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A simple pathway to carbon neutral certification for small and medium businesses

Release date:
24 May 2019
Small and medium sized businesses now have a simple way to demonstrate to their customers, employees and other stakeholders that they are tackling their carbon footprint


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’.

A simple pathway to carbon neutral certification for small and medium businesses

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’

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.


Five Step Pathway to a certified carbon neutral business

Five Step Pathway to a certified carbon neutral business
That’s where BP Target Neutral’s protocol of ‘five steps to certification’ comes in – quantifying the business carbon footprint, setting and meeting reduction targets, offsetting unavoidable emissions, achieving certification and finally publicising the results.
Mr. Antonio Gomez owner and CEO of Grupo Motor Gomez VW dealership in Spain
“Being part of this programme enables us to differentiate from competitors and be pioneers in such an innovative initiative. As a company we are conscious about the importance of respecting the Environment hence the carbon neutral programme is a perfect way not only to contribute for decreasing our CO2 footprint but also our customer’s footprints”Mr. Antonio Gomez,Owner and CEO of Grupo Motor Gomez VW dealership in Spain

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.

1. Examples include the British Standards Institution (BSI) PAS 2060:2014 specification, and Australia’s National Carbon Offset Standard (ANOC).