Certification is a guided 3-step
process developed around
peer-reviewed standards.

We provide brands with all of the resources and guidance they need throughout the
certification journey, which typically takes about 1-3 months from start to finish.

01 Measure

Time to Complete

Small Brands: 1-2 hours
Large Brands: 1-3 months
(including data aggregation)

How the BEE Works

It all starts here: creating a solid estimate of the carbon emissions from making and delivering your products and services. Your footprint for certification includes Scopes 1, 2, and upstream Scope 3 emissions (per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol).

If measurement sounds overwhelming, expensive, and complex, don’t worry. We’ve simplified the process by creating our own software tool, the Brand Emissions Estimator: the “BEE.”


Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions represent the entirety of a carbon footprint from a company’s activities.  

  • Scope 1 are direct emissions that come from controlled facilities. This can include the fuel you burn in company vehicles, the natural gas you use to heat your office, or any direct emissions from owned manufacturing plants.
  • Scope 2 are indirect emissions. This is mostly your purchased electricity.
  • Scope 3 are indirect emissions from your supply chain – that means emissions released from extracting raw materials used for finished products, corporate business travel, employee commuting, shipping and transporting, and more. In most cases, Scope 3 makes up the majority of a company’s footprint.

Our certification measures Scope 3 Categories 1-7 and 9. Check out our Standards to learn more about footprint boundary requirements.

For Example

InTents is a tents company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, with most of its manufacturing based in China. The company had $80M in revenue in 2019.

The team hops into the BEE, and drops in its headquarters location (United States), annual spending ($50M), and spending broken down by product. The BEE provides the team with a high-level estimate of their carbon footprint of 67,145 tonnes of carbon equivalent.

The team then refines the estimate using operational data. This begins with a data aggregation step that requires the team to track down data on InTents’ operations. Then the InTents team can use the BEE to calculate their 2019 carbon footprint: 67,145 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). 

02 Offset

Time to Complete

Up to 2 weeks to complete and
document your purchase

Once you’ve calculated last year’s emissions, it’s time to purchase carbon credits to remove them from the atmosphere. That’s how you become “neutral”: one carbon credit removes or avoids one tonne of carbon emissions. Projects like reforestation remove carbon from the atmosphere, while renewable energy avoids emissions from traditional fossil fuels.


One carbon credit is a certificate generated when someone takes an action to eliminate or avoid the emission of one metric tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. Entities that develop carbon eliminating or avoiding projects can produce carbon credits, which are then verified by a third-party.

The market for carbon offsets has a strong system of third-party verification. Climate Neutral relies on this system, with a few of our own modifications to help us feel confident that we’re recognizing quality  offset projects that generate credits using the most trustworthy and rigorous standards.

These are the offset standards that Climate Neutral allows:

These groups set the bar for the market by laying out the process which ensures carbon credits meet the ‘big six’ requirements: real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, enforceable, and additional. Any project following the standards above must undergo a rigorous independent third-party verification in order to generate credits.

For Example

Since InTents’ carbon footprint for 2019 was 67,145 tonnes of carbon, the brand has to purchase at least 67,145 carbon credits to completely offset its footprint.

InTents purchased its credits through the Climate Neutral pool, which included:

  • 33,573 credits for a forest conservation project in the Amazon.
  • 20,143 credits for a water filtration project in India.
  • 13,429 credits for a small-scale hydropower project in China.

The pool’s weighted average cost was $5.00 per credit, meaning InTents spent $335,725 to offset its entire footprint, in line with their cost estimate of 0.4% of annual revenues, which were $80M in 2019. 

03 Reduce

Time to Complete

1 week to develop plan.
1 to 2 years to implement.

We require all brands to develop and implement a reduction action plan (RAP) to reduce their emissions over the next 12-24 months.

We’ve developed guides to help you determine where, and how, you can reduce your emissions. Our network of 140+ brands is also a great resource for crafting your reduction action plans.


A reduction action plan outlines what scope/category you’re aiming to reduce, your target, the timetable for achieving it, and how you’ll actually get it done. 

You do not need to quantify your reduction goals in tonnes of carbon, but we recommend it. For example, saying “We’ll switch our materials to recycled materials” is OK, but “We’ll switch 70% of our aluminum purchases to recycled aluminum” is a better goal. An even better option is to align with Science Based Targets, developing a target like “We’re committing to buying 100% green power in 2021, which will reduce our Scope 2 emissions by 22 tonnes of carbon.”

For Example

After using the BEE to calculate their footprint, the InTents team noticed a large portion of their emissions were coming from purchased materials.

The BEE uses economic data to produce an estimate of your footprint, which is then refined with your actual operational data. InTents buys a lot of polyester material, aluminum, and packaging paper and cardboard. The team decided to switch 20% of their materials to recycled versions, which are far less carbon-intensive. Another big source of emissions was the amount of corporate air travel, so InTents will rely on video calls to cut down air travel by 20%.

Your Certification Profile

After you’re officially certified, your company will join all of the other certified brands in our brand directory and you can begin displaying the label on your products and packaging.

Now accepting
commitments for
2020 certification.

Join today and show the world that you’re ready to tackle your carbon emissions..

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