Climate Neutral Certified: Choose to clean up your carbon.
Solutions to climate change exist. They cost money. If all businesses paid their small share, we'd stop climate change in its tracks.
Climate Neutral Certified: Choose to clean up your carbon.
Solutions to climate change exist. They cost money. If all businesses paid their small share, we'd stop climate change in its tracks.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, December 13 2019 5:00 AM UTC +00:00.
Frequently Asked Questions
To become Climate Neutral Certified, back this campaign at the $1000 pledge level. When you do so, you are committing to become Climate Neutral Certified in 2020. That process will begin early next year, when you will measure your 2019 emissions (using our tools which are currently in development), choosing meaningful emission reduction priorities, and offsetting the rest of your emissions through the purchase of verified carbon offsets. We'll lead you through every step of the way. See the various FAQs below for details on each step of Climate Neutral Certification.
When you back at the $1000 level, we'll reach out to you directly with information and next steps. Most of your pledge ($750) will act as a pre-purchase for your 2020 carbon offsets. Depending on the size of your business, it may or may not cover your entire offsets purchase (see FAQ on how much it costs to become Climate Neutral Certified). What about the rest of your pledge? $165 will go to funding Climate Neutral's staff and tools, and the remaining $85 will go to Kickstarter and credit card fees.Last updated:
In short, the cost of being Climate Neutral Certified depends on the size of your company's carbon footprint. Carbon footprints can vary widely across (and even within) industries.
If you already know the size of your company's Scope 1, 2, and 3 carbon footprint, you can estimate that it will cost you $3-$5 per tonne of CO2e emitted.
If you don't know the size of your company's footprint, you can roughly estimate your cost by multiplying your top-line revenue by 0.4%. Note that your cost could be up to 30% more or less than that number, depending on your size and type of business, the location and complexity of your supply chain, and many other factors.
Note that that Climate Neutral does not charge a fee to become Climate Neutral Certified. The cost estimates above solely represent the cost of purchasing verified carbon offsets. We are here on Kickstarter in hopes that we can raise the funds necessary to continue operating this way.
Also note that the cost estimates above do not include the costs of your carbon footprint reduction efforts.Last updated:
Nearly every business can become Climate Neutral Certified. Whether you make physical products or offer services, every company has a carbon footprint. Everything from the electricity used to light your office and run your computer to employee work travel counts in calculating your carbon footprint. The only businesses not eligible to be Climate Neutral Certified are commodity providers, i.e. oil and gas companies, cement manufacturers, etc. We also don't certify events, buildings, or animals.Last updated:
We hope to offer an individual Climate Neutral Certification process in the future. But right now, only businesses can become Climate Neutral Certified.
Want to take responsibility for your carbon footprint? Back our campaign at the $100 pledge level and we'll offset your estimated personal carbon footprint for this year by purchasing verified carbon credits in your honor. When you back at the $100 level, most of your pledge ($72) goes towards purchasing carbon offsets. $19.50 goes towards funding Climate Neutral's staff and tools. The rest ($8.50) will go to Kickstarter and credit card fees.Last updated:
Individuals have carbon footprints just like businesses, but they're much, much smaller. Climate Neutral Certified is currently available just for businesses, but you can offset your personal carbon footprint (or an estimation thereof) by pledging at the $100 reward level on this Kickstarter campaign.
"Offset yourself" means offset your personal annual carbon footprint. More specifically, it means to purchase an amount of carbon offsets equal to the amount of carbon emissions that are attributable to your lifestyle over the course of a year. Your energy and utility usage, your air travel, your commuting and road tripping, the things you buy, the things you eat—all of these activities create carbon emissions, and all of these factor into your annual carbon footprint calculation.
As with businesses, carbon footprints can vary widely across individuals. They vary based on your lifestyle, where you live, and how wealthy you are. The average American has a footprint of 24 tonnes of CO2e per year, and we used that as the basis for our $100 pledge level. Why? Because it is among the higher per-capita footprints in the developed world (meaning that most people in the world have an individual footprint at our below this amount). If you live small and travel little, your footprint is likely smaller. If you travel internationally often, drive a truck or SUV, and eat lots of meat, your footprint is bigger. The goal of our $100 reward is to bring you into the conversation, and leave you knowing that by backing this campaign you've done something to address your own personal footprint, while helping us recruit businesses to work on theirs.Last updated:
Simple. Back this campaign and choose the $100 reward level. For every additional $100 you pledge, you can pay to offset another person's footprint.
