Happy Earth Day, everyone! Here at Planet + Purpose Solutions, we’re not only celebrating the wonders of spring and the beauty of nature, but also the fact that we’re officially Climate Neutral Certified!!
Despite facing an unprecedented global pandemic (and everything else 2020 threw at us), climate change is the single biggest threat to humanity - and we have the tools and resources needed to stop it. The process to become Climate Neutral Certified is a months-long effort to measure, offset, and reduce our carbon footprint. These are actions that all brands - and individuals - can and should take to “flatten the curve” of carbon emissions.
As a high touch consulting firm providing strategic guidance to organizations launching sustainability initiatives, we build brand awareness by connecting our clients to their purpose and their purpose to consumers through authentic action. Part of this authentic action is pursuing rigorous, verified sustainability certifications, and today we’re thrilled that we’re able to join 230 other Climate Neutral Certified brands in taking meaningful action for the climate.
Without a doubt, 2020 was a challenging year on many levels. In the face of unexpected obstacles, radical pivots, and new ways of working, we’ve learned that we are able to face big challenges not only as individuals but as a society. Globally, we emit almost 60 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (these are the carbon emissions that cause climate change) every year. There is no question that it will take concerted action by all of us to address this global crisis.
If we don’t take collective responsibility for this problem now, there is no way we can achieve the 2050 goals set out by the Paris Climate Agreement. These are make-or-break goals. Reach them, and we avoid the devastating effects of climate change. Miss them, and life on Earth will change for billions of people. Many of us are already experiencing the effects of climate change now—in the form of extreme weather events like droughts, more devastating hurricanes, flooding and more.
We’re acting now because science-based solutions to climate change exist, and they are accessible to brands like ours. “Pursuing Climate Neutral certification was an obvious choice for us. It’s important to walk the talk. Consumers are demanding that brands take action on climate change, and we are supporting those brands on their journey. We want to hold ourselves to the same standards and better understand the process that our clients are going through,” says Lia Colabello, Managing Principal of Planet + Purpose Solutions.
How did we get here?
Given the need for immediate action on climate, we partnered with Climate Neutral to measure, offset, and reduce last year's carbon emissions. We have also had the privilege of working with several of our clients on their climate journey, including Nuun, who achieved Climate Neutral certification in 2019 and 2020.
So what does being Climate Neutral certified actually mean?
First, we measured our 2020 carbon footprint by looking at all of the emissions created from making and delivering our services, including our supply chain emissions, employee commuting, business travel, and utility bills.
We offset our entire 2020 footprint by purchasing carbon credits to fund climate change solutions. We supported three projects focused on conserving forest ecosystems in in Indonesia, Brazil, and the US. Many of the world’s most biodiverse forests are at risk to deforestation because logging and timber production provide important incomes for local communities Each independently verified project helps preserve natural ecosystems, and increase carbon stored in trees, thereby reducing emissions. In addition, we plan to offset our company’s historical footprint as well by supporting Cool Effect's scientifically verified carbon offset projects.
The final certification requirement was to create a Reduction Action Plan to help lower the emissions we produce over the next 12-24 months. This element of the certification process is critical to ensuring companies are authentically committed to tangible climate action. It is not enough to simply purchase offsets in perpetuity; businesses must be serious about reducing their emissions over time if we are going to reach the Paris Agreement goals.
PPS 2021-2022 Reduction Action Plan:
We plan to reduce emissions from purchased electricity at our office by working with the owners of our office building to improve the building's energy efficiency.
We plan to reduce emissions related to business travel by developing a travel policy for our team to encourage more sustainable travel methods.
By being transparent about our reduction plan, you can see how we’re working to live up to our claims of climate responsibility. It is always our hope that other brands will see what we did and become inspired to take action as well.
What does it mean to be Climate Neutral Certified?
Climate Neutral is a nonprofit committed to solving climate change by making carbon neutrality simple and accessible. Austin Whitman, CEO of Climate Neutral says, “Consumers hold massive power to shape the economy, and their power is exerted through the actions of the brands they support. With our climate label, we’re helping consumers find the brands that are willing to invest immediately in climate solutions.”
The 230 brands certified so far this year all went through the same process to measure, offset, and reduce their emissions, neutralizing about 700,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. These companies offer products and services across a wide range of industries, from apparel to media. To learn more about Climate Neutral and other brands committed to climate action, visit climateneutral.org.
We’re thrilled to be in good company with this year’s Climate Neutral Certified brands. We believe in Climate Neutral’s mission of taking action now to solve a critical global threat. We are so glad you’re with us for the journey!