How? | Four Steps

  1. Calculate your (product) carbon footprint according to the defined organisational & operational boundaries and set the ‘baseline’.
  2. Define the annual CO2-reduction targets and plan. Measure and monitor the reduction progress: Plan – Do – Check – Act.
  3. Offset the emissions that remain with high-quality carbon credits. Investments in an emission reduction projects within the supply chain of the certified product are also possible. This is called insetting.
  4. Get Certified. Arrange the audit by an independent auditor (Certification Body) . If you reduced more CO2 emissions than the annual target requires, you may qualify for an audit exemption for one year.

In our Programme Documents you find all criteria and requirements.

How? | Step 1
Carbon Footprint

1. Calculate your (product) carbon footprint according to the defined scope & boundaries. For product this is also known as PCF or Carbon Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
– Organisation: all own scope 1 & 2 CO2eq emissions + non-attributable scope 3 CO2eq emissions.
– Product or Service: all attributable scope 3 CO2eq emissions + proportional scope 1 & 2 CO2eq emissions.
– Ensure you use permitted Footprint Calculation Methods and permitted Emission Factor Sources & Secondary Data Sources.
2. Ascertainment of baseline, the basis for step 2.

Ref: Standard, Criteria 2 & 3 (page 15-22)

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How? | Step 2
Reduction

1. Set your Annual Reduction Target on your baseline GHG Footprint in order to reach:
– 49% reduction in 2030 for organisation certification.
– 25% reduction in 2030 for products certification.
For a service it can be one of the above, please contact your contactperson.
2. Develop a quantified Internal GHG Reduction Plan, that is sufficiently ambitious to achieve the Annual Reduction Target.
– Define GHG reduction measures and activities for the short, medium and long run.
– For each activity/measure the following must be specified: planning, resources and budget, owners and, number of reductions (in CO2eq) expected.
– Available tools and templates: Reduction Calculation Tool, Reduction Plan Template and the Sector Benchmark Tool.

Ref: Standard, Criteria 4.1-4.4 (page 22-23)

How? | Step 3
Offsetting

Time to offset the CO2-emissions that remains. Offsetting or compensation gradually decreases each year when more reduction measures become effective.

  • Choose offsetting projects which are compliant with standards endorsed by the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA), e.g., Gold Standard or VCS.
  • Carefully select carbon offsetting projects, whether that is around avoidance or removal. All are considered a necessary part of the solution.
  • Which SDG’s do your company want to support or in which countries can you help to make choices that fits your company the best? E.g., the countries in your supply chain.
  • The standard allows ‘insetting’ for product certification: investments in emission reduction projects or initiatives within the perimeter of the supply chain of the certified product. Think of regenerative agriculture or carbon farming. In the next revision of the Standard, in Q1 & Q2  2022,  detailed insetting criteria will be be included in the Standard

Ref: Standard, Criterium 4.5 (page 24)

How? | Step 4
Certification & Communication

1. Certification:
– Ensure the above steps are anchored, in the zero strategy of your organisation and are supported by the board, for instance by a Climate Policy Document and a Quality Management System, available to secure all processes for responsible departments, persons and budget allocations to all have an effective ‘Plan – Do – Check- Act’ cycle.
– In order to check if you are ‘ready to audit’, a pre-assessment is recommended to test if the audit-objectives have been achieved.
– A self-pre-assessment tool (audit checklist) is available to test yourself against the standard or hire an expert consultant for the pre-assessment before the formal audit via your CNG contactperson or contact us directly.
– If you are ready for the Verification Audit, you need to ask the accredited Certification Bodies (CB’s) for quotes for the audit and plan the audit with the CB you have chosen.
– The audits will take place yearly with intermittent on-site and desk-reviews, exemptions on this frequency can be made in case of a very small carbon footprint and for good or ‘over’ performers.

2. Communication
– After a positive decision of the Certification Body, you are allowed to use the registered logo – the ‘Climate Neutral Certified’ Trademark and make claims, on-pack and off-pack*, according to the Trademark & Claims Policy.
– Additional communication via your website an annual (sustainability) report is strongly advised. Be transparant about all the above steps. In our cases you will find examples how other certified organisations/products communicate.

* Please note that you need to have approved on-pack claims and text of claims for your website via communication@climateneutralgroup.com before the Verification Audit.

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