UN’s Gold Standard climate emissions guide for businesses

polluting smokestacks, climate emissions

Want to be sustainably balanced in the eye of shareholders and your clients, whether they are B2B or B2C? Do you want to go carbon zero in the path of Estee Lauder and Colorado College and maybe avoid the negative press and greenwashing by Nespresso’s B Corp status

You know you want your company’s business to be better informed about climate change and you want to be future-proofed. You also know sustainably-minded companies do better in the long run. So how do you start? The United Nations and its member countries have developed a Net Zero guide.

The Gold Standard is a voluntary carbon offset program focused on progressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Green Prophet is part of the UNEP’s Switcher’s program for instance – to share sustainability with the Middle East. What is your business doing?

The UN’s guidance supports sustainability systems to establish Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Systems that embed credible emissions accounting into the production processes of their certified commodities. This gives companies buying those commodities the data they need to accurately report on their value chain or “Scope 3” carbon footprint and credibly claim progress toward their climate targets. 

“Properly measuring and valuing positive impact is a key opportunity of our time,” says Margaret Kim, CEO of Gold Standard. “Capturing climate impact data of the goods companies buy provides an incentive to purchase low-carbon commodities when they can report lower emissions in their GHG inventories.

“At the same time, producers can seek potential premiums and preferential procurement and mitigate the risk of losing demand due to pressure for climate data.”

This guidance was developed in collaboration with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Better Cotton, Textile Exchange, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), and Fairtrade International.

Facilitated through the Value Change Initiative, companies including H&M Group, Kingfisher, and VF Corporation (VF), have provided feedback to this guidance and/or participated in pilot activities to inform ongoing implementation. 

“Our 2030 strategy sets a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% per ton of cotton produced. This much change cannot be asked of farmers alone – it will take concerted engagement across the value chain,” says Kendra Pasztor, Senior Manager – Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning at Better Cotton.

“Our participation in this initiative is an important step in ensuring Better Cotton’s GHG accounting system will be credible and meets the needs of our stakeholders to positively contribute to climate change mitigation.

Get the net zero guide here (links to PDF)

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