Carbon neutrality standard revised to boost climate change mitigation effort in event planning
13 May 2014
BSI, the business standards company and the Environmental Protection Administration, Executive Yuan, R.O.C.(Taiwan) have collaborated to update PAS 2060 Specification for the demonstration of carbon neutrality to advance action on climate change in production and consumption, for organizations, communities, travel, events, projects, and buildings. The revised standard specifies requirements to be met by any entity seeking to demonstrate carbon neutrality through the quantification, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a uniquely identified subject, in a credible and consistent manner.
Achieving, maintaining and demonstrating carbon neutrality is not just a crucial practical step for organizations to reduce their GHG emissions during a specified time period. It ultimately improves the ‘recyclability’ consciousness of an organization whereby resources and assets are managed efficiently and responsibly, and can help fuel other sustainable processes within that organization.
Until 2010 there was an absence of a common methodology for making credible carbon neutrality claims, creating uncertainty and confusion among business and consumers and undermining the validity of the concept itself. It was for this reason that PAS 2060 was first developed. It has now been revised to further provide validity to claims of carbon neutral status and enable consistent communication of that status.
Other benefits of the revised PAS 2060 include:
• Improved application across all sectors (including events) to provide a common methodology for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality
• Elimination of confusion within companies, across industry sectors, along the supply chains, and with consumers
• It can give customers, both business-to-business (B2B) and consumers, confidence that no false claims are being made
David Fatscher, Head of Market Development for Sustainability at BSI, said: ”When PAS 2060 was first published it was to fulfil a need for trust in different organizations’ abilities to successfully manage greenhouse emissions and make related claims. There needed to be a robust, repeatable specification providing a pragmatic, transparent method of demonstrating carbon neutrality. After identifying this need and developing the standard, we have now revised it though a collaborative and multi-stakeholder revision process to ensure it is still relevant and useful. PAS 2060 therefore includes changes that reflect the comments from the people who have actually used it over the two years since its first publication.”
Carbon neutrality has a truly global remit and this is reflected in the calibre and breadth of international organizations participating in the revision. They include: BP Target Neutral, Carbon Care Asia Limited, China Standardization and Technical Consortium for Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction (STCE), Climate Friendly Proprietary Limited, Forestry Commission, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and Taiwanese Accreditation Forum (TAF).
Nick Blyth, Policy & Practice Lead at IEMA and a member of the PAS 2060 steering group said: “Some claims of carbon neutrality have in the past generated concerns and scepticism for example over the accuracy of data used or the additionality achieved through offsetting. Having clear and transparent guidance will have positive implications for business and also for their stakeholders and customers. This refocusing of PAS 2060 is good news for regional or local governments, communities, organizations/companies or parts of organizations, clubs or social groups and individuals working towards achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality.”
What are the updates:
- Addition of a new Annex around events (provides insight and guidance around carbon neutrality in events planning and management)
- Special provision for the presentation of claims in advertising or other promotional material
- Updated to recognize improvements in the knowledge and understanding of greenhouse gas emissions assessment, reduction and offsetting
What it covers:
- Demonstration of carbon neutrality in respect of: activities, products, services, buildings, events, projects and major developments and towns and cities
- The declaration of commitment to carbon neutrality
- The declaration of achievement of carbon neutrality