Climate Active Organisations Pave The Way For Sustainable Action
Corporations and businesses are finding ways to reduce their emissions and reach a Net-zero is a term meaning to get to zero emissions, there is no current standard on what getting to net-zero means. For governments a net-zero target is one that covers all scope 1 emissions in their jurisdiction. For business it usually covers scope 1 and 2 emissions, although some companies also include some scope 3 emissions. The Science Based Targets Initiative is currently working on a standard for companies. More carbon status. Stakeholders are taking greater note of the impact that climate change is having. We can see it in the increased frequency of extreme weather and in the damage inflicted on coastal ecosystems, helping us recognise that climate action is good for people, the environment, and economic prosperity.
Climate Active is a certification program that allows the Australian government to recognise businesses reaching a carbon-neutral status. Certification is available for a number of applications, including buildings, events, organisations, precincts, products, and services.
Becoming certified requires that organisations:
- Assess and create an inventory of their carbon emissions
- Implement measures to reduce emissions
- Purchase 1 carbon offset = 1 tonne of CO2-e avoided or removed from the atmosphere. Avoided emissions covers activities that alter behaviour that would have otherwise caused emissions such as energy efficiency improvements or avoided deforestation. Removal covers activities that permanently remove CO2 from the atmosphere such as new forestry plantations, soil carbon improvement or carbon capture and storage. More credits to counterbalance remaining emissions
Being Climate Active is an accreditation program for Australian companies to certify their organisations, products, services, events, buildings or precincts as carbon neutral. The program is backed and administered by the Australian government. Companies have to measure their scope 1, 2 and material scope 3 emissions, reduce where possible and offset the remainder by purchasing and retiring offsets. Allowed offsets are LGCs for scope 2 and ACCUs, CERs, RMUs, VCUs or VERs for scope 1 or 3 emissions. Annual reporting is required and published on the Climate Active website. certified verifies and validates companies’ The act of offsetting all scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions associated with a product or service. More claims, enabling Climate Active companies to showcase climate leadership and social responsibility. As consumers increasingly search for purpose-driven brands, the Climate Active certification stands as a way to rise above the crowd and display leadership in sustainability.
What Companies Are Climate Active
Hundreds of companies are already recognised by Climate Active, giving consumers plenty of opportunities to make sustainable purchasing and lifestyle decisions. Some notable Climate Active organisations include:
- Australia Post — the Australian postal services company received certification for carbon-neutral products and services after implementing several energy efficiency improvements, undergoing electrification of processes and purchasing carbon offset credits.
- Lion — this Australian food & beverage company has been certified carbon-neutral as an organisation. Alongside its purchasing of carbon offset credits, the company is following through on commitments to generate and procure more renewable energy.
- Commonwealth Bank — The financial institute is Climate Active accredited as an organisation. With a strong commitment to procuring clean electricity, Commonwealth Bank has installed several on-site solar systems to generate and procure clean renewable energy.
- Qantas — The international airline is Climate Active certified for its service. With the majority of emissions stemming from burning jet fuel, their emissions reduction strategy involves improving fuel efficiency, transitioning to less carbon-intensive fuels, and improving fleet efficiency. Qantas also participates in carbon offsetting through purchases of VCUs, ACCUs, and Voluntary Emissions Reductions (Voluntary Emission Reduction under the Gold Standard. More).
- REA Group — Certified as an organisation, the digital advertising company established a detailed action plan to reduce emissions by transitioning to renewable energy sources for electricity as well as implementing behavioural and procedural changes in the workplace.
How To Become Climate Active Certified
Climate Active administers certification and maintains the standards required to be deemed carbon neutral. Becoming Climate Active certified is a multistep process that starts with applying and ends with a public disclosure statement being published on the Climate Active website.
Step 1: Apply
The first step is to apply to Climate Active. Northmore Gordon often manages this step for our clients to make the process quick and easy. Upon approval, the company enters into a license agreement with Climate Active.
Step 2: Calculate emissions
Next, the company must determine its greenhouse gas (Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere. They all have different global warming potentials (GWP) over different time frames, the higher the number, the worse the impact. For simplicity of accounting everything is referenced back to carbon dioxide which has a global warming potential of 1. There are over 200 GHGs listed in the IPCC fifth assessment report, a sample are below. Note that in current carbon accounting standards the 100 year GWP is used. Greenhouse gas 20 year GWP100 year GWPCarbon dioxide CO211Methane CH48428Hydrofluorocarbon HFC-134a37101300Chlorofluorocarbon CFC-1169004660Nitrous Oxide N2O264265Sulfur hexafluoride SF617,50023,500 More) emissions. This provides a benchmark figure for the company to actively reduce, and the process of developing a carbon inventory – which Northmore Gordon assists in doing – highlights opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce scope emissions.
Step 3: Reduce Emissions
Once emissions are calculated, the company must work to reduce them. This can involve a variety of strategies: reducing energy usage through operational changes, such as adopting video conferencing in place of conducting air travel for meetings; transitioning to the use of certified carbon neutral products and services; implementing strategies like heat recovery systems that optimise energy use and lower fuel demand; improving energy efficiency through equipment upgrades; and electrifying processes, such as transitioning to electric vehicles or procuring more electricity from renewable energy sources.
As experts in commercial energy use and energy efficiency practices, Northmore Gordon helps companies realise the most effective strategies to adopt in their transition to carbon-neutral operations.
Step 4: Purchase Carbon Credits
After implementing emissions reduction strategies, remaining residual emissions are to be offset via the purchase of carbon offset credits. These credits represent reduction in emissions and come from various activities that support clean energy projects – such as solar or wind farms – or promote carbon sequestration practices, such as reforestation initiatives or programs that preserve natural carbon sinks. The diversity of carbon offset credit programs leads to ranging efficacy, and Northmore Gordon helps companies to select and purchase reputable credits to ensure the company feels confident and proud of their emissions reduction strategy.
Once a company has effectively cancelled out its remaining emissions through sufficient purchase of offset credits, the company reaches carbon neutral status.
Step 5: Validate claim
A company’s claim that it has reached carbon neutral status has to be validated by an independent third-party. This validation confirms the company accurately reflected their carbon inventory, made appropriate adjustments to reduce emissions, and offset residual emissions through reputable carbon offset credits.
Step 6: Receive certification
Once the claim has been verified, Climate Active will provide certification and publish the company’s public disclosure statement to the Climate Active website. This showcases the credibility of the company’s claim and assures consumers that the company has taken meaningful steps to reducing its emissions.
Support With Climate Active Certification
If energy is not the primary focus of your business, then it can be challenging to move through the assessment, implementation, and application stages of the Climate Active certification process.
Northmore Gordon is on a mission to help organisations and industrial businesses boost profitability through decarbonisation and improved energy efficiency. With our team of energy experts, we can navigate the Climate Active process with your company to assure you reach your sustainability goals and optimise savings. If you want to declare environmental responsibility to your customers and community, then reach out today and we’ll work to make Climate Active part of your sustainability plan.