South Pole CEO Steps Down Following Controversial Project In Zimbabwe

South Pole’s CEO Steps Down Following Controversial Project In Zimbabwe - Carbon Herald
Renat Heuberger Image: World Economic Forum Flickr under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED

South Pole announced on Nov. 10 that its CEO Renat Heuberger is stepping down with immediate effect. Heuberger will be replaced by John Davis, South Pole’s Commercial Director, Asia-Pacific, who will serve as Interim CEO.

The news comes after South Pole’s controversy with the Kariba REDD+ project in Zimbabwe. The Swiss carbon consultancy announced it has exited the troubled venture on Oct. 27 over quality concerns regarding the forest carbon project. 

The company is determined to learn from this experience and is committed to enhancing its group-wide quality and risk controls, and due diligence processes, the company said in a press release.  

According to the South Pole Board, this will be best delivered by new senior leadership with the needed experience to formulate and execute a thorough plan of review, change, and governance and process improvements, as well as increase stakeholder engagement, trust, and communication.

Relevant: South Pole Severs Ties With One of World’s Largest Carbon Offset Projects in Zimbabwe

The new leadership will work on enhancing quality assurance standards across the company’s global projects. The carbon consultancy will appoint a Chief Risk Officer who will oversee executive-level risk management, review the consultancy’s carbon project portfolio, and seek expert external support on project design, operation, and management. 

In addition to the new interim CEO, Christoph Grobbel will cease his executive roles and serve as a Non-Executive Chairman; former CEO Renat Heuberger will take on a Non-Executive and advisory role; and Cornelius Walter will be appointed Non-Executive Vice Chairman.

The company’s Board, through its Nomination Committee, has started a process to identify South Pole’s next CEO. 

Read more: South Pole Faces Accusations Due To Exaggerated Carbon Offsets Claims – Bloomberg

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