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Shining a light on companies that have achieved carbon-neutrality

The nonprofit Climate Neutral is one of our World Changing Ideas honorees for 2020.

Shining a light on companies that have achieved carbon-neutrality
[Illustration: Raymond Biesinger]

A new label will soon start appearing on products you see in stores: “Climate Neutral Certified.” Climate Neutral, a nonprofit launched in 2019, helps brands measure their carbon footprints, offset them by investing in vetted pollution-capturing projects, and make long-term plans to reduce emissions. Once a company goes through the process, it can print the label on its packaging—a symbol the nonprofit hopes will become as ubiquitous as the USDA organic label. Because calculating a corporate carbon footprint can be a pricey, complex process for brands, Climate Neutral also created a new digital tool to make it simpler. “We wanted to democratize the process of carbon counting and demystify it,” says CEO Austin Whitman. “For many companies, just starting to understand where their carbon emissions come from is a huge step forward.” The group recruited more than 120 businesses last year, representing nearly $1 billion in annual revenue. Its first round of participants, including Allbirds and Klean Kanteen, are on track to receive their certifications this spring.

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About the author

Adele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley, and contributed to the second edition of the bestselling book "Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century."

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