Climate Active is an ongoing partnership between the Australian Government and Australian businesses to drive voluntary climate action. Climate Active is the only government accredited carbon neutral certification scheme in Australia.
The brand represents Australia’s collective effort to calculate, reduce, and offset carbon emissions to lessen our negative impact on the environment.
Climate Active certification is awarded to businesses and organisations that have credibly reached a state of achieving net zero emissions, otherwise known as carbon neutrality.
Climate Active certifies organisations, products, services, events, buildings and precincts. Large, medium and small businesses, and non-government organisations including some of Australia’s best-known enterprises have achieved Climate Active certification. Local government and not-for-profit organisations have also been certified.
This can vary depending on your carbon footprint and type of certification. You may need to collect a year’s worth of data and get it independently validated as part of your organisation’s carbon account or footprint. All relevant documentation needs to be completed and sent to the Climate Active team to support the robustness of carbon neutral claims. Once an application is completed, a decision will be made and this can take up to six weeks.
Anyone can self-assess their activities against the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard. However, only entities who have meet certification requirements and executed a Licence Agreement are able to claim they are certified Climate Active and use the trade mark.
No. The Climate Active certification trade mark can only be used by organisations, products, services, buildings, events and precincts that are certified and have paid a licence fee. Under the licence, the entity must meet ongoing certification requirements to be able to use the Climate Active trade mark.
No. The Climate Active trade mark licence is provided only in relation to a certified carbon account. For a product to display the certification trade mark, that product needs to have undergone its own certification.
Contact the Climate Active team for an up-to-date certification fee schedule. Other costs associated with certification vary depending on the use of technical experts, the types of offsets used and auditing services. Technical advice may include developing a carbon account and having your carbon neutral claim and data independently validated. Offset costs will depend on how many are required and the types of offset units purchased. These costs are separate to the certification fee, are set by the market and vary across the industry.
Certification provides a licence to use the Climate Active trade mark to showcase your organisation’s climate leadership and carbon neutral status. You also become a member of the Climate Active Network. Fees cover administration of certification, technical support, trade mark protection and communication of the trade mark as a symbol of robust carbon neutral claims. Fees are also used to promote carbon neutral status to other businesses, consumers and the public.
Climate Active certification is based on making a defensible claim of carbon neutrality by calculating your carbon account or footprint, reducing emissions where possible, and offsetting any residual emissions.
For certification purposes, you must develop and implement an emissions reduction strategy and make this publicly available. The strategy must identify planned emission reduction measures being undertaken and the quantity of emission reductions expected to be achieved over a given timeframe. Some companies undertake expensive or complicated emission reduction activities requiring implementation over several years. Certified organisations are not penalised if they do not achieve absolute emission reductions every year, but it is expected that reductions are made where it is practical and cost effective to do so. All reductions, and planned reductions must be included in a public report and uploaded onto your organisation’s website.
The Australian Government regularly reviews the credibility of publicly available offset units. Eligible offset units must meet integrity requirements under the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard to ensure they represent genuine abatement. They include reforestation, renewable energy or energy efficiency projects and many also provide positive environmental or social benefits.
Transparency of information is important for maintaining consumer confidence in Climate Active claims. Public reporting ensures the public can understand what an organisation has done to achieve carbon neutrality. This must include:
information on emissions sources included in a carbon account
what emissions sources have been excluded or not estimated
actions taken to reduce total emissions or emissions intensity over time, and
the number and type of offset units that have been purchased and cancelled to achieve carbon neutrality.
This information is posted on the Climate Active website and must also be available on a certified organisation’s website.
The Climate Active team needs to be able to check that data used to compile your carbon account is accurate and complete. Not all data needs to be published. Submitting a carbon account and the public report to the Climate Active team as part of your application means data that is made public is controlled. There must, however, be enough detail in a public report for readers to be able to understand what emissions have been offset as part of your carbon neutral claim.