The CarbonNeutral Protocol Index

1.4 Product certifications


For CarbonNeutral product certifications, the boundary for the product certification is dependent on three key factors:

1. The certifying entity’s span and level of control over the design, manufacture and delivery of the product to their customer;
2. the position of the entity in the supply chain; and,
3. the extent and nature of in-use and end-of- life emissions

1. Span and control
It is important that CarbonNeutral® claims are both robust and do not overstate the emissions covered by the certification. The client certifying a product CarbonNeutral® must include:
All emissions upstream
Emissions within their control, until the point at which their customer takes control of (or purchases) the transportation, storage or use of the product

If the organisation applying for the CarbonNeutral® certification is neither a member of (nor has a stake in) the product supply chain, the minimum boundary applied must extend to the point at which the customer of the manufacturer takes control of (or purchases) the transportation, storage or use of the product.

2. Position in supply chain

Where the CarbonNeutral® product certification logo is used on the product itself, the boundary of the certification should extend to the point of purchase by the end-user or as close as is reasonably possible in the following scenarios:
Where the end user is a member of the general public
Where transportation of the product includes air freight, long-haul journeys or temperature controlled storage

3. In-use and end-of-life

As indicated in Figure 6, the default scope for product certifications is cradle to customer. This approach provides the greatest flexibility in dealing with intermediary customers within complex supply-chain architectures.

However, emissions from the in-use phase and from the end-of-life phase must be included when the emissions are both material and unavoidable, and are optional in all other instances.

For the purposes of this guidance, these terms are defined as:

Material
: Greenhouse gas emissions from the in- use and end-of-life phases together account for a significant proportion of cradle-to-grave emissions.

Unavoidable
: Certain intrinsic greenhouse gas emissions from the in-use and end-of-life phases. For example, fossil-derived petrol/gasoline as fuel to end customers; or, fossil derived natural gas space heaters.

In future versions of The Protocol, we anticipate that the scope of product certifications will be standardised around cradle-to-grave emissions.

Figure 6: Minimum CarbonNeutral® Product Boundaries for Various Organisations Within a Product Supply Chain