Our Frequently asked questions!
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Climate standard is a European startup which has created the first independent Climate Neutral certification in Europe and a label that shows which companies have achieved climate neutrality in all or in one of their products. We aim to use our label to encourage companies to take the lead by achieving real climate neutrality today and support people to take everyday actions.
When you see the climate standard label somewhere, you know that the product or service you are looking at has no negative impact on climate and the company has achieved climate neutrality in their operation to deliver it to you. It also means that the company is on a journey to reduce carbon emissions.
Imagine your old pair of shoes broke during a trip and you want to replace them. You see our label on a pair you like from the company “SHOES CORP“. You check out the SHOES CORP profile on our website and see that SHOES CORP emitted 17.000 tonnes of CO2eq in 2021. You also see that SHOES CORP offsets all of them by supporting a reforestation project in South America and plans to change its material and the way they deliver shoes to reduce emissions in the future.
In other words, the label shows that SHOES CORP has calculated the emissions it’s responsible for in making your shoes, offset all of those emissions and implemented plans to reduce emissions over time.
For workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer salaries there is FairTrade. For organic products, there is the European Common Organic Label. For corporate CSR there is BCorp. For carbon footprint, there is ISO / GHG Protocol. For climate there is none. Only consultants who take the lion’s share. That is why the market is not very transparent and everyone says they are green without evidence to prove it. And you have no idea which product is really green.
Have you ever thought of writing that your company is organic without having any certification? It is like saying that you offset emissions without saying how or how much of them you are offsetting. The difference between a certification and a self-declaration is primarily transparency. A certification is basically a nice label that you put on your product but for your consumer it is synonymous with safety, fairness and reliability.
We do both because achieving climate neutrality for all company operations and the entire supply chain could be quite expensive. Most small and medium-sized businesses cannot afford it, but they can achieve climate neutrality step by step, and they can start by focusing on just one or a few products instead of the entire business.
Why? Calculating the carbon footprint of a single product costs less than a corporate carbon footprint, and small businesses can use numerous free online tools to do it. The fewer emissions to offset the lower the final cost of offsetting and the reduction plan can also be done more accurately.
Sure it is. We have a transparent process which is presented on our website. We follow the best standards and approaches such as the GHG protocol, ISO 14064/14067 for emission reporting and Oxford offset principles for the validation of carbon credits. All the climate data we receive from companies are publicly published. Our certification process is on our website as well and it will be constantly updated to ensure we drive large scale decarbonization around the world.
Climate Standard is first of all a startup that is sharing a nice label with the world. We aim to transform it into a driver that supports people in everyday purchases. As well, we are committed to helping you create value in front of customers. For this reason, we work hand-in-hand with our first brands to help them promote their commitment and certification and our brands love to share and collaborate with new ones.
Additionally, we are constantly having conversations with organizations, media and activists.
Those who say today that climate change is not a problem and is not caused by man are either LYING or ignoring scientific data.
Climate change is a real global crisis that is already affecting the entire planet even if with very different effects from region to region.
Heat waves, cloudbursts, frost, desertification, rising sea levels, melting ice, shrinking water deposits, ocean acidification, destruction of coral reefs, and social conflicts are just some of the problems associated with rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and oceans.
Greenhouse gases are mainly 6 gases, often called GHGs or carbon emissions, which are affecting the earth’s climate by trapping heat in the atmosphere. Emitting these gases are us human beings and our activities. The more gases we emit, the warmer the planet gets. And this brings with it disastrous effects on our societies and natural ecosystems.
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced by something or someone over a certain period of time, often a year. Companies have a carbon footprint, their products and services have carbon footprints, but we as people also have ours. To start working to mitigate climate change, we should start by understanding how big our carbon footprint is. A company’s carbon footprint includes many different types of emissions, such as raw material extraction, electricity and fossil fuel use, food, business travels, delivery, waste, and employee behaviors.
When we talk about carbon emissions, we have to think that there is more than just CO2. There are 6 major greenhouse gases, but for simplicity’s sake has been decided to merge them into a single unit of measurement that takes into account their warming potential: Carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e. With CO2e we can compare different carbon footprints regardless of whether it is CO2, Methane or Nitrogen Monoxide.
A carbon footprint will never be perfect, there will always be some assumptions to be made and some uncertainty in the final redults, but don’t let that discourage you. You can improve the calculation process year after year.
Fortunately, there are standards to follow. The most important are the GHG protocol and ISO standards, divided into ISO 14064 for calculating the carbon footprint of companies and ISO 14067 for calculating the carbon footprint of products. In each case, emissions are divided into 3 main categories: Scope 1, 2 and 3.
- Scope 1 represents direct emissions that come from your company and your activities such as the fossil fuel you burn for company vehicles, heating offices or other emissions (e.g. cement production).
