"Still, unlike the BOFH not to spot an opportunity here. Surely he would be setting up a company like Carbon Analysis Support Holdings (or its friendly acronym for the cheques) and making a mint out of the boss?"
I think you'll find out that in the real world, that's usually already taken care of by someone higher up the corporate pyramid. The consulting company may be owned by some manager's wife, or son, or brother, or simply his best buddy's (best buddy being the one who splits the profits with him.) And probably also handles the carbon credits part at only 400% markup.
You'd be surprised how many times things like those happen. And I don't just mean in pretending to be eco-friendly. I've seen pens and paper bought from some manager's wife's company at 10 times the cost you'd pay for them at the corner store. I've seen maintenance contracts in which some manager's best buddies (see the above definitions) got several hundreds of thousand a year as sort of a base price for the maintenance. As in, if they actually had to also provide support or do any changes, well, that's extra money. I've seen at least one project where the PHB _demanded_ graphics everywhere, even splattered across the tabs and as backgrounds for the forms, because he wanted to pay big money to his best buddy's graphics design company to make them. Etc.
Basically, it's a myth that management is buying overpriced crap just because they're stupid and gullible. And that a small fish like the local sysadmin would just need to register a bogus company to get some of that money. In reality, 9 times out of 10, that facade of incompetence and of buying anything that the nice marketting guy hypes, is just a facade. The real story is one of corruption and dishonesty. They don't do it because they're stupid, they do it because they can syphon corporate money into their own pocket.
So maybe the local sysadmin _could_ take part in that scam... if he offered to give half the profit back as a bribe, directly into the CEO's pocket. But even then, only as long as the CEO doesn't decide to cut the middleman and register a company for his wife doing the same thing.