Climate Neutral Methodology

Want to dig a little deeper into our process? This is the place for you.

Step 1: Measure

Calculate your brand's Scope 1-3 carbon emissions for the previous year. Climate Neutral requires all of scope 1 emissions, all of Scope 2 emissions, and 8 out of the 15 categories of Scope 3 emissions as shown in Figure 1 below.

Your carbon footprinting methodology depends on the size of your company.

TABLE 1: CLIMATE NEUTRAL FOOTPRINT BOUNDARY REQUIREMENTS

  • Fossil fuels used at your facilities
  • Fuel consumed by your vehicles

SCOPE 2: INDIRECT BRAND EMISSIONS

  • Electricity used at your facilities
  • Steam bought and used at your facilities

SCOPE 3: SUPPLY CHAIN EMISSIONS

  1. 3.1 Purchased goods and services
  2. 3.2 Capital goods
  3. 3.3 Upstream emissions from fuel and energy
  4. 3.4 Upstream transportation and distribution
  5. 3.5 Waste from operations
  6. 3.6 Business travel
  7. 3.7 Employee commuting
  8. 3.9 Downstream transportation and distribution

SCOPE 1: DIRECT BRAND EMISSIONS

SCOPE 1: DIRECT BRAND EMISSIONS

COMPANIES WITH ANNUAL REVENUE ABOVE $100M:

Hire an external firm to conduct a comprehensive carbon footprinting analysis following either the Greenhouse Gas Protocol or ISO 14064-1 standards. Alternatively, you can calculate emissions in-house using an internal tool or Climate Neutral’s Brand Emissions Estimator (BEE), and have an external firm verify your work. 

COMPANIES WITH ANNUAL REVENUE BETWEEN $5M-$100M:

There are two options:

  1. Use Climate Neutral's Brand Emissions Estimator (BEE) tool.
  2. Hire an external firm to conduct a carbon footprint analysis that covers the GHG Protocol scopes required for the Climate Neutral certification.

COMPANIES WITH ANNUAL REVENUE BELOW $5M:

Small brands and start-ups use an emissions estimate from Climate Neutral’s BEE based on sector, revenues, and geography. Companies will have the option to use the BEE to analyze their footprint in detail. BEE estimates consist of conservative, simplified footprint assessments to streamline the process for companies while preserving the integrity of the certification. 

SUBMIT YOUR FOOTPRINT TO CLIMATE NEUTRAL

Once you’ve conducted your carbon footprint analysis, submit your final calculation to us, and we’ll review it.

If using the Climate Neutral BEE tool, you'll submit:

  • Your refined data covering all categories of Climate Neutral's footprint requirements (Figure 1)

If conducting in-house analysis, you'll submit:

  • Final calculation of Scope 1-3 emissions (reported in tCO2e)
  • A verification report conducted by an external firm, if required
  • A letter of attestation

If hiring an external firm, you’ll submit:

  • Final calculation of Scope 1-3 emissions (reported in tCO2e)
  • A brief overview of methodology (typically in the form of the final report or deliverable created by your footprinting firm)
  • A letter of attestation

Step 2: Offset

OPTION 1: PROCURE CARBON CREDITS THROUGH CLIMATE NEUTRAL

Climate Neutral is working directly with offset providers and project developers to procure a pool of carbon credits covering a range of geographies and project types. To meet certification requirements, you can procure qualified carbon credits through Climate Neutral’s pooled procurement offering.

Companies with annual revenue below $5M must participate in the pooled procurement option. Companies with annual revenue above $5M may choose to participate in the pooled procurement or procure credits on their own.

OPTION 2: PURCHASE VERIFIED CARBON CREDITS AND SUBMIT PROOF TO US

Purchase and submit proof of carbon credit retirements (certificates and receipts) for an amount equal-to or more-than your total emissions calculated in Step 1. 

Companies with annual revenue above $5M may procure credits from a wide variety of brokers or retailers. We can provide a list of brokers on request.

Credits must meet the following criteria:

Verified by one of the following bodies:

  • Gold Standard
  • Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)
  • Climate Action Reserve (CAR)
  • American Carbon Registry (ACR)
  • Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

All verified emission reductions must take place within the 5 years up to and including the certification year. If you're getting certified in 2020 for a 2019 emissions footprint, any vintage year from 2015 or later would be acceptable. We don't have any requirements for project start dates as long as the reductions meet the vintage year requirement.

We allow carbon credits from all project types except:

  • Industrial gas (HFC-23 destruction)
  • Industrial gas (N2O destruction)
  • Large hydro (>20MW)

To create a strong, well-rounded portfolio that meets the diverse goals of our certified companies, we have also established guidelines around project types.

Here’s how we break it down:

Max Allocation

project type

tier 0

tier 1

0%
  • Large hydro (>20MW)
  • HFC-23 destruction
  • N2O destruction

tier 2

tier 3

  • Renewable energy
30%
70%
  • Energy efficiency
  • Waste
  • Transportation
  • Chemical processes/industrial manufacturing
100%
  • Avoided deforestation
  • Tree planting
  • Cookstoves
  • Agriculture
  • Water filtration
  • Small hydro (<20MW)
  • Landfill methane

Step 3: Reduce

Create a Reduction Action Plan that shows you are committed to finding ways to reduce your emissions. We'll need to see at least two measures on your plan per year. Report them using our reporting template found here

Examples of reduction opportunities include: improve heating/cooling efficiency, reduce business travel, improve waste management, increase renewable energy use, and reduce emissions from your supply chain.  

This is a qualitative certification requirement. Climate Neutral will track progress against your plan annually.

Climate Neutral Certified label

Now, label!

PLACE THE CLIMATE NEUTRAL LABEL ON YOUR PRODUCTS

Following the successful completion of Steps 1, 2 and 3, the Climate Neutral team will ask you to sign a Brand License Agreement, and then provide written confirmation that you are a certified company. Then you will be able to begin using the Climate Neutral Certified label in your marketing, following our branding guidelines.  

To maintain Climate Neutral Certified status, you must complete Steps 1, 2, and 3 annually.