Move over organic certifications, there is a new hot cert in town. While the organic stamp has been the golden child of CPG, more and more brands are eyeing new ways to show the consumer not only that they are better for you but the steps they are taking to lower their carbon footprint, be more environmentally conscious and better for the health of the planet too.
Consumers today care about branding, flavor, and stories but they also want to feel good about the products they are bringing into their homes. Not only for their own health but for the greater good too. That’s why all eyes are on carbon neutrality. We’ve started to see brands add carbon neutral promises to their mission statements ie: “We’ll be carbon neutral by 2035” but what does this actually mean in reality for you and your CPG business.
We aren’t climate change experts here at WeStock, but you don’t have to be a climatologist to understand that our planet is facing some serious problems. Problems that won’t fix themselves and that we can’t solve on an individual level alone. It’s going to take big change from all levels, including businesses big and small.
What Does Carbon Neutrality Mean?
Carbon neutrality means reaching a point where your emissions and offsets counteract one another. Just like how you can pay for carbon offsets for your flight, there are several ways to absorb carbon from the atmosphere to help balance out carbon emissions.
So how Do We Know What Our Outputs Are?
Before you can take action, you have to know where you stand. For carbon tracking there are a few different ways to do this. You can bring in a consultant who can do an environmental audit of your company, this will look at more than just carbon but if sustainability is an important value and goal for your brand, it can be a great investment. If you’d rather do a more DIY approach, you can use an emissions calculator like this one to estimate corporate carbon emissions.
How Does Certification Work?
Once you decide you’d like to pursue your climate neutral certification there are a few steps you’ll need to take. Step 1 is Measure. Measuring all of your emissions from making and delivering products to your customers. We’re talking production, distribution, transportation, packaging, office space etc… Step 2 is Offset. This means purchasing carbon credits to completely offset their carbon footprint in a variety of ways ie: funding a mix of projects, like reforestation, renewable energy etc…Step 3 is Reduce. It’s one thing to just pay to offset your carbon, it’s another to create less in the first place and that should be the ultimate goal. The certification process can take a different amount of time depending on the size of your brand but most brands once certified end up paying 0.5-1% of your annual revenue for offsets.
Brands going carbon neutral is the future. While plant-based is having its moment and organic has been shining for years, more and more companies are jumping on board to show their dedication to the planet. Now is a great time to look into it for your brand especially since it’s a fairly new, trending certification, you can look through Carbon Neutral’s directory to check out the other brands who’ve gone through the certification process.
Becoming carbon neutral certified won’t happen overnight, but we truly believe it can be a game changer for your brand!