The CarbonNeutral Protocol
We are pleased to present this 2023 edition of The CarbonNeutral Protocol. First developed and published in 2002, the Protocol is revised and updated annually to reflect developments in climate science, international policy, standards and business practice. It is an open source standard and guide developed for business by business that draws together leading independent standards for greenhouse gas accounting into a practical guide to carbon neutrality.
It underpins CarbonNeutral® certifications awarded by Climate Impact Partners to recognise carbon neutral organisations, products and activities, and provides a detailed framework for the design and implementation of credible carbon neutral programmes.
What are the three foundational principles for CarbonNeutral certifications?
Promote immediate action to support deeper and widespread transformation...
Carbon neutrality is the action taken immediately by an entity to fully compensate for the global warming impact from its greenhouse gas emissions. Transformation to a sustainable and resilient net zero economy is accelerated by carbon neutrality as entities act ahead of and beyond regulation. Carbon neutral entities reduce emissions under their direct control and enable mitigation activities elsewhere that require finance to deliver mitigation in line with the UNFCCC’s goals and contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Built on conservative estimation, best practice, transparency and continuous improvement...
Entities use the CarbonNeutral® logo as a credible marker of best practice when communicating their voluntary climate action to key stakeholders. Entities commit to disclosing the basis of their claims – including the GHG emission inventories, management processes, methodologies, standards and protocols that deliver carbon neutrality in accordance with the requirements of The CarbonNeutral Protocol – and accept that these requirements may change to align with emerging best practice.
Committed to pragmatism and impact...
Achieving carbon neutrality is an actionable, understandable and pragmatic response that can be adopted by any entity to meet its climate objectives and play a meaningful role in driving the transition to net zero across the global economy. The CarbonNeutral certification logo enables entities to communicate their commitment to carbon neutrality to key stakeholders so they may be recognised and rewarded for their progressive action.
Source: The CarbonNeutral Protocol