The CarbonNeutral Protocol Index

Step 5: Inform

The fifth step is to disclose accurate and transparent information on how CarbonNeutral® certification is achieved. As public pressure for action on climate change grows, so does scrutiny of companies’ climate action, coming from a range of stakeholders including: individuals, campaigns, NGOs and other civil society organizations, and authorities that regulate consumer-facing advertising and marketing claims. This fifth part of certification is important to proactively address and respond to that increased scrutiny.

Overview of requirements

Once certified CarbonNeutral®, clients should communicate their action through use of the CarbonNeutral® certification logo. The logo is a key mechanism by which clients communicate the certification, providing reference to which provides open access to an explanation and requirements of certification.

Clients should have a high-level understanding of all their major environmental, social, and economic impacts, and ensure that their use of the CarbonNeutral® certification is an appropriate response and priority in relation to these major impacts.

Organizations must publicly disclose GHG inventory, and reduction and compensation metrics in relation to their CarbonNeutral® certification, as set out in Technical Specification 5.1.

All communications relating to a client’s CarbonNeutral® certification must be factually based and should be clear and transparent so as to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Communications must be consistent with the specific CarbonNeutral® certification achieved. The use of the CarbonNeutral® certification logo must conform to requirements and guidance (see Technical Specification 5.2).

The CarbonNeutral Protocol does not aim at giving a legal opinion on the possibility to use CarbonNeutral® certification to make any sort of claims. Therefore, organizations must ensure that all claims are consistent with and lawful under subnational, national and/or regional guidance or legislation that defines and controls environmental claims, such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides, the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code, relevant EU Directives such as the Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition Directive and Green Claims Directive, and the International Chamber of Commerce’s Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing. Regional guidance and legislation is subject to change and should be actively monitored by all organizations communicating CarbonNeutral® certification.

Figure 4: Example CarbonNeutral® Certification Logos