The CarbonNeutral Protocol Index

Step 5: Communicate

The fifth step is to provide accurate and transparent information on how CarbonNeutral® certification is achieved. As public pressure for action on climate change grows, so does scrutiny of companies' climate action, coming from a range of stakeholders including: individuals, campaigns, NGOs and other civil society organisations, and authorities that regulate consumer-facing advertising and marketing claims. This fifth part of certification is important to proactively address and respond to that increased scrutiny.

Requirements/recommendations
The CarbonNeutral® certification logo is the mechanism by which clients communicate the certification.

Clients should have a high-level understanding of all their major environmental, social, and economic impacts, and ensure that their CarbonNeutral® claims are an appropriate response and priority in relation to these major impacts. Clients may use internationally recognised management standards such as ISO 14001 to identify and manage their key impacts.

Once certified CarbonNeutral®, clients should communicate their action through use of the CarbonNeutral® certification logo.

All communications relating to a client’s CarbonNeutral® certification must be factually based and should be clear and transparent so as to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. Communications must be consistent with the specific CarbonNeutral® certification achieved. Refer to Table 1 for the full list of CarbonNeutral® certifications. The use of the CarbonNeutral® certification logo must conform to the requirements and guidance on the use of the CarbonNeutral certification logo (see Technical Specification 5.1).

All clients should publicly disclose GHG inventory metrics relating to their CarbonNeutral® certification, including but not limited to their total gross emissions, emission intensity metrics and emission reduction activities. Reporting options include: on product or packaging, a client’s own communications and those to third-party reporting initiatives such as CDP, The Climate Registry or the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Standard.

Clients should also ensure that all claims are consistent with national or regional guidance or legislation that defines and controls environmental claims, such as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides, the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code, the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket), and the International Chamber of Commerce’s Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing.