out with managers and decision-makers at thirteen organizations, representing a cross-section of leaders in the field at the time. Participants were investigated regarding their cognitions as well as their operational activities and interactions with the range of actors in the field, and how these evolved over time. Case studies of the wine industry, the taxi industry, and the carbon service industry are presented. Findings identify a number of early successes, including endeavors which focused on promoting market integrity through infrastructure and knowledge sharing amongst participants, which influenced others to shift behavior around climate change mitigation in general. Setbacks are evident as well, with the primary setback characterized as market stagnation: buyers and sellers drifting away from the market. Communication challenges, low certification recognition, risk of greenwash exposure, policy uncertainty, the global financial crisis, and general disenchantment with the carbon market were listed as some of the causes.