Tools and One Simple Step To Accelerate Your Climate Initiatives at Your B Corp
This article is a personal perspective from an employee at B Lab, the nonprofit behind Certified B Corporations. In this series, we invite B Lab employees to share their experiences, inspiration, hopes, and challenges as they work toward a more inclusive and regenerative world. This edition of B Lab Voices is from Max Hayes, Growth Manager at B Lab U.S. & Canada. This article was written in collaboration with Bridget Thorpe from Climate Neutral.
This past summer had some of the hottest weeks on record in all of human history. There is no doubt that we are feeling the effects of climate change. For years, people have believed the climate crisis has been someone else’s problem to solve. The truth is, it is now everyone’s problem, and everyone has the opportunity to step up. We’ve never had better resources to take immediate action and create meaningful impact.
Like anything else, getting started can feel overwhelming. Yet, kick-starting a credible climate action plan for your business is much easier (and faster) than you might think. It starts with measuring your brand-level emissions and understanding climate neutrality.
What Is Climate Neutrality?
All businesses, from multinational corporations to home-office solopreneurs, generate emissions. These emissions may come from office lights, factory production, waste, business travel, and a long list of other emissions sources that industry experts categorize into scopes.
Climate neutrality is simply when your organization achieves a balance between emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) and absorbing GHGs from the atmosphere. Climate neutrality is neither an end state nor a finish line. It is a starting point that all businesses should use as a launchpad for detailed and dedicated decarbonization work within their supply chains.
Climate neutrality sets businesses off toward becoming net zero, a state when all or virtually all emissions have been reduced to zero. Achieving net zero is nearly impossible for any organization because the global economy still relies so heavily on fossil fuels for energy. However, every organization must start working toward climate neutrality today to reach the global emission reduction targets that science demands and meet B Lab’s Net Zero by 2030 commitment.
The best first step is to measure your company’s emissions.
Getting Started With Emissions Measurement Tools
Intuitive, action-focused tools make everything easier. B Lab has teamed up with Climate Neutral. This nonprofit organization oversees the Climate Neutral Certified label and offers a suite of low-cost tools that can accelerate a business’s climate action.
Climate Neutral’s Business Emissions Evaluator (BEE) is an accessible and efficient carbon measurement tool designed for impact. Fellow B Corps that use the BEE appreciate that it allows for rapid emissions estimates (think under one hour, not weeks), provides powerful visualizations, and is low-cost, so businesses can use their budget on climate solutions.
The results from your free initial BEE estimate can also be input directly into the Scope 1, 2, and 3 questions in the B Impact Assessment for credit in the Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions question.
This recent video interview features sustainability leaders Sophie Rifkin, Senior Director of Sustainability at Banza, and John Mathai, Sustainability Manager at Simple Human. In the video, they share an insider view on what it’s actually like using the BEE. Hear from Rifkin and Mathai about why they chose this tool to measure their brand’s emissions, how it has transformed their climate strategies, and a few inspiring (and comical) anecdotes.
How B Lab and Climate Neutral Are Accelerating Climate Action
Emissions measuring is the best first step to taking credible climate action; you can’t manage what you don’t measure! But measurement is also only the beginning. What your organization decides to do with your emissions measurement data will define your climate action impact.
B Corp Certification and the B Corp community serve as a roadmap and inspiration for taking credible climate action. One of B Lab U.S. & Canada’s core pillars of our theory of change is focused on climate justice, with the specific aim to speed up the transition to an inclusive, fair, and regenerative economy and zero-carbon future for all people and the planet. B Corps around the world are these pace-setters in the Race to Zero. They work individually and together, aiming higher, digging deeper, and moving faster.
B Lab has thoroughly reviewed Climate Neutral’s certification to ensure its credibility and support your climate action initiatives. Organizations that go beyond emissions measurement and become Climate Neutral Certified will be well-positioned to earn credit in the Air and Climate section of the B Impact Assessment (e.g. Reducing Carbon Emissions).
Climate Neutral Certified companies are also eligible for full credit in the Monitoring Energy Usage, Monitoring Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Carbon Intensity, Offsetting Supplier GHG Emissions, Supply Chain GHG Management, and the % GHG Emissions Offset questions on the B Impact Assessment. These are worth about 5 points total if the company achieves full credit.
Why It Matters
While it is true that the effects of climate change have never been worse, we’ve also never had better tools, like the BEE, to deal with it or movements like B Corp to lead the charge and encourage others to follow their lead. In fact, B Corps are 250% more likely to be carbon neutral than other companies!
Organizations that take early, aggressive, and science-aligned climate action will make future climate work more manageable and contribute to business resiliency in general. There’s simply no reason to wait.
In addition to online resources compiled by B Lab, the B Corp Climate Collective is a collaborative option for businesses at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis through action and innovation. Its website includes a B Climate Tools Base where companies can access resources to measure their carbon footprint and create a carbon reduction strategy.
Now is the time to act if you’ve been thinking about leveling up your organization’s climate action. Create a free BEE account to estimate your emissions today and start your measurement journey.
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