Barely a year since its launch, almost 100 brands are now sporting the label, demonstrating full accountability for their carbon footprint.
Climate Neutral, an independent nonprofit engaging consumers and brands in the transition to a low-carbon world, today announced its inaugural class of more than 90 Climate Neutral Certified companies.
The Climate Neutral Certified roster now includes over 90 brands, large and small, that have been verified to have measured and offset their carbon footprint, and are taking other concrete actions to combat climate change — including many darlings of the sustainable products scene, such as Allbirds, Peak Design, outdoor footwear brand Icebug, Numi Organic Tea and brand strategy firm thinkPARALLAX, to name a few.
Climate Neutral Certified is one of the first in the landscape of certifications and labels to directly address a brand’s commitment to halting climate change. By earning the Climate Neutral certification, these 90+ brands are leading by example and accepting full accountability for their carbon footprint.
“Climate Neutral Certified companies show the world that immediate action on climate change is necessary and possible,” says Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral. “Even under challenging business conditions, our first group of brands has stayed committed to solving the climate crisis by directing precious resources toward reducing and offsetting their emissions. We’re proud to be creating a standard for companies’ claims to carbon responsibility, and thrilled at what this group of forward-thinking, responsible brands has achieved.”
To earn the certification for 2020, companies must complete a three-step process:
Verifiably measure their greenhouse gas footprint from making and delivering their products in 2019,
Purchase carbon credits to offset their entire footprint, and
Implement strategies to reduce future emissions.
Certification lasts for a year before companies must repeat the process.
Because certified companies must buy carbon credits to offset their footprint, the certification imposes a fee for every ton of carbon emissions. This approach funnels significant investment into carbon reduction and sequestration projects around the globe, and accomplishes carbon pricing — which economists believe is necessary to address the climate crisis.
To date, Climate Neutral reports:
161,000 tons of carbon offset from 2019 business operations
$800K+ paid by Certified businesses to reduce or sequester carbon around the world
$700M+ — the combined total revenue of Climate Neutral Certified brands in 2019
Undergoing the certification process has been an invaluable learning experience for some of the participating companies.
“The Climate Neutral Certification process has been an educational process for our entire team and a really good exercise in distilling our climate action into something that is measurable, trackable and accountable,” said Gihan Amarasiriwardena, co-founder and President at apparel brand Ministry of Supply.
“The measurement process is critical — and it challenged our many of our preconceived notions of what is sustainable from a GHG perspective and allowed us to isolate the biggest opportunities for improvement including our material choices, milling process and shipping methods. When you can measure the difference between various choices, you can design in a lower footprint.”
“Climate Neutral certification pushed us to accelerate our GHG management effort from an annual measure-and-report mode to a cross-functional, on-going effort across our business. It has been an eye-opening endeavor for everyone involved, and our staff have voiced great pride that Klean is making this commitment,” said Danielle Cresswell, Senior Sustainability Manager at Klean Kanteen. “We now have a climate team comprised of staff from Supply Chain, Engineering, Product, Operations, Marketing, and Sustainability who are tasked with advancing and implementing Klean’s emissions reduction strategy.
“We still have a lot of work to do; but looking at our 15-year emissions model, it is clear we need big, bold steps within our business and our greater supply chain to see meaningful emissions reductions,. It’s going to take collaboration with industry partners, as well as significant improvements by much larger companies in the transportation and materials production sectors. In the interim, we need to figure out how to invest in carbon offset projects that can also bring down emissions in our own supply chain.”
Several Climate Neutral Certified companies expressed the importance of maintaining and highlighting brands’ climate-change efforts, especially while that other global crisis is consuming everyone’s attention.
“In some ways, the climate crisis is analogue to the current pandemic we’re experiencing,” Jonathan Cedar, CEO of BioLite + co-founder of Climate Neutral, told Sustainable Brands via email. “At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we looked at it with ambivalence and non-action, as if it were someone else’s problem. Now we’re all in it together in a very serious way. It’s my hope that Climate Neutral can mobilize the business community to get in front of the coming climate crisis.”
“The MiiR team is incredibly proud of becoming Climate Neutral Certified. From the commitment by leadership to all-company learning sessions, every individual has engaged in the process in some way, shape or form,” said Charlie Clark, Director of Impact at MiiR. “When we joined in 2019, we were focused on our company’s drive to help create a better future for people around the world. Now, even though the global landscape is dramatically different, we recognize that responsibility carries even more weight.
“We believe it’s critical to support communities in times of crisis, whether that be serving immediate needs or helping ensure a stable planet for generations to come. The Climate Neutral Certified label has allowed every MiiR employee to stand up and point to something specific and say, ‘this is why I work here.’ This is the perfect place to start for any brand looking to take internal action on climate.”