Carbon Certifications in NZ

Carbon Certifications in NZ

New Zealand offers a diverse range of carbon measurement certifications that businesses can pursue. This blog provides a detailed comparison of some of the major certifications available.

Carbon Certifications in NZ

New Zealand offers a diverse range of carbon measurement certifications that businesses can pursue. This blog provides a detailed comparison of some of the major certifications available, including Toitū, Ekos, B-Corp, SBTi, and Lever Room. We delve into the requirements, costs, and core values of each, helping you decide which aligns best with your business's sustainability goals.

1. Toitū Certification

Toitū Envirocare offers a comprehensive suite of certification programmes focusing on both carbon reduction and environmental management:

  • Toitū Enviromark Programme: This program is designed in three levels, bronze, gold, and diamond, respectively, encompassing a progressive commitment to environmental management. The top level, diamond, is well above the ISO14001 benchmark and provides environmentally sound control. These levels require annual, system-based independent audits that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of an effective Environmental Management System (EMS).
  • Toitū Carbonmark Programmes: These organisations, products, and services are those that monitor and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. They need to be in line with international standards like ISO 14064-1, and they have CDM project development plans for ongoing emission management and reduction.

Toitū certificates underline a mentoring style that ensures the organisations are able to locate and reduce environmental effects, leading to constant improvement. The programs are tailor-made to suit different sizes depending on the organisation’s capacity, offering tools and resources for environmental management. The recertification ensures that there will be continuity in compliance and continuous improvement.

2. Ekos Certification

Ekos specialises in certifications that concentrate on measuring, reducing, and offsetting carbon footprints. 

  • Certified Zero Carbon: A program designed to account for and neutralise 100% of the CO2 emissions from a specific business activity. Ekos aims to demystify and make affordable what has often been seen as a complex process, ensuring businesses can achieve carbon neutrality easily and cost-effectively.
  • Climate Positive: It not only transcends Zero Carbon but does so by pledging to offset more than 120% of the measured CO2 emissions and impossibly contributing to climate positivity.
  • Ekos Carbon Footprint Report: Ekos provides a CO2 footprint report, along with suggestions on designing practical measures aimed at efficient emissions control.

3. B-Corp Certification

The B-Corp Certification is the global standard for business intent upon maintaining social and environmental responsibility.

  • Certification Process: To qualify for B-Corp certification, one needs to fill out an online B Impact Assessment, undergo verification and adhere to the legal requirements. A company must score above 80 points out of the 200 points. The goal of the assessment is to evaluate such areas as governance, labour, environment, customers, and community.
  • Ongoing Commitment: Every three years, B-Corp certification needs recertification, and this helps to ensure a continuation in the observance of high standards. The approach, with its holistic and demanding nature, leverages diverse teams and departments within a company.
  • Global Movement: B-corp is a global movement that defines success according to the impact, and a company’s joining the movement means becoming a part of this social and environmental change because, working with these corporations, you can understand the real nature of changes happening in our world.

B-Corps are known for their work of fostering an inclusive economy that is equitable and regenerative. The certification process is customised to the lifestyle of company size and revenue, developing a relative review that is relevant and efficient for each organisation.

4. SBTi Certification

The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is acting as a guiding framework for companies to set up their emission reduction target aligned with the latest climate science. It is essential for improving the global aim to keep the warming well below 2°C but ideally 1.5°C higher than pre-industrial levels. This approach was based on the commitments of the Paris Agreement.

  • Principles: A target under the SBTi should be an absolute one; it should cover all direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1, 2, and 3), time-bound, demanding yet feasible and credible with a clear action plan.
  • Levels of Criteria and Standards: First, SBTi has three levels – 1.5°C aligned, 2°C aligned and in transition. The most ambitious targets in accordance with 1.5°C are the ones that demonstrate relatively high ambition and significant reductions of GHG emissions in line with current climate science.
  • Process: It, however, entails accessing the full emissions profile, which includes supply chain emissions, and then establishing an SBTi target by determining the company’s share of the remaining carbon budget. This task is extremely demanding, but it is also necessary to help us follow the global climate targets.
  • Validation: The validation by the SBTi confers credibility, but companies could still arrive at their own targets that meet the criteria set out by SBTi without being validated.

5. Lever Room

The Lever Room offers a certification that emphasises carbon footprint measurement and management across the supply chain. This certification is aimed at businesses looking to accurately report their sustainability, nature, and climate impacts and integrate these efforts into their overall business strategies. This certification program emphasises tech-enabled processes, expert knowledge in carbon sequestration, and compliance with international GHG protocols, including ISO standards. The Lever Room certification encompasses three tiers: Net Zero, Carbon Positive, and Carbon Footprint. These tiers cater to organisations at various stages of their sustainability journey, offering tailored solutions for measuring, managing, and certifying their carbon emissions. 

  • Net Zero: This certification is aimed at businesses seeking to neutralise their carbon emissions completely. 
  • Carbon Positive: This tier goes further, targeting companies aspiring to offset more carbon than they emit. 
  • Carbon Footprint: This certification focuses on accurately measuring and managing an organisation’s carbon footprint, providing a foundational step towards broader environmental goals.

Certification Overview

Certification Focus Key Features Target Audience
Toitū Certification Environmental management & carbon reduction - Enviromark Programme in bronze, gold, and diamond levels
- Carbonmark Programmes for organisations, products, services
- Compliance with standards like ISO 14064-1
- Annual audits
Businesses of various sizes
Ekos Certification Carbon footprint measurement, reduction, offsetting - Certified Zero Carbon
- Climate Positive
- Carbon Footprint Report
- Measures and offsets CO2 emissions
- Encourages over 100% offsetting for Climate Positive
Businesses, individuals, events
B-Corp Certification Social and environmental responsibility - Impact assessment on governance, workers, environment, customers, community
- B Impact Assessment
- Verification and legal requirements
A diverse range of businesses
SBTi Certification Emissions reduction aligned with climate science - Targets aligned with 1.5°C or 2°C global warming limits
- Cover all greenhouse gas emissions
- Absolute and time-bound targets
Companies focused on climate goals
Lever Room Carbon management across the supply chain - Offers three certification tiers: Net Zero, Carbon Positive, and Carbon Footprint.
- Measurement of carbon emissions across the supply chain
- Compliance with international GHG protocols and ISO standards
Organisations committed to integrating sustainable practices into their operations