How to make your company climate neutral

The end of the year means a new round for our climate neutrality process. Climate neutrality – what? Since January 2021, Fashion Cloud is officially a climate neutral company, which brings opportunities as well as tasks. Being climate neutral is not a one-time action, but involves continuous revision and improvement. Want your company to become climate neutral too? In this article we share our experiences and 4 simple steps to become carbon neutral.

What is a climate-neutral company?

In the face of the climate crisis we need to act both individually and collectively. 1.2 trillion tons of CO2 is produced by the textile industry each year – more than all international flights and cruises combined. As part of the Fashion-Wholesale community, we also see ourselves as responsible for actively protecting the climate. A first step is to become climate neutral. This can be a starting point to generate a positive impact. But what does climate neutrality mean? Every company causes emissions. Climate protection includes the registration of these emissions, as well as the continuous reduction and avoidance of the same. If unavoidable emissions that have already occurred are offset through certified climate protection projects, the company becomes climate neutral.

4 steps to climate neutrality

1. Calculate your carbon footprint
First, you need to define the organizational boundaries to be used. Organizational boundaries can be a product you want to make climate neutral, a sub-unit, an event, or as in our case, your entire company. You also select a time period, usually the most recent year as the baseline year, to which the carbon footprint will refer. Second, identify the major sources of emissions. Internationally recognized standards such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol provide a framework that divides major sources into scope one, two and three. Fashion Cloud is currently working on the third step again. We collect all the data necessary to quantify energy and material consumption. Finally, this data needs to be converted into carbon emissions. You can either come up with ballpark figures in-house or work with a service provider. We work together with ClimatePartner.

2. Develop goals and strategy
The real deal is to reduce your overall footprint, that is, reducing total emissions even as your business grows. We at Fashion Cloud decided to focus on reducing the avoidable emissions making up the biggest part of our carbon footprint – business travel.

3. Reduce carbon footprint
Here’s where you can get creative. To minimize emissions from our business travel for example, we’ve implemented a new travel policy, improved our travel data tracking process, and are working to become a more bike-friendly company. Other simple, classic measures include switching to a sustainable electricity provider or switching to a vegetarian catering.

4. Offsetting through climate protection projects
There are two main ways to offset your carbon footprint: the EU Emissions Trading System and certified carbon offset projects. We chose a Gold Standard certified project in Soacha, Colombia, which produces renewable energy for local needs, saving 18,000 tons of CO2 annually. According to the GHG Protocol, a carbon offset project must meet the following criteria: Additionality, long-term duration, exclusion of double payments and third-party validation. Accreditations of internationally recognized standards such as the Gold Standard or the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) identify high-quality climate protection projects that meet these criteria. The ClimatePartner Cilmate Map, the Carbon Footprint Projects and the Atmosfair Project Selection show a selection of high-quality climate protection projects.

Want to learn more about sustainability at Fashion Cloud and our current initiatives and projects? Then take a look here!