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New Climate Neutral Label

Most of us are trying to do 'the right thing' and buy products that are the least damaging to the environment. But it's remarkably difficult to make a truly informed decision. It needs a label to help and inform us. And one's coming...

Every eco-conscious consumer has felt the frustration of trying to make the least climate-ruining decisions. Nothing you buy is really good for the planet - every new purchase carries a carbon cost. So many factors go into determining the environmental and social impact of everything on your shopping list that even the smallest choices can become agonizing. A mind-boggling array of factors can inform every decision, so for reassurance, people often turn to trusted brands and recognizable - or at least understandable - labels.

Climate Neutral Certified combines those two things in a verified seal of approval indicating that a product comes from a company taking responsibility for the carbon emissions of its entire supply chain. The idea, according to CEO Austin Whitman, is to make those headache-inducing decisions a little easier - and provide clear, simple actions for everyone who wants to tread more lightly on the planet.

The nonprofit wants to do for a whole array of products what Fair Trade has done for coffee, namely hold manufacturers to higher standards, and give consumers some assurance that the item they’re choosing is as climate-friendly as possible. Almost 70 percent of shoppers in the U.S. and Canada say they look for sustainability in the brands they buy. It’s a particularly high priority for Gen Z and millennial consumers.

Although there’s some debate about whether these values actually translate into purchases, “eco-friendly” products are definitely a growing market, and more and more companies are catching on.

So, wouldn't it be good news if there was a clear, unambiguous label to help inform our purchasing decisions?

To earn the right to attaching 'Climate Neutral Certified' to a product, a company must estimate its overall carbon footprint using Climate Neutral’s nifty Brand Emissions Estimator - which is less precise, but much quicker and cheaper than hiring a consulting firm. Next, the company must purchase offsets to mitigate its entire carbon output from the preceding year. Finally, it must commit to reducing its emissions and document quantitative progress in doing so.

Climate Neutral’s first crop of 150 brands, which includes the likes of Klean Kanteen, Allbirds, Numi Tea, and Kickstarter, measured and offset 228,314 metric tons of carbon for 2019. The number of brands will grow to 300 this summer, and Whitman aims to get another 250 on board by the end of the year.

OGN applauds this and looks forward to the labelling becoming prevalent everywhere and on everything.

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