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PROFILE: Peter Hambly - Director of Marketing & Communications, Carbon Trust

It seems as if almost every day heralds another bad news story about the environment. After years of apathy, global warming and concern about the environment generally has at last reached the mainstream public consciousness, spurred on by intense media interest.

Yet interest is not the same as action, and the failure to achieve universal commitment to the Kyoto Treaty highlights the lack of global political will to make the environment a top priority. Influential groups within many nations remain to be convinced of the necessity for environmental action, either because they don't believe the predictions of catastrophe, or because they consider the steps required are too great an infringement on economic health and vitality. This latter group, unsurprisingly, includes many representatives of business, and the prospect of corporate resistance conjures up images of fat-cat directors pumping out CO2 and burning rainforests, whilst laughing all the way to the bank.

This is why it is all the more surprising that one UK body playing a pioneering role in the fight against climate change actually emerged from industry. Although the Carbon Trust is largely funded by government, its genesis lies within the private sector, and it is increasingly generating its own revenues through an innovative approach to service development and provision. It's both a rare good news story about the environment, and an even rarer example of the philanthropic nature of businesses.