The CarbonNeutral Protocol Index

Step 3: Target

The third step is to confirm a target of carbon neutral GHG emissions for the period of the certification: to be delivered through internal abatement of GHG emissions and the retirement of environmental instruments to compensate for unabated emissions. The aim is to ensure clients get business value from clear, ambitious and immediate action on carbon emissions, and effective and efficient emissions reductions are stimulated by the presence of a carbon neutral target.

As illustrated by Figure 3, the client must commit to an overall target of carbon neutral GHG emissions for the subject during the certification period.

For all subjects, the client should set an internal abatement target to ensure the subject’s gross or actual emissions decrease over time. The target may be expressed as an absolute GHG emission reduction or as a decrease in GHG intensity.

Absolute GHG reduction targets compare total GHG emissions in the target year to those in a base year (e.g. reduce CO2e by 25 percent below 2015 levels by 2025). GHG intensity targets are expressed as a ratio of emissions relative to a business metric (e.g. reduce CO2e by 25 percent per full-time employee by 2025). Absolute GHG reduction targets should be given preference over GHG intensity targets whenever possible.

Approaches to setting abatement targets include Science-Based Targets (see Guidance 3.2).

The client must specify any internal abatement targets in its CarbonNeutral? Certification Target and Reduce Form (see Technical Specification 3.1).

While targets may be extended to net zero (see Guidance 3.3) or carbon (or climate, or net) positive (see Guidance 3.4) and other impacts on Sustainable Development Goals, CarbonNeutral certification applies only to neutrality as defined in The Protocol.

Figure 3: Emissions Profile for Subject of CarbonNeutral? Certification