In 2010, the Australian government launched an initiative to help businesses and individuals reduce their carbon emissions in a meaningful, practical and measured way.
Late in 2019, the initiative rebranded as ‘Climate Active’. Its primary goal is to help Australia achieve carbon neutrality through fundamental changes to the way we do business and live our lives. Climate Active is an acknowledgement that we all have a part to play.
First up, what do we mean by ‘carbon neutrality’?
In the last few years, more and more businesses and individuals have been taking steps to become carbon neutral – which means slashing their carbon emissions as much as possible, then purchasing carbon credits and offsets to bring their emissions down to zero. That’s it, in a nutshell.
Hold on a minute. What are offsets?
An offset is a guaranteed reduction in emissions. It’s like currency, where one carbon credit equals one tonne of carbon. So if you generate one tonne of emissions, one carbon credit will offset your output. Those credits are invested in projects, like reforestation or land gas capture.
So what’s the deal with Climate Active?
Climate Active guides businesses and individuals along their carbon neutral journey in a credible way, via a pretty strict process. When businesses can prove that we’ve ticked all the boxes and reduced and offset emissions, we’re provided with a Climate Active stamp, which tells customers that we are net zero. Think of it as a Fair Trade label, but for the environment.
“The Climate Active certification provides Bank Australia with a benchmark for continuous improvement, allowing us to easily demonstrate legitimacy to our customers; it also makes us part of a community of climate-focussed organisations,” says Jarrod Troutbeck, Senior Sustainability Consultant at Bank Australia. “We benefit from the rigorous certification process because we want our carbon accounts to be at the heart of our decision making, just like our financial accounts are.”
Why is Climate Active certification a good thing?
By displaying the Climate Active stamp on a website or product, it proves to your customers that you’re legitimately acting to make the world a better, cleaner place.
“The Climate Active certification indicates that we value transparency, best practice, and offers an identifiable seal-of-endorsement to customers, suppliers and stakeholders,” Jarrod says. “It demonstrates the legitimacy of our carbon neutral claims, giving our customers confidence that their bank is aligned with their values.”
If you’re an ethical consumer, you’ll look for evidence that your buying decisions are aligned with your values – and that’s what the Climate Active stamp does. Heaps of organisations in Australia have Climate Active certification, so by supporting them, you’re supporting the movement. Nice, hey?
Aside from banking with Bank Australia, what can I do to be climate active?
Look for businesses using the Climate Active trademark. You know they’ve done the work and have proven they’re changing the way they operate. Ask your favourite brands why they’re not net zero, then challenge them to make the investment. Brands listen to their consumers, and your voice could make a difference.
The market is crowded with greenwashing, so be a savvy consumer and question businesses making eco claims. Every Climate Active-certified business must publish their carbon accounts every year. We can all make a difference, and knowing where your money goes is the first step.
Find out more about Climate Active.
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