Efficient and transparent governance are key considerations of the Climate Neutral Certification Programme. Climate Neutral Group, owner of the programme, finds it very important that the Climate Neutral Standard and other programme documents represent a balanced interest of all its stakeholders. As such,  Climate Neutral Group works with representatives of all its stakeholders and has appointed an Advisory Committee to ensure that the programme has the greatest possible positive impact. It offers certified entities a pragmatic and structured approach to reducing their carbon emissions.

Climate Neutral Group (CNG), as a subscriber to ISEAL, is committed to the ISEAL Codes of Good Practice and supports the ten ISEAL Credibility Principles, which capture what is essential for a sustainability standards system to deliver positive impact. ISEAL is the global membership organization for ambitious, collaborative, and transparent sustainability systems and certification programmes. ISEAL supports and oversees these sustainability systems and programmes to deliver real, lasting, positive change.

For a detailed overview of the governance system relating to Climate Neutral Certification Programme, please see here.

As part of the governance system, CNG’s Certification Team is responsible for the daily execution of the programme and alignment with certification bodies. Furthermore, the team ensures effective coordination, information sharing, and planning related to the Climate Neutral Certification Programme.

All certification decisions are outsourced. For this, CNG currently collaborates with two Certification Bodies, who are responsible for independent audit and certification processes. These certification bodies meet a set of eligibility requirements, as defined in the Assurance Protocol.

The content of the Standard and other programme documents is periodically reviewed. Climate Neutral Group identifies relevant changes, legislation, new insights of climate scientists, and new IPCC reports, to test the current programme against on a regular basis. When CNG needs to make changes to its certification programme, this is done according to an established decision-making framework. This framework identifies which key internal and external (public) stakeholders provide inputs, approve, perform, and decide on decisions regarding the Climate Neutral Standard and its criteria. This may also affect the rules stipulated in the Assurance Protocol and the Trademark and Claims policy, as well as the Complaints and Appeals procedures and other decisions. These stakeholders include certified and prospective clients, certification bodies, NGOs, external experts, and CNG staff members.

The Advisory Committee has a central role in the decision-making process and needs to give formal approval before a new version of any programme document is released. The Advisory Committee is composed of senior expert stakeholder representatives whose role is to represent the interests of their respective stakeholder groups, and it has a general advisory and monitoring function. The Advisory Committee’s role is related to the actual content of the programme, to make sure this represents a balanced interest, adequately serves the needs of stakeholders and makes the desired impact. Through stakeholder consultations, input is gathered and where no consensus is reached, the Advisory Committee is endorsed to vote. For more information on the role and obligations of the Advisory Committee, please see the Terms of Reference for the Advisory Committee.

Programme manager Certification
Ellen Brouwer

Become CNG certified, to get on track towards your net zero emission targets for 2050!

Gradually we have come to understand the scale of our impacts, but we still have some way to go with the bending of the curve of climate change. We have reached the stage where we cannot wait to act, and this is clear by the momentum for change that is being gained each day. There is a window of opportunities: technologies and resources are available and there is widespread public attention for the topic. Most of all, there is an expressed need, formalized in the Paris Agreement, as well as strong willingness from the private sector, to really make a start now.

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