Climate Neutral 2023 Public Input Survey Results

Bridget Thorpe
September 26, 2023
Drumroll, please! The survey results from our Public Input period are in! This summer, our team sought input to review the Climate Neutral Certified Standard—our certification framework and criteria that companies must meet to earn the Climate Neutral Certified Label. Ready to see what they thought? Let’s jump in!

Drumroll, please …

The survey results from our Public Input period are in!

This summer, our team sought input to review the Climate Neutral Certified Standard—our certification framework and criteria that companies must meet to earn the Climate Neutral Certified Label.

Since we launched in 2019, this process has entailed gathering technical input from our two expert advisory committees. These folks help us ensure technical rigor and steady alignment with the ever evolving climate movement. 

For the first time this year, our fourth annual review cycle, we expanded the review process to include a public input period.  Nearly 400 people worldwide thoughtfully responded to our Standard survey.  

Ready to see what they thought?  Let’s jump in … 

We started off with three general questions about how people are responding to climate change.

It’s no surprise: 80% of people surveyed are extremely concerned about climate change. This concern plays a large role in how people spend their money, and a majority of respondents agreed businesses need to be doing much more and take stronger climate action.    

Then, we asked how people feel about the Climate Neutral Certified label.

The Climate Neutral Certified label is an integral element of our nonprofit movement. It creates an incentive for companies to create and implement climate initiatives with immediate accountability. It’s also a tool for individuals to vote with their dollars and actively choose products and services from certified companies doing the work.  

Surveyed respondents overwhelmingly felt it helps the climate when companies become Climate Neutral Certified.

Most also recognized and trusted the certified label, although this response revealed plenty of work left to be done to earn people’s full trust. More than two-thirds of folks were familiar with Climate Neutral, while one-third ‘very much’ believed in what the certified label represents. Another half ‘somewhat’ trust in it.  

We also wanted to understand how people feel when companies talk about their climate initiatives. 

There’s no question that people find it valuable when companies talk about their climate initiatives. And the more specifically they communicate, the better.   

A whopping 99% of surveyed respondents want to see ‘some detail’ to ‘a lot of detail’ about how a company is taking climate action. And—this one surprised us a little—80% of people want to see specific carbon emissions for products. This feedback presents a new reason for us to go even deeper with the data we provide on brand profile pages.     

Finally, we gathered feedback on a few specific requirements of the Climate Neutral Certified Standard.

As mentioned, we update the Climate Neutral Standard every year with the support of two expert advisory committees. Feedback from this public input survey is also being incorporated this year, and it will help shape the requirements for companies undergoing certification in 2024.

We’re currently wrapping up the final stages of this annual review process, and it’s abundantly clear: people want companies to report year-over-year changes in their carbon emissions. Reductions are equally a priority. 85% of respondents believed certified companies should be reporting progress on their reduction initiatives.

Based on the plethora of recent media coverage about forest carbon offset projects, we wanted to check on how this was shaping people’s views. One-third of people seem to have lost confidence in carbon credits from forests. Consistent with this, we continue to look for ways to restrict, through our Standard, the use of the highest-risk forest carbon credits. (Remember, forest carbon offsets are just one type of carbon credit project, though they get most of the attention.)

As we write this blog, our team is putting the finishing touches on revisions to our Climate Neutral Certified Standard. The input from this process has helped us think about ways to strengthen existing requirements, as well as add more reporting and tracking requirements to satisfy data-hungry users of our certified label. We expect that this public survey—launched for the first time this year—will become an integral part of our annual review process as we work to create the most trusted climate action label out there.

The 2024 Climate Neutral Standard will be released in late October. Stay tuned!  In the meantime, give us a shout at standards-input@climateneutral.org if you have further thoughts, or hello@climateneutral.org if your organization is seeking to take immediate climate action. We look forward to hearing your story and supporting your climate action journey!  

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About the Author

Bridget Thorpe
Communications Manager

Bridget brings experience directing climate communications for entrepreneurial and global Fortune 500 brands. She holds an MBA in Marketing and Governance and is passionate about bringing sustainability narratives to life. Bridget lives in her Hawaii hometown. You’ll likely find her at the local bakery or frolicking outdoors with family and her dog Panda.

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