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1. What is climate change?
The prime cause of global warming is the build up of CO2 in the atmosphere. Every person produces CO2 – and the amount is known as a ‘carbon footprint’. Because we all produce CO2, it’s the responsibility of everyone to try to reduce the amount they produce in order to slow global warming. A major source of CO2 emissions is energy used in the office, the home, driving and flying.
2. What does carbon neutral mean?
Being carbon neutral means that an individual or organisation has reduced their CO2 footprint - this could be partial reduction or to net zero depending upon the actions initiatives they have taken. Reduction is through a mix of internal changes and reductions as well as carbon offsetting.
Carbon offsetting means that for every one tonne of CO2 a person or organisation produces, they pay for one tonne of CO2 to be saved through a climate friendly project somewhere else in the world. One tonne ‘offsets’ the other. Individuals or organisations can invest in climate friendly projects through the purchase of carbon credits.
However, it is important to note that carbon offsetting is not regulated on a global or even national basis. Therefore this places a considerable onus on those companies offering carbon offsetting to do ‘the right thing’ and to operate in a responsible and fair manner and, by extension, on the companies and individuals claiming to be carbon neutral to ensure that they are in fact credibly achieving a net zero carbon footprint and offsetting their carbon emissions according to the best practices and sustainability standards.
3. What does CarbonNeutral® mean?
While many organisations claim to be carbon neutral, only those that achieve the CarbonNeutral brand mark can confidently and without any further qualifications say that they have truly achieved a net zero carbon footprint.
CarbonNeutral® is the registered trademark of The CarbonNeutral Company and is the leading brand mark and quality standard for action on climate change. Permission to display the CarbonNeutral mark is only given to organisations when CO2 emissions have been measured and reduced to net zero through a program implemented in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol. This Protocol assures quality of offset projects, carbon footprint assessments and communication and is regularly reviewed by an Independent Advisory Group.
The CarbonNeutral® brand mark awarded to Neal’s Yard Remedies signifies that the emissions associated with Neal’s Yard Remedies commuting, business travel, company vehicles, company shops and head office have been calculated in accordance with the WRI/WBCSD GHG protocol and an equal number of carbon credits have been purchased on behalf of Neal’s Yard Remedies to neutralize these emissions.
4. Are Neal’s Yard Remedies the first company in the retail sector to become CarbonNeutral®?
Neal’s Yard Remedies are the first nationwide High Street retailer to become carbon neutral.
A number of other major retailers have taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint or have committed to achieving carbon neutral status over the next few years. Some businesses in the media broadcast, financial and other sectors have also achieved carbon neutral status and it is now widely recognised that reducing carbon emissions, improving energy efficiency and offsetting CO2 is an important step that must be taken by individuals, business and government.
5. Why did the Neal’s Yard Remedies decide to go CarbonNeutral®?
At Neal’s Yard Remedies we are committed to reducing the impact of our business on the environment. This means using organic, natural and sustainable ingredients in our products, reducing waste and supporting recycling. Given the threat to people, communities and animals as a result of global warming we felt it was also vital to take a leadership role in running our business successfully while respecting and preserving the world in which we live by becoming carbon neutral.
6. What was the process for Neal’s Yard Remedies to become CarbonNeutral®?
To achieve the CarbonNeutral brand mark, Neal’s Yard Remedies went through a process which involved:
- Measuring CO2 emissions from travel, waste and energy
- Setting in motion plans to reduce CO2 gradually through internal changes
- Immediately reducing the remaining CO2 emissions to zero through carbon offsetting
But as the internal reductions kick in and Neal’s Yard Remedies CO2 emissions drop, we will need to buy less carbon credits to ensure that we have net zero CO2 emissions.
7. Does this mean all your products are CarbonNeutral® as well?
No, at this stage we’ve covered all our direct and indirect operations at the company head offices, production facility and company owned shops including travel, energy and waste disposal. In order to make products carbon neutral there is a complex process involving reviewing the product, ingredients used in it, how they are grown or produced by suppliers, shipped and so on. It’s something we’re interested in exploring further and we’ll keep you posted of any action we take on this front.
8. Why is The CarbonNeutral® programme the most rigorous?
All of the carbon credits purchased by The CarbonNeutral Company on behalf of CarbonNeutral® companies have all been verified to all types of standards such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and Gold Standard. In addition, the overall program run by The CarbonNeutral Company has an outstanding quality assurance record. This includes:
- An Independent Advisory Group: of leading academics, scientists and businesses
- The CarbonNeutral® Protocol: the standard which sits behind the CarbonNeutral brand mark and covers everything from the way in which CO2 is measured through to the selection of offsets and communication.
- 3rd party ‘assurance’ of the business: The CarbonNeutral Company commissions PwC to review the entire business and report publically on its integrity
- Accounting standards: The CarbonNeutral Company has introduced the Policy for Accounting and Reporting Carbon (PARC) as an industry standard
- Online carbon register: The CarbonNetural Company is one of the only carbon offset companies to have a carry an on-line public register of its carbon offset projects
- The CarbonNeutral Company guarantees every tonne of a carbon offset
9. What changes have Neal’s Yard Remedies instituted internally to reduce their ‘Carbon Footprint’?
We’ve set out a plan of action for the coming year covering our premises, energy use and people. We also aim to engage our customers by offering ways to join the carbon neutral revolution. In brief our action plan for the coming year is:
Neal’s Yard Remedies Carbon Action Plan - 2008
Reduce CO2 emissions across our business operations:
- By improving energy efficiency.
- Buying renewable energy for Head Office in Dorset.
- Reviewing, and where possible, switching to renewable energy for London offices and company shops.
- Investing £70,000 on installing solar panels at the Dorset Head Office and production site.
- Move all plastic packaging over to 100% post consumer recycled PET -representing a 28% energy saving relative to current use of PETE.
Engage our customers in the climate change campaign and provide them with simple means to reduce their carbon footprint.
Work with The Carbon Trust and The CarbonNeutral Company
to identify ways of becoming more energy efficient and reduce our CO2 emissions.
And of course we’re committed to annually offsetting any CO2 that we can’t cut out through our action plan.
10. What is Neal’s Yard Remedies Carbon Footprint?
Neal’s Yard Remedies current carbon footprint is 801 tonnes of CO2.
11. What is the main source of Carbon Emissions?
12. What projects are Neal’s Yard Remedies investing in to offset their carbon emissions?
We’ve requested that all our offset investment goes into projects into wind turbine projects producing clean, renewable energy in countries such as India and China. The CarbonNeutral Company is currently matching our funds up with the ideal projects and we’ll provide more specific details in the next few weeks.
13. Can customers follow your lead and become carbon neutral?
There are many simple actions that we can all take to reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ from switching to renewable energy at home to changing standard light bulbs for energy efficient versions. Other actions can include reducing unnecessary car or plane journeys and of course offsetting the carbon produced through travel and other activities. For simple tips and offsetting options please visit:
14. Who is The CarbonNeutral Company?
Set up ten years ago, The CarbonNeutral Company is the world’s leading carbon offset and climate consulting business, working with over 300 businesses and 50,000+ consumer clients. They are the longest established and best known carbon offset and climate consulting business helping businesses and individuals to reduce their CO2.
CO2 is traded internationally in metric tonnes.