Carbon Neutral Companies (a business that is balancing the emissions of carbon dioxide it produces through transportation, energy, production, and other factors, with its removal of them, typically by using offsets) are becoming more and more prevalent. One-Fourth of Fortune Global 500 Companies have made a public commitment that they are, or will be by 2030, carbon neutral. Consumers are increasing their support and demand for eco-friendly products, so more and more companies are taking the initiative to reduce their carbon emissions by going carbon neutral.
Companies that erase their emissions are showing the world that prompt action on climate change is necessary and possible. This guide outlines the wider concept of carbon neutrality, looking at some key terms and definitions, then follows with a list 10 of the most sustainable, eco-friendly brands that are taking a stand against climate change by a commitment to making carbon neutral products.
Eco-Friendly Companies: Is your favorite brand a carbon neutral company? Click here to find out.
Key Terms: Carbon Negative, Carbon Neutral, & Carbon Positive (What’s the Difference?)
Carbon Neutral or Carbon Neutrality is the concept that a person, group, or even a specie’s CO2 emissions are balanced out by natural biodiversity or other methods. This is often accomplished through carbon projects designed to prevent CO2 (& other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions) from entering the atmosphere, like methane capture or green energy.
Carbon Negative is any action or project that reduces the overall concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Carbon Positive is any action or project that increases the overall concentration of CO2 in the air. (This is not to be confused with Climate Positive, which refers to any action that benefits Earth’s climate.)
What Does It Mean When a Company Is “Carbon-Neutral” or “Carbon-Free?”
When a company describes itself as carbon neutral, it usually means that 100% of the company’s direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) emissions are being offset with carbon credits or offsets. It is rare that a company is able to offset all of these emissions with internal eco-efforts, so carbon credits become have one of the only ways to become truly carbon neutral.
But a “Carbon Neutral” badge on your favorite iced tea or new shoes doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire company is carbon neutral. In many cases, companies will choose a single product line, brand, or division to purchase carbon credits for, and make the neutrality claim. So, be careful.
10 Carbon Neutral Companies That are Stepping Up to Climate Change: Best Carbon Neutral Companies 2021
Over the last few decades, carbon neutral brands and products have gone from expensive and obscure to affordable, stylish, and highly demanded.
Here are some of the carbon negative companies that are operating as certified carbon neutral in 2021:
- Allbrids: Shoes made from trees, with zero carbon footprint
- Avocado: Green mattress supplier with eco-conscious practices
- Biolite: Clean, smoke-less cooking technology
- Ministry of Supply: Carbon-neutral clothing make with 100% recycled materials
- Nisolo: Ethically made footwear
- Rumpl: Blankets, towels, and ponchos from a Carbon Neutral company
- 22 degrees: Neoprene ocean wear company with multiple carbon neutral certifications
- FireclayTile: The first handmade tile company to become a certified Public Benefit Corporation
- Rocket Insights: Carbon neutral product designers with big style
- Bread Alone Bakery: Family-owned organic bread and pastries
How Can a Company Get Carbon Neutral Certified?
Neutral certifications can be obtained from a number of different sources. Some of the most reputable certification agencies include Carbonfund, which operates the popular Carbonfree Product Certification Program, and EcoLabel Index, which also operated a global directory of ecolabels in 199 countries.
Corporate Greenwashing: When Companies “Just Say” They’re Helping the Planet
Anytime a business makes claims about being sustainable or carbon-negative when they are knowingly not sustainable or carbon negative, it’s known as Corporate Greenwashing.
As more and more consumers start to demand products and services that are friendlier on the environment, some opportunistic companies will swoop in with false advertising, claiming things about their ecological practices that are highly exaggerated, if not flat-out false. Identifying them takes practice and know-how.
Companies Not Going Carbon Neutral are Harming the Planet
When a company refuses to go carbon neutral, it is directly contributing to the rapid, and perhaps permanent, warming of our planet. From construction yards to freighter shipping, big business is responsible for more than its fair share of greenhouse gas emissions. But as global warming continues to intensify, it is the businesses that will start to feel it first. Extreme weather events will increase the prices of materials, production, shipping, real estate.
For modern companies, climate change is much more than just a social responsibility issue. It’s a business problem. It is the CEOs and small business owners who are stepping up to protect the planet, as well as their bottom lines, from climate change.
You Can Go Carbon Positive Too
Some people would be surprised at how much their daily life actually impacts climate change. Drive a few miles to work? That’s a footprint. Fly to Mexico with your old college friends? Bigger footprint. Watch five straight seasons of a Netflix show on your HDTV? That’s a footprint too.
Knowing your carbon footprint is the first step to getting it neutralized. With the 8 Billion Trees’ Carbon Calculator, you can find out exactly how much CO2 emissions your daily life is generating. Then, you’ll be able to directly invest in the carbon negative project of your choice, thus balancing out the emissions you create and making you a carbon neutral human.
Carbon Neutral Certification: How Your Company or Brand Can Become Carbon Neutral Certified
How can a company become carbon neutral? It all begins by calculating your carbon footprint. In order to become certified carbon neutral, a company must offset both the direct and indirect emissions of its entire operation.
For example, a company that makes rubber shoes would need to offset the emissions of the factory, it’s shipping trucks, and even the emissions associated with their monthly electricity usage.
The cost of going carbon neutral can be significant, especially for mega-big companies like airlines, cruise ships, and popular clothing brands. But the smart companies are realizing that there is big value in these certifications, as more and more consumers wake up to the importance of supporting sustainable companies and eco-friendly products as much as possible.