Businesses around the world are motivated to address the global threat of climate change. Rather than waiting for political and economic systems to catch up, they are acting now for a better tomorrow - by becoming climate neutral.
We have supported numerous companies with our best-in-class climate neutral programme. Each client has a unique story that we are proud to be a part of and share.
What is climate neutrality?
Climate neutrality has been an established concept since the beginning of this century, and the phrase "carbon neutral" was word of the year in 2006. It combines an organisation's need to account for their carbon footprint and establish a clear reduction strategy, before offsetting unavoidable emissions. The purpose is to reduce net climate impact to zero - which is why recently the term "net zero" is becoming increasingly popular.
Step by step journey to climate neutrality
South Pole offers a leading end-to-end service with consulting services, best-in-class Climate Neutral 'Penguin' labels, renewable energy solutions and the world's largest portfolio of climate protection projects. We work with you each step of the way to climate neutrality.
Step 1: define the subject and level of your climate neutrality project - do you want to achieve climate neutrality for your company, a specific product or an event?
Step 3: set targets and develop a GHG emission reductions plan
Step 5: establish a strategy for addressing scope 3 emissions
Step 6: offset unavoidable emissions
Step 7: communicate your climate neutrality and position yourself as a climate leader
Step 8: annual review
Every journey begins with the first step - we can help you take yours.
South Pole's penguin labels
In a warming world where natural disasters and shrinking habitats are driving animals to extinction and putting human livelihoods at risk, studies show consumers are willing to pay more for goods and services from brands that are actively involved in the fight against climate change.
Upon completing your journey towards climate neutrality, you are eligible for the South Pole penguin label. You can use this label on packaging, websites, ads, and event materials - anywhere people come into contact with your brand.
How our clients did it
Read more about our client's incredible journeys towards climate leadership and how South Pole supported them.
Q: Isn't reducing emissions better than offsetting?
A: Thankfully, the plummeting costs of low-carbon technologies and more resource-efficient practices mean that many organisations are reducing their footprints, becoming more resilient and cutting costs.
The most important step when going climate neutral is always to reduce emissions - and this is at the heart of South Pole's approach, through energy efficiency and renewable energy. But in our present systems of mobility, energy generation and land use, preventing all carbon dioxide emissions is not currently possible for most organisations.
This is where offsetting, i.e. buying carbon credits comes in. Buying carbon credits compensates for the unavoidable emissions you create today by financing projects that reduce or absorb carbon emissions in the world. Accreditations from internationally recognised standards give you the assurance that the projects producing your credits deliver positive environmental and social impacts.
Q: Are there internationally recognised standards for climate neutrality?
A: Some countries have national climate neutrality certification schemes. Examples are the Norwegian Eco-Lighthouse Program and the Australian Government's Climate Active Program (formerly the National Carbon Offset Standard – NCOS).
The South Pole labels are closely aligned with international standards such as PAS 2060 – the leading international standard for demonstrating carbon neutrality, developed in 2014 by the British Standards Institution (BSi). The underlying greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting must follow recognised international standards such as the GHG Protocol or ISO 14064-1.
Q: What kind of challenges would companies anticipate if they decide to become climate neutral and how can they deal with those challenges?
A: Simply, companies often wonder where to start. The first step of any journey is usually the most difficult one and conducting a robust GHG accounting can be a challenge. That is why when embarking on this journey, a company needs to make sure that they have a detailed GHG inventory for their baseline.
There is also a lot of questions around the process of target setting and identifying cost-effective measures for reduction. This part is what is often discussed with the C-Level. We know it can be difficult to get management on board to sign off on concrete targets. At this point, it is essential to make a strong business case highlighting the anticipated savings and demonstrating how tailor-made reduction measures can be aligned with budgets.
Once the strategy is agreed, it is vital to get internal stakeholders on board - not just management but also employees who might for instance be prompted to disclose their commuting behavior and become incentivised to reduce emissions on business travel. We are happy to share experiences and propose communication tools. After all, we do the same for our own GHG accounting.
And then there is external communication - companies can be afraid of greenwashing accusations and try to safeguard against it. Developing dedicated communication strategies is necessary to maximise benefits. Our core belief is that the best way to avoid greenwashing accusations is by choosing a trustworthy partner to guarantee transparent and accuracy of data. Using such a partner's labels - like the South Pole penguin label - is the best way to show a considered and verified sustainability commitment to your clients and other external stakeholders.