There is a new environmental certification for product packaging. How should we go about attaining it?

The new certification is part of the CarbonNeutral Protocol, the global standard for carbon-neutral certification, and has been set up to provide a cost-effective way of demonstrating to consumers the environmental impact of the packaging on the products they are purchasing.

The packaging certification is awarded to companies that have implemented a carbon reduction plan (including offsetting) for the emissions created by packaging on a “cradle-to-customer” basis.

The CarbonNeutral Company advises that this includes emissions created by the extraction and processing of raw materials used to create packaging, as well as in-bound deliveries from raw material suppliers.

Emissions generated by fossil fuels directly used in the manufacture and storage of packaging, as well as emissions from waste disposal, are also included within the certification.

Carbon offsetting is normally the quickest way to achieve carbon neutrality, and it is the only way to achieve deep reductions in a cost-effective manner. At the same time, the CarbonNeutral Company points out that the projects it supports often deliver added benefits such as employment and training.

Usage guidelines have been developed for the certification. For instance, the CarbonNeutral Company advises that the certification may only be used on primary packaging for which the emissions have been reduced to net zero, not any additional secondary packaging, and must be kept separate from any product content information on the packaging to ensure that the consumer is not confused about what is certified.