- Scope 2 represents indirect emissions coming from the use of electricity you purchase from the electric grid.
- Scope 3 represents indirect emissions from all upstream and downstream activities of your company. It means emissions from your value chain, e.g. raw materials or products you buy from others, business travel, employee behaviour, shipping before or during production and/or delivery to your customers, and more. In many cases, this category accounts for the majority of a product or company’s emissions.
But don’t panic! Estimating carbon emissions does not have to be an expensive process.
Many organisations have created tools to calculate carbon footprints. Doconomy, for example, has created a 2030 calculator that helps companies calculate product emissions.
If you are a small or medium-sized company, we accept this type of analysis so that you do not have to spend a large amount of money on the calculation.
Scope 3 always seems the hardest obstacle, but do not let perfection be the enemy of good. We know you have to do a lot of assumptions but focus first on the most important operations within your value chain. Carbon footprint calculation tools will help you with most assumptions or alternatively, if you are a big corp, you can seek support from external consultants.
Climate neutrality means achieving a state in which a product, service or company has balanced greenhouse gas emissions with carbon absorption.
To this end, the company takes responsibility for its emissions by offsetting them in order to offset the negative effects on the climate.
Carbon neutrality means taking responsibility only for CO2 and leaving out the other 5 main greenhouse gases. This is why Climate Standard is working to support companies to look at climate neutrality instead of carbon neutrality.
Offset is when someone use specific certificate, called “carbon credits”, to counterbalance its own emissions. Therefore, to reach climate neutrality companies have to buy externally those carbon credits. Each carbon credit represents 1 metric tonne of CO2e eliminated from the planet.
A carbon credit is a certificate generated when someone implements a project that eliminates one metric tonne of CO2e. The project developer can sell these credits to support and grow the project.
There are 4 types of projects that can generate carbon credits:
- emissions avoided or reduced without storage (e.g. renewable energy, energy efficiency)
- emissions reduced with short-term storage (e.g. fight deforestation, smart agricolture)
- carbon removal with short-term storage (e.g. afforestation, ecosystem restoration)
- carbon removal with long-term storage (e.g. air capture and storage, mineralization)
Put simply, carbon credits allow money to be invested in climate change solutions. With carbon credits, we support tree planting, fight deforestation, restore ecosystems, help generate more green energy in developing countries and develop technologies that absorb CO2 from the air.
To tackle climate change, emissions must be reduced, but also their absorption must be increased, in order to reach a global level of net zero emissions as soon as possible.
Furthermore, from a social point of view, projects are mainly located in developing countries to support their green transition. We cannot leave anyone behind. We are fighting the same battle, but it will be the developing countries that will pay the most if we do not act now.
The carbon offset market was established in the 90s and, since there, it has well-regulated by a system of third-party verification bodies. However, you can also find easily cheap non-validated carbon credits but it is best to be wary of them.
Climate Standard relies on the system of third-party validation, but makes it also more stringent by asking for only high-quality carbon credits.
Here our 5 requirements:
- Only those certified by Verified Carbon Standard, Gold Standard and Plan Vivo.
- Only from developing / least developed countries. * Exceptions to this are long-term carbon removal projects which can be located anywhere.
- Only if the initial price is higher than $ 10 in order not to affect the quality of the credit itself.
- Only if they are young (the age depends on the type of project).
- Credits from “emissions avoided” projects must not exceed 50% of the total amount of credits purchased to offset emissions.
Credits on the market have a wide price range depending mainly on their value, type and quality. For example, credits from air carbon capture and storage projects with today’s technology can be tens of times more expensive than those from afforestation.
In general, if a credit, a metric tonne of CO2 removed, costs less than $10, it means that the quality of the credit is very low.
It is equally important to find the right partner from whom to buy credits. Sometimes the price can go up because credits have passed through many hands. Therefore, it is good to focus on the initial price and not the final price.
Carbon reduction plan
Right. Once the annual carbon footprint of the entity you want to certify (product or company) has been measured, it must be fully offset with high quality credits. This is because the emissions have already taken place and you have to take care of them.
While this might be enough to be called climate neutral, it is not enough to certify you. In fact, it is important to create and publish an emission reduction plan that will enable you to lower future emissions.
The plan must cover the company if you are fully certified or the reduction of future emissions of the product if only product certification is requested.
The plan can cover: renewable energy, more sustainable materials, energy efficiency, transport management, business travel, and more.
Because we have to reduce our emissions a lot. Think of carbon emissions reaching a record 53.5 billion tonnes in 2020. To prevent this from continuing we have to think about reducing emissions. Taking responsibility for the emissions already produced is mandatory, but we must also think about future emissions.
That is why we ask companies to create a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound) commitment and strategy that acts for at least 1 year.