BP Target Neutral has introduced a five-step protocol – a voluntary pathway that leads businesses to achieving independently-verified carbon neutral certification.
And smaller businesses such as franchised car repair workshops are leading the way in becoming certified ‘carbon neutral’.
Becoming certified as ‘carbon neutral’ not only demonstrates that a business is acting on the challenge of climate change – it also shows it is helping unlock a range of important economic, social and environmental benefits for less advantaged communities around the world.
And by employing low carbon strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, new opportunities can be identified to increase business efficiency and lower costs.
Businesses or organisations that adopt the protocol and pass a rigorous inspection test also benefit from the right to use the BP Carbon Neutral certification trademark in their marketing materials.
Working towards certification is entirely voluntary, but the protocol’s framework can help businesses demonstrate that they are taking action on carbon. The methodology for the protocol is reviewed and assured by Climate Check. It takes the best of global standards but is packaged into an easy to use format specially designed for small and medium sized business.
Certified ‘carbon neutral’ means that the net emissions associated with an organisation’s activities are equal to zero. Achieving this goal mostly depends on reducing emissions associated with everyday business activities. This tends to be how cost savings are made through improving energy and process efficiencies.
After every opportunity for reduction has been taken, it is then a matter of using carbon offsets – usually from carbon-positive initiatives, such as tree planting or renewable energy – to effectively neutralise the impact of emissions that cannot be avoided currently by the business often for cost or technology reasons.
Getting started on the carbon neutral cycle requires commitment at every level of an organisation. Once the measuring and monitoring mechanisms are in place, and the reporting schedule is established, the whole process then becomes very straightforward.
Each of the five steps in the cycle must be completed to attain certification, and then repeated annually to retain certification. Continuous use of the ‘carbon neutral’ trademark is subject to successful re-inspection every two years.
BP Carbon Neutral certification is an effective way for small and medium businesses to kick-start a long-term carbon reduction programme that helps drive efficiencies, enhance brand and customer offers, motivate staff and create competitive advantage.