Carbon Case 1: Climate Neutral

Once a company decides to take responsibility for its carbon footprint, the first step is determining how to best do so. Klean Kanteen has turned to Climate Neutral to help take the guesswork out of their climate strategy.

Can you explain the logic from Klean Kanteen’s perspective in joining the Climate Neutral initiative?

“Klean Kanteen has been measuring greenhouse gas emissions related to its business operations for several years. We are at a place where we’re confident in our ability to gather this information regularly and robustly enough to plan for and take action to reduce emissions.”

“Climate Neutral happened to emerge as we were working out how to implement an internal carbon tax and other elements of reduction strategy. We saw commitment to Climate Neutral as a way to solidify that concept of an internal carbon tax; we’re going to pay for all the emissions we don’t find a way to reduce. That’s a significant cost, and a very tangible motivation to get after reductions. And frankly, there is a sense that we need to do something NOW given the climate emergency we’re facing. This was the primary driving motivator behind signing Klean up for Climate Neutral.”

Can you expand on how the Climate Neutral process works?

“Klean’s measurement follows greenhouse gas accounting methods of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. We started by identifying our emissions sources within the three scopes defined by the GHG Protocol.”

“Once we were comfortable with the approach for measuring Scopes 1 and 2, we shifted focus to the much larger Scope 3. We practiced measuring these for a couple years to gain confidence with our process. We felt if we didn’t have confidence in our measurement and reporting capability, we would have less confidence choosing where to reduce and the appropriate magnitude for goals.”

“The Climate Neutral process is very similar to any year-end accounting cycle. Right now, end of year data is being gathered to quantify greenhouse gas emissions from all sources for the 2019 calendar year. That data will be reviewed and reported by certifying brands to Climate Neutral in the Jan-March 2020 timeframe along with emissions reduction plans. Once approved, brands will purchase qualifying offsets and cross the finish line for 2019. Klean’s first offsets purchase will come in 1Q2020. This will become an annual process, with ongoing reduction planning and analysis and implementation in between reporting and certification – the in between activities is where the good stuff happens.”

How does Klean Kanteen determine its emissions reductions goals?

“Our plan is to establish an overall emissions reduction goal that aligns with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI). This is a framework for setting emissions reduction goals that are in line with a target of keeping global average temperature increase well below 2 degrees C.”

“Once we have an approved, science-based emissions target, we can rally our organization around strategy that aligns with that level of emissions reduction over the next 10 years. It’s exciting, really, to think we can remove ambiguity around what is a meaningful reduction. It helps transition our focus from trying to quantify the problem, or trying to quantify the goal, and moving us to quantifying the value of potential solutions, picking the winners, and making reductions a reality.”

SUSTON
jonathan.eidse@norragency.com