All companies should take responsibility for their carbon emissions, and consumers have the right to spend consciously on products that align with their concern about climate change. This is the belief of Climate Neutral, a new independent non-profit organization whose mission is to enlist brands to measure, reduce, and offset the carbon emissions resulting from the design, production, and shipping of products and services. Today, Climate Neutral is proud to announce its “Climate Neutral Certified” label, which will begin appearing on the packaging, hang tags, and websites of certified brands in early 2020 to verify the achievement of a net-zero carbon footprint.
With socially conscious consumerism on the rise and 76 percent of Americans viewing climate change as a crisis or major problem(1), Climate Neutral intends to deliver a new standard of trust and transparency when it comes to corporate action on climate change. Companies that elect to become “Climate Neutral Certified” are required to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint for the company’s upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions. Once the certification process is complete, a company may use the Climate Neutral Certified label across all consumer channels to communicate the company’s commitment toward a global climate solution.
“Consumer brands today offer many credentials to a prospective buyer, but none of them directly addresses the brand’s climate impact,” said Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral. “Even worse, most brands don’t know how much they contribute to climate change. Climate Neutral exists to address both of these gaps so that we can make headway in the climate crisis.”
The power of product labeling is well documented. In the food industry, certified organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO labels heavily influence purchasing decisions. Studies have also shown that labeling programs result in more positive customer experiences and consumers are willing to pay more for these products (2).
Carbon labeling has yet to achieve wide-scale recognition, but Climate Neutral plans to change that. Peter Dering, CEO of Peak Design and a co-founder of Climate Neutral, commented, “Carbon labeling by itself will not solve all our climate problems. But by enabling consumers to make informed purchasing decisions, labeling can play a crucial role in encouraging businesses to take full responsibility for their carbon expenditure and apply a long-overdue price to carbon.”
Climate Neutral was launched as a collaboration between Peak Design and Brooklyn-based BioLite, an innovator in off-grid clean energy solutions. To join Climate Neutral or learn more about how the program works, please visit climateneutral.org
— (1) Source: July 9-Aug. 5, 2019, The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation Survey of 2,293 US adults with an error margin of +/- 3 percentage points. More at http://wapo.st/pollarchive
(2) Source: Cornell University Food and Brand Lab http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/organic.html