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Why Should you Consider PAS 2060?

08 January 2021
Climate change is a serious problem - you only have to turn on the news to hear about issues resulting from our changing climate...
These issues are caused primarily by the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas as well as releases of other gasses such as methane. But there are things that we as businesses can do about it - like choosing to go carbon neutral.

Going carbon neutral is one way that businesses can take responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions created every time we drive our cars, take a flight, switch on a machine or turn on our computers. It’s based on the principle that, since climate change is a global problem, an emission reduction made elsewhere has the same positive effect as one made locally.

Carbon neutrality is achieved by calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of efficiency measures in-house and supporting external emission reduction projects.

Sustainable business leads to commercial success. Some advantages of sustainability according to surveys are:
  • Greater customer loyalty
  • More purchase intention
  • The attraction of valuable employees
It also causes an increase in morale among personnel, it creates goodwill and a good reputation among stakeholders. Moreover, a sustainable organisation can stand above competitors in what can be a crowded marketplace.

It’s always smart to raise a sceptical eyebrow when you hear organisations make claims of how they’re “doing their part” in the quest to “save the Planet”. In a world where standing out from the crowd is desirable, many companies make at best misleading claims regarding their environmental credentials.

This is known as “greenwashing” and is designed to make people believe that a company is doing more to protect the environment than it really is.

As an analogy, greenwashing is to businesses what tree hugging is to individuals who say they care about the environment. It’s a symbolic reference that has little or no actual outcomes. To be perfectly honest it just confuses the issues attempting to be resolved.

Greenwashing is all about misdirection, showing one thing that distracts you from what is really going on. The main issue we see is that greenwashing takes up valuable space in the fight against significant environmental issues like climate change, plastic ocean pollution, air pollution and global species extinctions. The saddest thing is that many companies do it by accident, as they don’t have the expertise to know what is truly environmentally beneficial, and what is not.

One of the key areas where greenwashing can and does occur is in the area of carbon neutrality. Do we really have any confidence in the claims made on product packaging and TV adverts?  It’s important to be able to quickly identify instances of greenwashing and replace them with truly sustainable practices both as a consumer and as an employee.

This is where 3rd party certified systems are valuable, that will not only allow organisations to understand what is going on when they make changes but more importantly ensure that if they make claims about their eco-credentials that they are validated, not just assumed.

This drive for a verified method for determining the validity of carbon neutrality claims led to the introduction of a British Standard Publicly Available Specification (PAS 2060), to produce a common definition and a recognised method of validation.

Published over 10 years ago, it was revised in 2014 to recognise improvements in the knowledge and understanding of greenhouse gas emissions availability, particularly with regard to developments in assessment, reduction and offsetting that took place following publication.

The standard specifies the requirements to be met by any organisation seeking to demonstrate carbon neutrality through the quantification, reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Use of PAS 2060 will help organisations:
  • Meet customer, stakeholder, industry and legal expectations
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and quantify their carbon footprint
  • Identify areas of inefficiency and improve overall performance
  • Make cost savings by reducing energy consumption and bills
  • Gain credibility with a consistent carbon neutrality statement
The standard sets measurement and reduction targets for your organisation. Through the examination of documents and plans, it then allows for your specific carbon neutrality statement to be fully verified.

At NQA, we have produced a downloadable concise guide that covers the basic principles of PAS 2060 and the 4-Stage approach that will need to be followed to obtain your carbon neutrality statement to be fully verified.

NQA as a UKAS accredited certification body, is able to provide this fully independent validation of carbon neutrality and by working with us you can be sure that we ourselves are independently assessed as having access to the knowledge and expertise necessary to provide verification to PAS 2060.

NQA will ensure the robustness of carbon accounting, the strength of carbon management plans and that credible offsets have been purchased and will give additional credibility to your declaration of carbon neutrality.

For more information on PAS 2060 and for the chance to ask our expert questions, join our next free webinar on Friday 30th April at 3pm here.