Climate Neutral is now The Change Climate Project

Austin Whitman
October 26, 2023
New name. Same mission. Bigger vision.

We’ve changed our name!

That’s right - Climate Neutral is changing the name of our organization. After some extensive and fun brainstorming and discussions with stakeholders, friends, relatives, and kids, we have a new name: The Change Climate Project.

(Again: this is a new name for our organization, not our certified label. More on that in a minute.)

Why is this happening?

Put simply, our programs have grown, and we need a bigger name for them. When we launched Climate Neutral, we had one concept: a consumer label for climate that would be as widely recognizable as USDA Organic. We launched a certification called Climate Neutral Certified, and called our organization Climate Neutral.

The idea of rallying consumers was exciting. The challenge of getting companies to respond was, we soon saw, enormous. And the deeper we got into it, the more we identified the things holding companies back. So we began doing other things. We built software for carbon measurement. Then we added new features for carbon reduction planning. We built systems to streamline the certification process, allowing us to capture and review large amounts of data during certification. We created tools to communicate climate plans. Created a brand community. Formed partnerships with retailers, tech companies, and carbon credit providers. And trained hundreds of volunteers. 

And along the way, as our work reached more and more people, we found ourselves feeling like our impact was much more than "neutral".

That’s how we outgrew our old name.

We also saw the narrative shifting on climate neutrality

Climate neutrality, and its close cousin carbon neutrality, have gained enormous steam -- including, most recently, Apple’s announcement that it is introducing its first carbon neutral products. We believe that carbon/climate neutrality is an important pathway to motivate some types of businesses to get and stay on track with their net-zero pledges.

But we have also seen the pathway watered down, and the words misused by a range of companies - so much so that green marketing regulations are springing up quickly. In some cases even faster than we might have expected. We can’t predict the future, but we can anticipate where it might lead. And right now we see the narrative of corporate climate action shifting away from “Climate Neutral” over the next several years.

So rather than carrying around a name that is melodious to some, and odious to others, we’re choosing a name that encompasses our broader vision. With a new name, we’ll be better positioned to weather the winds of change.

What this means for the Climate Neutral Certification

Don’t be mistaken - we still love our flagship label. We believe the companies that achieve it are among the most committed in the world - through their actions, the work they disclose, and the dollars they are putting directly into decarbonization every year. Certification isn’t going away. It will continue to grow, evolve, and mature as we collect feedback from experts, stakeholders, and everyday people. The label will remain the centerpiece of our consumer engagement and marketing work.

When is the name change happening?

As of today, we're officially The Change Climate Project, and we hope you'll help us spread the word. After this initial announcement, we will continue to make changes to gradually phase out our old name. First will be the most visible places: website, emails, marketing. Then we will move on to the more subtle places - internal tools, legal documents, and so on. By late Q1 next year, the name change will be largely complete - although you’ll continue to come across it here and there, especially in old content and news articles linked from our website.

What happens next?

Our team is incredibly excited about the ways The Change Climate Project better reflects the road ahead, and the opportunities we have to expand our programs.

We are busy working on our program plans for 2024 and couldn’t be more excited about the future direction of our certification, the new partnerships in the works, and our tech roadmap. Check back here for regular updates – or better yet, join us as a certified company or a user of our tools.

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About the Author

Austin Whitman
CEO, Change Climate

Austin Whitman is the CEO of The Change Climate Project. He started working on climate and clean energy 19 years ago and believes companies and individuals can make a huge difference for the climate if they're just shown how. When he's not engrossed in organization-building, he's probably with his family or being an amateur at one of his many hobbies.

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