Note that you can only choose a single reward. So, when you choose the $100 reward level, change your pledge to $200 (for 2 footprints) or $300 (for 3 footprints) and so-on.Last updated:
Yes. Shortly after this campaign ends, we plan to make carbon offset purchases on the behalf of our backers who pledged at the $100 level. Once we do that, we will send you an email confirmation of the amount of carbon offsets that were purchased on your behalf. That email will also contain details about the specific offset projects that your pledge helped fund.
We considered the idea of printing stickers and other Climate Neutral swag to send to backers. But, the process of manufacturing and shipping items is a carbon intensive activity. Doing so would be antithetical to the mission of Climate Neutral, and would require us to allocate funds that we could otherwise use to hire staff and build our footprinting tool.Last updated:
The goal of this campaign is to bring the Climate Neutral Certified label to life. What does that mean? Well, 2 basic things:
1. Hire staff and develop the tools necessary to support and certify businesses. We're working on a tool that makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to consistently measure their Scopes 1, 2, and 3 footprints. Creating that tool takes time and money, not to mention really smart folks. We aim to have thousands of businesses become Climate Neutral Certified in 2020. It'll take a good amount of human power to recruit these companies and support them through the 4 steps of our certification.
2. Generate massive awareness, and get lots of businesses to join. We hope this Kickstarter campaign itself will bring a ton of awareness to the Climate Neutral Certified label. But our work is not done here. This is a pan-industry certification for businesses of any size. Our team will continue to find creative ways of getting our message out to brands and consumers alike.Last updated:
Greenhouse gas emissions keep the earth warm by trapping heat. But, the burning of fossil fuels throws this delicate balance out of whack, and more heat is trapped than we need. It's kinda like a blanket - you pick a nice breathable blanket for mild nights, but a heavy down comforter would make you way too hot. The most plentiful are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), ozone (O3), and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's), but there are others. It is resoundingly accepted science that greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are causing climate change, and unless we cut our emissions drastically and transition over to a low-carbon economy, the impacts will continue to get more extreme.Last updated:
"Scopes 1, 2, and 3" refer to categories of carbon emissions attributable to a business. Together, they account for a company's entire carbon footprint. Here's what each scope includes:
Scope 1 includes direct emissions that come from on-site facilities and employee commuting.
Scope 2 includes indirect emissions that are generated off-site as a result of powering your operations.
Scope 3 includes indirect emissions from your supply chain. For many companies, Scope 3 makes up the majority of the footprint. Scope 3 includes greenhouse gases emitted across the entire corporate value chain—that means emissions released from extracting raw materials used for finished products, corporate business travel, shipping and transportation, and more.
To learn more about Scopes 1, 2 and 3, visit World Resource Institute's GHG protocol homepage found here: https://ghgprotocol.org/standards/scope-3-standard.
Climate Neutral requires businesses to include all 3 scopes of emissions when they measure their entire carbon footprint. Currently, there is no widely accepted standard for how to measure a company's carbon footprint. The result is that many businesses who make marketing claims about carbon neutrality are only measuring and offsetting their Scope 1 or 2 emissions. A goal of Climate Neutral Certified is to standardize the practice of measuring your carbon footprint based on all 3 scopes.Last updated:
References to stats (in order of appearance on the Kickstarter page):
From our reward levels:
24 tonnes CO2e is the average American's carbon footprint: Source = Carbonfund.org. See https://www.carbonfund.org/individuals/
$3 average global cost to offset 1 tonne CO2e: 2018 Forest Trends Outlook Report. See https://www.forest-trends.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/VCM-Q1-Report_Full-Version-2.pdf
20kg CO2e example per-unit emissions for manufacturing and shipping running shoes: Jounal of Cleaner Production. See https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652612006300
15kg CO2e example per-unit emissions for manufacturing and shipping a performance jacket: Handbook of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Textiles and Clothing, Table 1.3. See https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=v8LlBwAAQBAJ&lpg=PA18&dq=Roos%20et%20al.%20(2015)%20GWP100.%20Biogenic%20CO2%20emissions%20considered%20climate%20neutral.&pg=PA19#v=onepage&q=Roos%20et%20al.%20(2015)%20GWP100.%20Biogenic%20CO2%20emissions%20considered%20climate%20neutral.&f=false
12,000kg CO2e example per-unit emissions for manufacturing and shipping an electric vehicle: Union of Concerned Scientists - Cleaner Cars from Cradle to Grave, p. 40. See https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2015/11/Cleaner-Cars-from-Cradle-to-Grave-full-report.pdf
Total world footprint is 56B tonnes CO2e: United Nations 2018 Emissions Gap Report. See https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2018
Total projected 2019 world GWP is $88 trillion: International Monetary Fund DataMapper. See https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/profile/WEOWORLD/WEOLast updated:
Climate Neutral Certified is an annual certification. The first step—measuring a company's carbon footprint—is done between January 1 and April 22nd (Earth Day). During that time a company must measure their footprint for the previous calendar year. Currently, companies committing to become Climate Neutral Certified are committing to measuring their 2019 carbon footprint in early 2020.
