DefinitionCarbon Neutrality

Carbon neutrality means that the carbon footprint of a company, product, service or event has been calculated on the basis of internationally recognised standards and fully offset by supporting international climate action projects.

ClimatePartner's label "carbon neutral" certifies that unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions have been offset. For the sake of legibility, all emissions are referred to as CO2 emissions and measured in tonnes of CO2. By this, we mean CO2 equivalents, i. e. all relevant greenhouse gases.

Offsetting CO2 emissions is an important step in holistic climate action, alongside avoidance and reduction. ClimatePartner recommends companies establish and act on CO2 avoidance and reduction plans as a continuous process, and supports them in corresponding strategies. For example, by supporting in defining science based reduction targets, or switching to renewable energy.

System boundariesSources of emissions covered Unless stated otherwise, Carbon neutrality for companies includes at minimum direct emissions generated by the company (i.e. heat generation, vehicle fleet, and fugitive gases), emissions from purchased energy like electricity, and also indirect emissions from purchased energy, business travel, and employee commuting. Other emissions that occur outside of the company's direct control, such as those during the extraction and production of raw materials purchased by the company, intermediate products, external logistics, product use, and end-of-life-treatment are not covered by the carbon neutral company claim.

Carbon neutrality for products includes the production, processing, and logistics of raw materials, precursors, and packaging, transport to retail, emissions from sources not directly attributable to products (e.g. employee commuting), and treatment at the end of the product life cycle. The use phase of products is not covered by carbon neutrality unless using the product itself directly emits greenhouse gases, such as the use of a combustion engine, or a gas powered heater.

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