How Good Planning and Team Engagement Advance Climate Action: Courtney Morrissette, Sustainability Lead at Ana Luisa

Alicia Rodriguez
August 10, 2023
We caught up with Courtney Morrissette, Sustainability Lead at Ana Luisa to talk about the popular jewelry company's climate action journey. Find out why they became Climate Neutral Certified and how proactively engaging with stakeholders has accelerated their results.

Ana Luisa first became certified in 2021.  Can you share more about your brand? 

Ana Luisa elevates your everyday with high-quality, affordable jewelry that has a low impact on the planet. We hold our jewelry to a higher standard, crafting our pieces to stand the test of time, ensuring you know how and where your jewelry was made, and guaranteeing your purchase stays within your budget. Our designs are timeless. Our quality is unmatched. And our commitment to the environment never wavers.

Courtney Morrissette, Sustainability Lead at Ana Luisa

Tell us about your climate action strategy.  How did becoming Climate Neutral Certified advance your goals?

We’ve always been intentional about assessing the impact of our operations and taking accountability for our brand level emissions. Becoming Climate Neutral Certified gave us a direct roadmap to address our greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and elevate our overall climate action strategy. 

We’re always inspired by our Climate Neutral Certified peers. They’re collaborative, innovative, and have helped us to identify new climate action opportunities. Certification has allowed us to understand our impact, and we’re better able to mitigate it as we grow.

Ana Luisa also became certified through our Open Certification program (instead of one of our certification cycles).  Tell us about this experience.

We’ve been independently measuring our carbon footprint since 2020.  We do so at the beginning of each calendar year, and we’ve also always had a deliberate practice to budget for eligible verified carbon credits early. 

The flexibility of the Open Certification program aligned well with this approach. By working with a third-party consultant, we are able to recertify annually on our own timeline—all while still having the support of the Climate Neutral team to verify each part of the process.  It’s the best of both worlds. 

How has your climate action journey evolved since 2021?

Becoming certified pushed us to critically assess and challenge our climate action initiatives in our own operations and throughout our supply chain. Through our annual GHG inventories, we've been able to identify our most carbon-intensive practices. As an example, we were surprised to see how large of an impact our packaging had on our footprint. We use that data to develop reduction action plans that focus on our emissions hotspots, like packaging. We’re continually exploring innovative materials and looking for ways to embrace more sustainable technologies.

What climate action challenges have you overcome? 

Over the past couple of years the carbon market has been volatile, which has made budgeting for eligible verified credits a challenge. In order to remain committed to carbon neutrality and certification, we adopted a proactive approach to our carbon investments. We work with providers to find the best projects for our brand well in advance of our recertification, giving us more pricing options on a range of verified projects.

You mentioned budgeting for climate solution investments. Can you share how you built the business case for this budget? 

We work very proactively and closely with our finance team. This relationship has been critical to following through on our climate neutrality commitments since 2020.  Our teams regularly work together to set aside a part of our sustainability budget for eligible verified carbon credits early.  

We are equally proactive with carbon credit providers. We engage with them well in advance of our certification deadlines. Having provider conversations early and often has allowed us to be more strategic. We’re able to invest in a broader range of projects that align to the Climate Neutral Standard—and at prices that fit our budget.

What tips would you recommend to someone interested in taking immediate climate action? 

01 | Make sure your entire company is aligned with the process and strategy that comes with certification. Conducting a greenhouse gas inventory is a major undertaking.  Even with the support of a third-party, it requires a lot of cross-functional data collection. It's helpful to share context with the teams involved, how the data will be used, and why the certification and a greenhouse gas inventory is important for the company's business and sustainability goals.

02 | Track the voluntary carbon market and engage with many different carbon credit providers in advance. We suggest joining webinars, connecting on LinkedIn, and setting up calls with verified suppliers. This exercise will give you time to manage your budget, find the best projects that fit your company's needs, and align to the Climate Neutral Standard.

03 | Ask providers detailed questions around verification, location, and project impact. Here are 3 of our most frequently asked questions to providers:

  • Are the carbon credits offered certified by reputable standards and align to the Climate Neutral Standard? 
  • Can we access detailed information about the projects, their locations, correlating SDGs, and their overall impact?
  • How do you prevent double counting of carbon credits?

As you evaluate potential carbon credit providers, their responses to these questions will help you gauge their credibility, transparency, and alignment with your organization's sustainability objectives.

We also suggest considering projects as close to your business as possible. Because ultimately, the goal should be to build carbon reduction and sequestration projects directly into your supply chain.

And lastly, prepare for how you will share this information with customers. Climate Neutral takes the challenging issue of climate change, too often made too technical, and communicates it in simple, hopeful terms. Encouraging climate change education and action is an incredible value of the certification, so take advantage of it!

Has Climate Neutral Certification increased trust with your customers?  

In the growing sustainability landscape, where many claims go unverified, we believe it is critical to have an independent certification to validate our practices. 

That’s one of the reasons we chose to become Climate Neutral Certified. It helped us prove to our customers that we are invested in credibly removing and reducing carbon emissions throughout our supply chain. 

We also appreciate the certification process demands transparency.  All certified brands report carbon emissions annually, along with removals and time-bound reduction action plans. This transparency has kept us accountable and enabled us to build trust with our stakeholders. It’s a big way we demonstrate our commitment to a more responsible future.

What’s next for Ana Luisa?

We continue to challenge ourselves to do better. After review of our most recent GHG inventory calculations, we will be implementing a new packaging initiative geared to reduce our emissions. It does good and of course looks good—so stay tuned!  We are also continuing our efforts to work with partners that inspire us. We have an exciting collection launching in September that reflects these values called Jewelry for Good.

If your organization is interested in taking immediate climate action, give us a shout at hello@climateneutral.org. We look forward to hearing your story!  

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About the Author

Alicia Rodriguez
Certification Program Manager

Craft beer aficionado with a strong passion for her Puerto Rican culture, Alicia brings experience in project management and customer service and holds an MBA in Sustainable Innovation. She looks to create impact and apply intersectionality to everything she does, and believes that everyone can—and should—find a role in addressing the climate crisis.

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