“Caring for the environment is something that Advanced Global Trading has been doing ever since they first opened their doors back in 2010.” That’s the opening sentence from a recent press release from Advanced Global Trading, a Dubai-based company that sells voluntary carbon credits as investments.
The press release explains that “The staff at Advanced Global Trading cares deeply about the wellbeing of the environment, which is why most of them started working for Advanced Global Trading in the first place.” Yet when Advanced Global Trading advertises for new Telesales Executives, it doesn’t mention the environment anywhere in its job adverts.
Working with Advanced Global Trading involves “approaching clients over the phone, selling the company’s core product”. Advanced Global Trading’s job advert explains the qualities that successful candidates will need:
You will need to be extremely motivated, confident with impeccable communication skills. Truly target driven, you will have need flair for sales and have an unrivalled determination make big money. The most important requirement is that you must have a desire and determination to succeed, we want strong confident individuals who will have the opportunity to make six figure commission levels which are being hit already.
Hardly the typical profile of someone that “cares deeply about the wellbeing of the environment”, is it?
Advanced Global Trading claims that the carbon credits it sells are a “smart” and “safe” alternative investment:
The stock market today is not what it used to be. Stock quotes are at historic lows, making it a risky time to jump into a large stock investment. Advanced Global Trading is giving people the opportunity to trade a smart, safe, alternative asset class via emissions trading permits. Emissions trading permits are a great way to trade because they benefit planet Earth in a big way.
But just a couple of days before Advanced Global Trading put out its “Caring for the environment” press release, an article in United Arab Emirates newspaper The Nation reported that, “A group of clients have filed formal complaints about a local company that sells carbon credits as a green investment.”
The article explained that “at least five” investors have filed complaints with Dubai Public Prosecution and the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Advanced Global Trading’s licence to trade carbon credits from the Department of Economic Development expired on 4 June 2013. The Nation reported that,
The investors who filed complaints were told by Ded staff that AGT’s licence only permitted them to sell carbon credits to institutions, not to individuals, they said.
The controversy surrounding Advanced Global Trading could raise questions for some of its partners. In 2012, Advanced Global Trading partnered with the Lotus Formula 1 Team. In the press release announcing the partnership, Lotus F1 Team’s Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Louis, said,
“Lotus F1 Team takes environmental concerns very seriously, and this has long been the case for teams based at Enstone. The site of the team headquarters is itself based in a former quarry with every effort made to limit the impact on the local environment. We are currently scrutinising every aspect of our business, so to have a new perspective from AGT who have the particular objective of minimising our environmental impact is invaluable.”
AGT’s platform delivers cutting-edge technology, sophisticated trading tools and the opportunity to monitor investments efficiently and cost-effectively at any time using its iPhone app, meaning AGT’s clients enjoy unrivalled high levels of liquidity and online access to their accounts.
REDD-Monitor has written to Lotus F1 Team to ask some questions about its relationship with Advanced Global Trading and looks forward to posting the response.