Everything we buy does something to expand our carbon footprint. Whether it’s through manufacture, retail, or shipping (which often involves airplanes and multiple delivery trucks), it’s hard to get away from the fact that with every piece of gear we purchase, we’re contributing to the problem. But all is not lost: a new organization called Climate Neutral has created a tag designed to inform consumers about brands’ carbon footprints.

Climate Neutral, an independent nonprofit, is working to fight climate change by helping companies become carbon-neutral. The organization actually gives brands the tools to measure, reduce, and offset their carbon emissions. But the organization doesn’t just help brands: its new initiative, the Climate Neutral Certified label, will help us become better and more environmentally conscious consumers. You’ll begin seeing this label on products in early 2020.

How do brands get the Climate Neutral Certified label?

The brands must achieve a net-zero carbon footprint for “upstream and downstream greenhouse gas emissions” to become certified. They can do this by making their own manufacturing and shipping processes more eco-friendly and by buying carbon credits to offset their environmental impact.

Why should brands care?

According to a 2019 poll by the Washington Post, 76 percent of Americans view climate change as a crisis or a major problem. Brands need to catch up with public sentiment if they want to remain viable. Climate Neutral’s slogan, “Reduce what you can, offset the rest,” is a good way for companies to move forward and become more environmentally conscious in manufacturing and shipping.

“Consumer brands today offer many credentials to a prospective buyer,” said Climate Neutral CEO Austin Whitman. “But none of them directly addresses the brand’s climate impact. Even worse, most brands don’t know how much they contribute to climate change.”

Climate Neutral Certified brands

Some outdoor brands have already been certified, including BioLite and Peak Design. Other brands that have committed to going net-zero include:

  • Tentsile, manufacturer of tents you can suspend between trees, plants 20 trees for every tent sold. They keep their carbon footprint to a minimum by offering digital marketing materials rather than using printed flyers and brochures, recycling and upcycling old products, and shipping via sea freight instead of air. With Climate Neutral’s help, the company will reduce and offset to net-zero.
  • Klean Kanteen, manufacturer of the first BPA-free, stainless steel reusable water bottle on the market, has made sustainability a brand priority since the beginning. It is a certified B corporation and 1% for the Planet member. Its products are designed to help consumers reduce their own waste by replacing plastic bottles and coffee cups with their beverage containers.
  • Humangear is a silicone-based line of reusable cutlery, dishes, and containers—a great addition to your camping or travel kit. Its commitment to carbon neutrality with Climte Neutral will include shipping more products by sea instead of by air, reducing packaging, and prioritizing energy efficiency at its offices.

To find out which brands are Climate Neutral Certified, visit the organization’s website and learn what you can do as a consumer to support this initiative. Vote with your dollars and support brands that are doing their part to help the environment.

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