A carbon footprint depends on the activites that a business undertakes in a given year...materials purchased, products made, energy used, shipping, travel, commuting, server usage...these represent a small number of things that affect a company's annual carbon footprint. To be Climate Neutral Certified, a business must measure their Scopes 1, 2, and 3 carbon footprint. See the FAQ about what these scopes include.
Precisely measuring a business's Scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon footprint is extremely difficult and time consuming, and impossible to do with 100% accuracy. The complexities of carbon footprint measurement currently pose a barrier to entry for many businesses who wish to become carbon neutral. Climate Neutral is working to remove this barrier, by developing a tool that makes it easy for businesses across industries to reasonably approximate their total carbon footprint by entering key data points from their end-to-end business activities. The tool estimates emissions based on well-researched logic and quantitative data, and will be useable by anyone with access to their business's key operating data.
The difficulties of precisely measuring a carbon footprint result in inaction among many businesses when it comes to carbon neutrality. Our philosophy is that perfection is impossible, but reasonable estimation can be done quite easily.
Our measurement tool is currently under development and will be available for member businesses to use in 2020. We are honing the data sets and methodologies, and will be hiring a developer to build it in earnest before the end of the year. One goal of this Kickstarter project is to raise funds to help us complete and continue to improve this tool.Last updated:
To be Climate Neutral Certified, a business must commit to 2 new emissions reductions efforts every calendar year. These reduction efforts must be meaningful and achieveable within the year.
Measuring a business's total carbon footprint reveals places where reduction efforts can be the most effective. Every industry and supply chain presents different opportunities. Some common reduction methods include using recycled materials, using renewable energy, using less packaging, and cutting back on traveling. Climate Neutral help businesses identify which reduction efforts could be the most immediately impactful for their unique operational circumstances.Last updated:
No, they're equally important. A business who solely focuses on reducing their emissions without purchasing carbon offsets is not taking full responsibility for their carbon emissions. Not even close.
Reductions are a process, and over time they should result in a shrinking footprint relative to the size of the business. Many businesses are focused on reduction plans that will take 20-30 years to full implement. While companies work to reduce, they are still emitting greenhouse gases into the air. These remaining emissions must be offset. To hit the emission targets the world needs, a combination of reductions and offsetting will be critical. It's not possible to reduce our way out of the climate crisis, and it's not possible to offset our way out. A livable planet will need both.Last updated:
Carbon offsets are investments in projects that prevent the release of greenhouse gases (e.g. building wind turbines) or absorb greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere (e.g. planing trees). For every tCO2e (ton of carbon dioxide equivalent) of greenhouse gas that a company is responsible for emitting but cannot yet reduce, a tCO2e is not emitted elsewhere via offsets. There already exists a robust market of offset producers, brokers, and registries, so investing in these projects can happen immediately. When you purchase a carbon offset, you are paying a project developer to remove a specified amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Carbon offsets are not a license to pollute, and businesses cannot become Climate Neutral Certified simply by purchasing offsets. Reduction is an important pillar of our certification process, and if a business does not have detailed reduction plans in place, we will not qualify for Climate Neutral Certification.Last updated:
OFFSET: How much does a carbon offset cost, and how does the market work? (i.e. The Economics of Carbon Neutrality 101)
We're glad you asked. The answer is long, but pretty darn interesting.
The price of carbon offsets are unlike most commodities. And that’s because there are a lot of different technologies that can create a carbon offset. For example: there are direct carbon capture technologies that blow a bunch of regular air across a catalyst. It separates the CO2 from the air, and turns it into a solid form of carbon. These technologies are new, and not yet inexpensive. There are companies that claim they can sequester a ton of carbon for about $100.
Another technology is called called landfill gas sequestration. There are a lot of landfills in the United States that, upon their decommissioning, were not required to be covered. Without government regulation demanding that the landfills be capped, they were left open, leaching methane as their contents decomposed. Those methane emissions could be captured, but who would pay for that? Enter the carbon offset mechanism. Many of these landfills have now been capped, as companies that had nothing to do with the landfills voluntarily paid for them to be capped.
