Carbon Neutral Certification Guide

Climate change is re-writing business rules. Nowadays the business community is aware of the fact that those who act on global warming are experiencing significant benefits and exploiting opportunities that remain inaccessible to those who continue with ‘business as usual’ – while ignoring the fact that consumers are concerned about global warming.

At the Carbon Reduction Institute, we acknowledge becoming carbon neutral as a great business opportunity. Whether you are driven by environmental motives or wish to maximise the marketing benefits of taking action on climate change, the Carbon Reduction Institute can help you achieve your objectives.

Any work that you do to reduce your consumption of electricity, gas or transport will reduce your total emissions. We also strongly encourage organisations to look closely at purchasing, waste, divestment to further reduce emissions.

There are over 80 organisations who are currently certified carbon neutral in Australia through Carbon Reduction Institute.

Benefits of carbon neutral certification

Political stalling over climate control in Australia has resulted in continued growth in emissions output, without any effective strategy in place to deal with the growing problem.

For now, taking action to curb greenhouse gas emissions is left up to us – individuals and businesses who see beyond the politics and understand there is a good business case for becoming carbon neutral.

With a brand’s ‘green credentials’ a major factor when it comes to consumers’ purchasing decisions, your company’s environmental image will greatly influence how it is perceived in the marketplace.

There are also now large cost savings to be made by companies who take steps to curb their greenhouse gas emissions in areas such as electricity, gas and transport.

Getting the most out of your certification

Logo Usage

Once you have undergone an emissions assessment and chosen a plan to lower your climate change impact, you will get listed as a carbon neutral or low carbon business and be issued the well established NoCO2 or LowCO2 certification logos. The logos can be displayed on your website, stationery, brochures and other business communication documents to help promote the fact that you are taking action on climate change.

Place your certification logo prominently on your webpage for maximum exposure—as well as letterheads and on point of sales material. On your webpage, if you include an explanation of the actions your organisation is undertaking, visitors will have a clear understanding of the commitment that has been made by the organisation. As a manufacturer you will also benefit by having it clearly displayed on your packaging.

CRI can assist you with point of sale materials designs should it be needed. Once the logos are placed you will need to make sure you have clear disclosure about the actions you have taken and the types of Carbon offsets you have used. We provide you with all of this information in your dedicated Low Carbon Economy Directory web page.

Public Image/Enhanced Environmental Profile

Be seen to do the right thing: your company’s environmental image will greatly influence how it is perceived. As your business lowers its carbon footprint and works towards becoming a sustainable organisation, your actions will reflect positively on your company’s public image. The Carbon Reduction Institute will provide you with marketing materials to promote your actions on global warming; and our reputation and expertise will ensure that you get an undisputable product which will position you as a leader in the battle against global warming.

Media Opportunities

Companies are increasingly announcing their intentions to lower their carbon footprint and become carbon neutral. These announcements are of great interest to the media, which has long recognised the popularity of the climate change topic to the public. As part of becoming NoCO2 or LowCO2 certified, the Carbon Reduction Institute can assist with press release and PR activities.

Staff Education/Staff Involvement

Engaging your staff is one of the most effective ways to lower your company’s carbon footprint. It is also a great tool to increase staff loyalty, raise staff awareness and improve work ethics. Show your staff that you care about climate change and are making efforts to become a responsible global citizen – their attitude towards you as employer might become even more positive!

Attracting Gen Y Employees

The quality workforce of the new Generation Y has high standards concerning its employers. Workplace choices are no longer just based on attractive salary and position but also on the environmental and social commitments of a company. Achieving carbon neutral certification and actively involving staff in the process is considered one of the most effective ways to attract the top of the workforce.

Consumer Attraction

Green credentials have become a key influencer in consumer decisions to purchase a product or service. Proof for this claim can be found in the increasing popularity of fair trade products, organic produce and products and services which carry a carbon impact label. When you become carbon neutral or low carbon certified, you will be able to respond to those consumer demands by offering ‘Carbon Neutral Products’ or those that come with a ‘Make It Carbon Neutral’ option.

Increased Online Presence, Greater Exposure

We increase your online presence and help you attain greater exposure through our Low Carbon Economy Directory integration strategy. When you certify as LowCO2 or NoCO2 business, we provide you with a listing in the Low Carbon Directory and your own mini website which contains information on the methodology and process you have undertaken to lower your impact on global warming.

Easy Access to Low Carbon Economy Directory – Suppliers and Buyers

Nowadays the environmental performance and the financial performance of a business are intrinsically linked. Reducing your climate change impact expands business opportunities with impressive ROIs. Other businesses within the Low Carbon Economy Directory tend to specifically look for carbon neutral and low carbon suppliers when making a purchasing decision – and will pick you over others. The Carbon Reduction Institute will be happy to help you build suitable business networks within the Low Carbon Economy Directory.

Potential Financial Savings

There are financial benefits to be reaped from reducing your impact on climate change. Implementing energy efficiency measures has impressive payback times and will save money on your electricity bills. Introducing a recycling system in your office can save money from reduced waste quantities going to landfill. And you will also find that an efficiently run office will reduce costs for office equipment such as paper and cartridges.

Preparing your Business for Future Climate Change Regulations

Voluntarily reducing your climate change impact will prepare your business for future regulations on climate change, such as emission caps and carbon taxes. The Carbon Reduction Institute can provide ongoing assistance after certification to ensure that you are adequately prepared to respond to new challenges.

How you can use the Certification Logos

Now that you have completed the audit process, you want to reap the benefits of being one of the first businesses to take serious action on climate change. And the Carbon Reduction Institute is here to show you how!

No matter what drove you to take up certification with us, communicating to your existing and prospective customers what actions you have taken towards climate change is your biggest asset now. Various studies have revealed that consumers are increasingly seeking products and services that have a reduced environmental impact. And you’ve already taken all the necessary steps to make sure your products and services leave the smallest footprint possible! All you need to do now is tell this to your clients and you’ll be capturing the quickly growing carbon conscious market in no time.

This section outlines the opportunities and advantages of using the NoCO2 and LowCO2 certification logos as part of your overall business branding plan. It can help you identify strategies to communicate your environmental awareness to your customers while adding value to your brand or company profile.

We particularly recommend the usage of the certification logos on:

  • Websites
  • Products and Labels
  • Banners and Outdoor Displays
  • Brochures, Flyers, Email Signatures
  • Everyday Communication

You will find a variety of examples from which to gain inspiration on the following pages. We hope you have fun exploring the new opportunities your certification logos provide!

Using certification logos on your website

At the Carbon Reduction Institute, we encourage you to use your new certification logos on your website, products, advertising and everyday business communication.

Your website will be the most obvious choice for making your environmental credentials public. For many businesses, the website is the first point of contact with prospective customers. That means you’ll want to make sure that your homepage highlights all your business’s amenities, including the actions you take to contribute to a better, healthier environment!

Many of our certified businesses display their certification logo on the homepage of their website. There are several ways to do this. For example, you could incorporate them into the page header or footer:

You might also want to include the logos together with a small description of the actions you have taken into the content or banner of your home page.

Another option for you, one which offers great credibility and transparency, is to dedicate a page on your website to your business’s environmental policy. This is especially useful if you want to disclose the actions you have taken properly, and if you are taking various steps worth mentioning to reduce your carbon footprint. Generally, providing as much detail about your environmental credentials as possible is a great way to add value to your business and attract customers.