What does CarbonNeutral mean?

When a business, or another entity, product or activity is certified CarbonNeutral, it means that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with that entity, product or activity have been reduced to net zero for a given time period according to The CarbonNeutral Protocol.

This is usually achieved through a combination of internal reductions and the purchase of external environmental instruments such as carbon credits and energy attribute certificates. The total emissions are measured by a verified third party assessor to ensure the validity of the footprint statement. Natural Capital Partners provides carbon credits equal to the footprint calculation to result in net zero emissions.

What is The CarbonNeutral Protocol?

CarbonNeutral certification follows The CarbonNeutral Protocol, which was first launched in 2002 and is and revised every year in accordance with the latest scientific, environmental and business standards. The Protocol is used by hundreds of businesses around the world to ensure their carbon neutral claims are credible and robust. It is managed by Natural Capital Partners.

The latest CarbonNeutral Protocol can be viewed here.

Why do businesses become CarbonNeutral?

Becoming carbon neutral delivers a range of business and brand benefits. It acts as a powerful leadership statement on corporate climate change action, and can catalyse efficiency measures and innovation that result in cost savings for the business.

Stakeholder engagement is often cited as a top reason for setting and achieving stretching climate targets. Customers, investors, employees and other stakeholders are increasingly demanding products and services that support the transition to a low carbon economy and businesses are responding by sourcing 100% renewable energy and achieving carbon neutrality.

Read more about the benefits of becoming CarbonNeutral in this article: “Environmental Instruments: Going Beyond Bridging the Gap.”

Which companies are CarbonNeutral?

Hundreds of companies of all types and sizes around the world are certified CarbonNeutral or have certified products and services, including Sky, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Bain & Company.

A selection of client case studies and testimonials are available to view here, in the Protocol itself and on the home page of this website.

How can my business become CarbonNeutral?

Companies which are aiming to reduce their emissions to net zero usually engage in both internal reductions and the purchase of external environmental instruments such as carbon credits and energy attribute certificates. Both instrument types can vary in cost depending on their location, the co-benefits they deliver, or the renewable energy technology.

If your company has fewer than 250 employees the Climate Action Hub is an easy-to-use, cost effective platform to calculate your footprint and become CarbonNeutral certified. Visit the Hub now to demonstrate your climate action.


Natural Capital Partners will work closely with you to deliver the highest quality external carbon credits and renewable energy certificates from around the world that suits your business needs and helps you to achieve your environmental targets.

Read more about how to become carbon neutral.

What are carbon credits?

A carbon credit represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) that has been reduced, avoided or sequestered by a project and is verified to an internationally recognised carbon accounting standard.

Carbon credits are produced by carbon finance projects which calculate the number of credits they can sell based on the CO2e emissions saved in comparison to the traditional form of energy supply or activity happening in that region.  For instance, a wind power project will calculate the emissions saved in generating energy for the local area, compared to the existing fossil fuel power. 

Carbon credits can be bought by businesses to compensate for their unavoidable emissions and help them to achieve carbon neutrality immediately, credibly and effectively.

How do carbon offset projects guarantee the emission reduction?

The reductions are validated and verified by independent organisations in order to be certified against third party standards, such as the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the Gold Standard, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Climate Action Reserve (CAR). These standards ensure the quality and credibility of projects using carbon finance and generating carbon credits for offsetting.

Key criteria in evaluating the credibility and quality of a project are proof that it is:

  • Additional: The reduction in emissions would not have occurred without the carbon finance from selling carbon credits
  • Retired: The carbon credit will be retired from the carbon market so that it cannot be sold again or double-counted
  • Permanent: It delivers the reductions claimed and they will not be reversed
  • Addressing leakage: The emission reduction in one area has not caused an increase in emissions elsewhere

Read more about the standards that guarantee the quality and credibility of carbon credits and energy attribute certificates.

What are energy attribute certificates?

It is impossible to track electricity from production to consumption as it travels through the grid, so wind, solar and other renewable production sites can produce renewable energy attribute certificates (EACs) in the form of one certificate per MWh, which represent the environmental attributes of that renewable electricity.

Consumers can purchase these certificates to claim 100% renewable electricity sourcing. Certificates can only be purchased once, thereby avoiding double claiming.

Natural Capital Partners sources Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in North America, Guarantees of Origin (GOs) in Europe, Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) in the UK, and International RECs (I-RECs) and Tradable Instruments for Global Renewables (TIGRs) across the rest of the world.

We can help you to build a portfolio of energy attribute certificates to match your electricity consumption and preference for location and technology vintage. Read more about how Natural Capital Partners can help your business to source renewable energy.

Why work with Natural Capital Partners

With 20 years’ experience in the industry, Natural Capital Partners works with more than 300 clients in 33 countries to ensure their environmental programmes deliver value for their business.

We will work closely with you to develop tailored programmes that meet your carbon neutral target, match your business goals, and support the transition to a low carbon economy around the world.

Many of our clients benefit from communications and engagement support offered by Natural Capital Partners, which helps ensure you get the most value from your certification.

If your question is not answered on this site, kindly contact us and we will be happy to discuss your objectives.