These offsets were created very inexpensively. Putting an HDPE tarp on a methane, covering it with dirt, and adding some piping to direct the methane to tanks, where it can either be turned into natural gas to power electrical grids, or simply flared and converted into carbon dioxide (which is 28x less potent of a greenhouse gas than methane). A project like this may have cost $1,000,000 to install, but if it kept 40,000 tons of methane from entering the atmosphere, the carbon offset it could claim from the project is 28 x 40,000 = 1,120,000 tons of CO2e. That means the price for generating each offset was $1,000,000 / 1,120,000, or about $0.89.
Now, carbon offsets are created and sold much like any other good. The offset developer may have paid $0.89 to develop each ton of carbon, but they also have to pay for the project to be independently verified. It typically takes two years for a project to be verified, and it involves an intense process of auditing and proving that the offset project is additional, permanent, and accounts for all potential “leakage”.
Once an independent verification organization (like Gold Standard, Verified Carbon Standard by Verra, or the Climate Action Reserve) certifies the offsets, the offsets are given a unique identifier, and these offsets can be sold and resold until they are “retired”. For example, the developer who created the carbon offset project in the first place might sell their offsets to a distributor, who in turn might sell it either to end customers, or to smaller retailers. Retailers can then resell the same credit again, until they find a buyer who desires to retire it. So, the offset that cost $0.89 to develop might actually be sold to an end customer for $3 or $4. Much of it depends on how much volume you’re looking to retire.
Now…there aren’t enough landfills that need to be capped to satisfy all the demand that we hope to create using the Climate Neutral label. So we of course must look to other technologies as well. Fortunately, the verification standards have set up a multitude or rigorous processes that can be followed to create offsets across a broad spectrum of technologies.
Forestry offsets are a common type of offset project. These primarily involve either afforestation (taking non-forest land and turning it into forestland), or avoided deforestation. With afforestation, an offset will pay for land to be planted, and protected.
Avoided deforestation, while highly necessary in our battle against climate change, has been one of the more controversial carbon offset technologies. This is because occasionally, forests that have been paid for to be protected under an offset project succumb to local pressures, and are destroyed. There are many ways to protect against this, such as using new remote sensing technologies from satellites, that help ensure a project delivers on its goals. Verification of these projects has come a long way in the last 10 years, and forestry projects are an important sector to support, since without forests, we'll never address climage change.
Another offset project type is renewable energy projects. To measure the amount of carbon offsets that can be created, a baseline must be established for the region where the renewable energy will be deployed. Renewable projects that serve areas with a dirtier power mix (coal, or diesel generation) will generate a larger offset, as the fossil fuels that they are taking offline as a result of the insertion of renewable energy has a higher carbon footprint. It is also important to note that a carbon offset need-not (also cannot) pay for the entirety of a wind or solar project. Rather, it provides an amount of financing that makes the difference between the project happening and not happening.
Another crucial offset technology that has a lot of traction right now is regenerative agriculture. Anyone wishing to understand how we can sequester carbon in the world’s farmland should watch this video, produced by our friends at the Terraton initiative. They have observed that the total additional carbon in the atmosphere since we began the industrial revolution is about a trillion tons. They have also observed that the average carbon content of soil in our farmland has decreased from 3% down to 1%, and that the missing 2% of soil in all the worlds farmland could be as much as one trillion tons. That's a lot of carbon. With enough subsidy, farmers will change to carbon-sequestering farming practices.Last updated:
The Climate Neutral Certified label means that a company has measured, reduced, and offset the entirety of their carbon footprint. When you see this label on a product or website, it means that the company has achieved a net-zero carbon footprint through meaningful reduction strategies and purchasing carbon credits to offset the rest. Only companies that have gone through this process are granted access to our label (you can see our list of committed and certified brands at climateneutral.org/certified-brands).Last updated:
There is an endless variety of carbon offset projects happening right now across the globe. By pledging to this campaign and offsetting your own impact, you will be supporting a wide variety of global project types. These project types will most likely include:
- Renewable energy projects like micro-hydro, solar or wind which are reducing emissions compared with fossil fuel alternatives
- Sustainable forestry projects working to keep threatened forests standing while supporting local livelihoods
- Cook stove projects that are reducing emissions and improving household air quality across rural areas in the southern hemisphere
Once the campaign is over and we have a final tally of the carbon offsets we will be purchasing on behalf of our backers, we will then make a purchase agreement with a vendor who sells verified offsets. As the campaign progresses, we hope to post updates with more specific details about projects that we will support.Last updated:
Don't see the answer to your question? Ask the project creator directly.Ask a question