Carbon Neutral Programmes for Regional Australia

Now that ‘Carbon’ is a known risk to our environment and our futures, companies are more and more interested in finding out how to lower their emissions and in some cases lower their emissions to ZERO. This is a high commitment to the future and can be rewarded by better business as well as a knowledge that the business is pulling its weight in the ability for the Planet to stay within 1.5 degrees of its historic temperatures.

The Federal Government is ONE way a company can be recognised for its efforts in the Carbon Emissions Reduction Space. They have an approved pathway to reach ZERO emissions and the business is then able to use the ‘Carbon Neutral’ Logo in all of its business dealings to spread the word about their excellent efforts.
The following key actions must be undertaken for an organisation or a product to be certified carbon neutral under the NCOS Carbon Neutral Program:

  1. measure the carbon footprint of the organization;
  2. monitor and reduce emissions as much as possible; and
  3. purchase and cancel sufficient eligible carbon offset units to offset the remaining emissions associated with the organisation or product.

Step 1 – We calculate your carbon footprint

Step 2 – Emissions Management Plan

We  prepare an Emissions Management Plan (EMP) to demonstrate that appropriate systems are in place to monitor and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions, and to purchase and retire carbon offsets.

Step 3 – Prepare a Public Disclosure Summary

To satisfy the transparency of information requirements, we are required to prepare a Public Disclosure Summary.

Step 4 – Prepare a Public Disclosure Summary

To meet the requirements of the National Carbon Offset Standard, we are required to engage and pay for independent verification of your carbon footprint, Emissions Management Plan (EMP) and Public Disclosure Summary (collectively referred to as your ‘Application Package’).

Step 5 – Submit your Application Package

To have your organisation or product certified carbon neutral under the Carbon Neutral Program and be eligible to use the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS) Carbon Neutral Trade Mark we need to submit a verified Application Package to Low Carbon Australia.

Step 6 – Certification

Low Carbon Australia will review your Application Package and make a certification decision. Carbon Neutral certification is valid for a period of five years.

Step 7 – Maintain Certification

In order to maintain certification and the right to use the NCOS Carbon Neutral Certified Trade Mark over the five year period of the Sublicence, particpants must:

  • Monitor and reduce emissions;
  • Purchase and cancel eligible carbon offset units;
  • Report annually;
  • Obtain independent verification biennially; and
  • Submit your documentation to Low Carbon Australia.
  • Cost estimation

Carbon Farmers of Australia will explain each stage of the process and identify costs for each stage for maximum transparency. It identifies cost points in the process that will need to be quantified before the total investment can be estimated.

Cost points include the following:

  • Method of emissions measurement chosen to establish carbon footprint;
  • Level/scope of sources of emissions chosen for inclusion;
  • Independent verification of Carbon Footprint, Emissions Management Plan, Public Disclosure Summary (as parts of the Application for Certification);
  • Annual Certification Fee;
  • Independent verification of Annual Reports; and
  • NCOS Carbon Neutral Administration and Trade Mark Sublicence

(The costs arising from emissions reductions and purchase of offsets will emerge as the process unfolds.)

The first stage will involve a Scoping exercise to produce a Project Fixed Cost Report so that the company will know what to expect.

Conclusion

The process appears to be more complicated that it actually is. Once the system is installed, Carbon Neutrality will become a core element of the operational routine, corporate identity and organisational culture, demonstrating the company’s leadership and vision.

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