How? | Four Steps
- Calculate your (product) carbon footprint according to the defined organizational & operational boundaries and define the ‘baseline’.
- Define the annual CO2-reduction target, CO2 reduction plan. Measure and monitor the reduction progress: Plan – Do – Check – Act.
- Offset the emissions that remains with allowed carbon credits. Investments in an emission reduction projects within the supply chain of the certified product are also possible. This is called insetting.
- 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.
How? | Step 2
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.
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How? | Step 2
Define you annual Reduction Target to reach Net Zero in 2050 and 49% reduction in 2030 for certify your organisation and 25% reduction in 2030 for certifying product and services. Then 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.
How? | Step 3
Time to offset the CO2-emissions that remains. Offsetting or compensation gradually decrease 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. Are all considered a necessary part of the solution.
- Which SDG’s do your company want to support or in which countries can help you to make choices that fits your company the best? E.g., the countries in your supplychain.
- The Program 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.
How? | Step 4
Ensure that the above is is anchored, in headlines, in the zero strategy of your organisation that is supported by the board e.g., a Climate Policy Document and a Quality Management System is available to secure all processes for responsible departments and persons and budget allocations to have all an effective ‘Plan – Do – Check- Act’ cycle.
- In order check if you are ‘ready to Audit’, a pre-assessment is recommended to test if the objectives have been achieved.
- A Pre-Assessment tool (Audit checklist) is available to test yourself against the standard. Hiring in an expert consultant is also a good idea. This saves time and gives confidence to start the formal audit.
- If you are Audit ready, you need to arrange the Audit via accredited Certification Bodies.
- 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, ‘over’, performers.
After a positive decision of the Certification Body, you are allowed to use the registered logo – the ‘Climate Neutral Certified’ Trademark and make ‘On-Pack’ and ‘Off-Pack’ Climate Neutral Certified claims. Now it is time to start communications and public reporting according to the Trademark & Claims Policy.