What Does Carbonfree® Mean?
There has been a lot of confusion surrounding what is meant by the term “Carbonfree®”. A Carbonfree® Certification simply means that a product has undergone a Life Cycle Assessment to calculate the total carbon footprint over the entire lifespan of that product, reduced that footprint where possible, and then had the remaining emissions offset through carbon reduction projects. Going Carbonfree® is about mitigating the carbon dioxide emissions generated through the design, production, transportation, and disposal of a product. It doesn’t mean that the carbon atom has been stripped out of a product. No one is trying to undergo the impossible tasks of erasing the element of carbon off of the Periodic Table or stamping out all carbon-based life. The misunderstanding that offsetting greenhouse gas emissions is somehow a sinister scam does nothing but distract from the genuine need for more sustainable products.
Why Go Carbonfree®?
Companies that choose to certify their products as Carbonfree® are helping to lead the fight against climate change while showing their increasingly eco-conscious customers that they take their environmental responsibility seriously. In recent years, public opinion has swayed to favor sustainable products and companies with transparent practices. According to a May 2021 Stifel Survey, 83% of consumers believe it is important for brands to act sustainably, 67% of customers are willing to pay more for sustainable brands, 71% report caring more about buying sustainable products now than they did a year ago and nearly half have either boycotted or stopped buying a brand or product specifically because of sustainability concerns.
What Types of Products are Carbonfree®?
Nearly any product can undergo a Life Cycle Assessment and go Carbonfree®. Carbonfund.org Foundation has certified a variety of products ranging from office chairs to household cleaners to children’s placemats. Nutritional supplements, flooring, cosmetics, office products and others have also been certified Carbonfree®. Carbonfund.org had the first Carbon Neutral Certification Label in the United States back in 2008 and has now partnered with Amazon as part of their Climate Pledge Friendly Program. Carbonfund.org currently certifies over 1,500 individual Carbonfree® products.
Life Cycle Assessments:
Carbonfund.org is one of the oldest and most trusted climate change solutions nonprofits. It has been given the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency and a 100 out of 100 rating by Charity Navigator. Life Cycle Assessments are held to third-party validated and verified standards by providers such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). By using Carbonfund.org’s Carbon Footprint Protocol you can ensure that a life cycle assessment is compliant with the highest international standards.
Third-Party Validated Projects:
Just like with Life Cycle Assessments, Carbonfund.org Foundation’s carbon offset projects are also third-party validated and verified. Carbonfund.org supports Energy Efficiency, Forestry and Renewable Energy projects around the globe. These projects meet the international standards of VERRA, Climate Action Reserve, Gold Standard, and other international carbon reduction certification protocols. Carbonfund.org has offset over 38 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions while supporting over 200 projects and planting more than one million trees.
What You Can Do:
It is important that we all recognize the impact our actions have on the planet around us. If you run a small business or a large corporation consider joining a Carbonfree® Partner Program. If you manufacture goods have them undergo Carbonfree® Product Certification. As a consumer be aware of the companies you purchase from and hold them accountable for their environmental responsibility. You should also take steps to reduce your carbon footprint where possible and consider individual carbon offsets to mitigate the rest of your emissions. By looking for more sustainable Carbonfree® products we can create a brighter future for generations to come.