Carbon neutral verification

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Carbon neutral verification

From September 2023 we are no longer offering carbon neutral verification. You may still see products in the market with the Carbon Neutral label, until the point of reverification, as we work with existing label holders to transition to our new range of label offers. 

The Carbon Trust has offered carbon neutral verification since 2012.

This verification enabled organisations to demonstrate their commitment to decarbonisation, verified against PAS 2060, the internationally recognised standard for Carbon Neutrality, and played an important role in setting businesses on the path to Net Zero.

As a leader and innovator, we are now making ambitious changes to our label portfolio, and the claims that accompany the labels. As consumers and regulators are demanding transparency and clarity of environmental claims with an expectation of high ambition, we are transitioning the carbon neutral verification and label to have a greater emphasis on reduction, more rigorous and ambitious requirements and language to enhance clarity of meaning. 

Our label portfolio is evolving to meet the growing demand from businesses to communicate their commitment to greater action to reduce carbon.

There is a need for more rapid climate action than ever before. Our labels support our partners to increase their ambition and accelerate the move to a decarbonised future.

The road to Net Zero

Businesses play a critical role in accelerating the Net Zero transition. In addition to the essential task of setting and delivering Net Zero targets, the organisation must neutralise residual emissions using GHG removals in the target year and thereafter. On the journey to Net Zero it is also recommended to invest in mitigating climate change beyond the value-chain through supporting projects, programmes or investing in emerging technologies and removals.

What is a carbon neutral footprint?

Carbon neutral footprint verification sets out requirements for quantification and reduction of emissions reviewing both retrospective and forward-looking emissions.

For products, the retrospective element means that the company producing the products has a measured and verified cradle-to-grave footprint of the product produced over the 12 month application period, has demonstrated a year-on-year reduction in product emissions.

Carbon neutral green logo

The forward-looking element means the company has a validated carbon management plan in which it has provided details on how it will reduce the product footprint, and with the commitment to reverify to carbon neutral and purchase offsets for the verification period (i.e. the 12-month period following the application period). This forward-looking commitment is part of the verification process, is aligned to PAS 2060.

For organisations, the retrospective element means that the company has a verified organisational footprint over a 12-month application period, and has demonstrated year-on-year reduction across the boundary. For reverifications only.

The forward-looking element means the company has a validated carbon management plan in which it has provided details on how it will reduce the organisational footprint. This forward-looking commitment is part of the verification process, and is aligned to PAS 2060.

What is PAS 2060? 

PAS 2060 is the internationally recognised specification for carbon neutrality published by BSI. It sets out the requirements for quantifying, reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for organisations and products.

In order to achieve the verification, a company must: 

  • Measure and verify the footprint within a clearly defined boundary (for example, the lifecycle of a product, or minimum Scope 1 and 2 for organisations).
  • Develop a qualifying explanatory statement (QES) including:
    • A statement of commitment 
    • A timescale for achievement
    • A carbon management plan and targets for GHG reductions 
    • A credible plan backed by investment to achieve ongoing emissions reductions to reduce reliance on offsets over time 
  • Purchase high quality offsets such as Gold Standard, VCS and Woodland Code UK to compensate for all remaining emissions.
  • Demonstrate year on year reductions.

Why the Carbon Trust? 

We are the world’s leading independent verification body for carbon footprints, having verified over 27,000 products. 

The Carbon Trust has long been at the leading edge of driving decarbonisation. We want to raise ambition in businesses and consumers, to encourage further, faster climate action. 

Our footprint labels verify meaningful actions towards reducing emissions, and transparent communications.

We guide businesses through a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape in various geographies.


View our end-to-end service offering for climate action and Net Zero transition planning

A guide: Carbon footprinting for businesses

What is a carbon footprint, and how should you measure, calculate and communicate it? This introductory guide is designed to help businesses understand organisational and product carbon footprinting.

Download the guide