For a detailed overview of Climate Neutral carbon footprinting process, check out our Process and Methodologies page.
Want to learn more about carbon footprints in general? Read below.
Your footprint = your contribution to global warming.
A carbon footprint is a measurement of the annual amount of greenhouse gases an entity emits. Carbon footprints are measured in tCO2e, which stands for “tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.” tCO2x e accounts for all greenhouse gases (not just carbon) and equates other gases to carbon based on their global warming potential (or GWP). For example, methane has 28x the GWP of CO2, so 1 ton of Methane equates to 28 tCO2e. In a nutshell, tCO2e is a single, comprehensive measurement of an entity’s contribution to global warming. To reduce or offset global tCO2e is to slow (or reverse) the trend of global warming.
Approximation now beats perfection later.
Estimating your carbon emissions doesn’t have to be an arduous or expensive process. Internationally-recognized tools and protocols exist that can help most companies conduct an accurate (within 20%) footprint analysis in just a few days. Provided they compensate for this margin of error, any company can quickly and cheaply create a carbon footprint estimate that is confidently at or above their exact level of tCO2e emissions.
We keep our footprinting methodologies transparent and public, and continually hone our process by performing random, comprehensive audits on 10% of our member companies every year. These results correct for anomalies and improve our methodologies for all companies.
You must measure scopes 1, 2, and 3.
When we talk about your carbon footprint, we’re referring to your entire carbon footprint. Many brands offset the carbon emissions from their owned facilities and resources. That’s good, but it’s not enough.
Climate Neutral requires a comprehensive carbon footprinting approach that accounts for emissions created by all upstream and downstream activity that happens as a result of a company’s activity. In the world of carbon footprinting, these are called Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. If you make physical products, your Scope 3 emissions span from raw material mining to delivery of goods to the end customer.
Existing methodologies and certifications welcomed.
A number of verified, stringent carbon footprinting methods exist for a wide variety of industries and company types, some of which are tied to pre-existing carbon neutrality certifications. We welcome these existing methodologies and certifications under the umbrella of Climate Neutral. Companies that have already estimated their carbon footprint with these proven methods can also qualify as Climate Neutral. If your company is already using vetted emissions measurement tools, just tell us about it in your application.