The idea of the Climate Neutral Certification is a simple one — give businesses the opportunity to identify their carbon emissions and then reduce them and pay for programs that offset them. Climate Neutral, an independent, nonprofit organization, monitors the entire process and provides a unique certification for companies that meet all four criteria. The certification can then be displayed on products and/or their packages, making it simple for consumers to support brands that practice corporate responsibility for the planet.
The proposed Climate Neutral Certification consists of four elements that businesses need to meet in order to earn the esteemed Climate Neutral label.
Measuring a total carbon footprint involves evaluating every step in the manufacturing process, including material production, power and water requirements, packaging, shipping and more. Climate Neutral helps businesses measure their carbon footprint to meet a uniform standard.
With a carbon footprint number in hand, businesses are then challenged to reduce it. That process might include reducing packaging, using more earth-friendly materials, finding less impactful shipping methods or powering manufacturing processes with solar energy.
At this stage, the emissions that cannot be reduced or eliminated must be offset. That means these companies pay other companies to remove carbon from the air or keep it from getting there in the first place (like by planting trees or investing in wind turbines.) Carbon Neutral monitors the payment of these offsets and ensures they are invested in verifiable carbon offset projects.
Once a company completes the first three steps, it earns the Climate Neutral Certification and can display the label proudly on its products.
Benefits of the certification
This entire process has advantages for everyone involved. First of all, it empowers businesses to be transparent about their manufacturing processes, material sourcing and consumption. Plus, a company’s investment to reduce carbon emissions is also an investment in a loyal customer base.
The certification also a powerful tool for consumers who want to be more conscientious about their purchases but don’t always have the information they need to make good purchasing decisions. Simply look for the label.
Thirdly, and perhaps the most obvious, is that the Climate Neutral Certification is good for the environment, because it supports organizations working directly toward carbon reductions and makes it more accessible for consumers to choose eco-friendly products.
At least 50 brands have already signed up and earned the certification, and Climate Neutral would like to expand that number into the thousands as soon as possible. To support the effort, it has launched a now fully funded Kickstarter campaign (ends December 12, 2019).
Images via Climate Neutral