Launched last week, Climate Neutral is a nonprofit program to help companies measure, reduce, and offset their full carbon footprint. The program was started by outdoor companies BioLite and Peak Design as a way to help fellow brands learn from all the work they had done to achieve the same certification.
“BioLite started measuring and offsetting our carbon footprint in 2015,” BioLite CEO Jonathan Cedar said. “Through that experience, we came to realize that achieving carbon neutrality is faster, cheaper, and easier than the common perception. Flash forward to 2018 and our friends at Peak Design reached a similar conclusion, asking ‘why aren’t more companies doing this?’”
Climate Neutral helps brands measure the entirety of their carbon footprint in a just matter of hours thanks to a tool that makes the process easy. The organization then suggests how those brands can reduce their footprint in transparent and achievable ways, while offsetting the remainder. Any brand that successfully completes this process will be able to use the Climate Neutral label on their packaging, hangtags, websites, and other marketing materials.
So far, BioLite, Peak Design, and Avocado are the three certified brands. Other outdoor companies, including Gear.com, Icebug, Klean Kanteen, Kammok, LifeStraw, Miir, Rumpl, Sunski, and Tentsile, have signed commitments to monitor their carbon emissions in 2019 and start offsetting in 2020.
“Consumer brands today offer many credentials to a prospective buyer, but none of them directly addresses the brand’s climate impact,” Climate Neutral CEO Austin Whitman said. “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.”
Achieving Climate Neutral status will not be extremely costly for a brand. For example, a $225 winter jacket will cost just $0.09 to offset and a $120 pair of running shoes will cost $0.12. While of course that may hit the bottom line, you could argue that the marketing impact of being climate neutral would easily offset the cost. Just look at Patagonia. You can learn more about the program at ClimateNeutral.org.