Net zero is on everyone’s agenda but achieving tangible goals has been somewhat challenging. Whilst there are various options available to tackle specific areas of sustainability, few outline a complete pathway to support businesses as they reduce their carbon footprints. That could be all set to change though, with a new international standard, BS ISO 14068, which sets out robust principles and detailed requirements on the quantification and reduction/removal of GHG emissions, allowing you to make verifiable claims of carbon neutrality.
Crown Oil is the first UK fuel supplier to be certified carbon neutral in line with PAS 2060 standards and we’re transitioning to the BS ISO 14068-1:2023 standard for our FY 23/24 reporting which will further cement transparency and full accountability in our claims.
Published in 2023, BS ISO 14068 is a publicly available specification created by the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) as part of the ISO 14000 series for environmental management. It provides a rigorous and robust framework to avoid greenwashing, building on the 15 years of governance of the previous standard – PAS 2060.
BS ISO 14068 is the globally-recognised standard that specifies the requirements for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality through the quantification, reduction, removal and offsetting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Users can gain clear, best practice guidance, allowing them to make verifiable claims of carbon reduction, or climate neutrality, with the aim of ensuring there’s no net release of GHG emissions into the atmosphere in the future.
PAS 2060 is a publicly available specification produced by the British Standards Institution (BSI). It delivers a framework for organisations to achieve carbon neutrality to prove that there is no net release of GHG emissions into the atmosphere.
ISO 14068:2023 will replace PAS 2060 as the new standard for carbon neutrality from 30th November 2025. The delayed launch date is to enable users to address changes that may be needed to meet the revised requirements.
The new standard builds upon PAS 2060 which was first developed 15 years ago, with the most prominent difference being more detailed provisions on the hallmarks of high-quality carbon credits.
BS ISO 14068 is applicable to any organisation of any size, both in the private and public sector (e.g. companies, local authorities and financial institutions) and products (e.g. goods and services, including events and buildings).
Working towards a long-term target of net zero can be challenging without acknowledgement of successes along the way. That’s where carbon neutrality can help; organisations that have a clear plan and have started making real GHG reductions can counteract their outstanding carbon emissions using high-quality carbon credits (offsets) to achieve carbon neutrality.
It also helps to ensure that there is no scope for misrepresentation when it comes to emissions reporting. By building on the lessons learned under PAS 2060 and supplementary legislation, ISO 14068 will help businesses and individuals avoid accusations of greenwashing through increased transparency and accurate reporting.
Organisations must follow clear principles and requirements set out in the standard, including the accurate quantification of GHG emissions in line with the following ISO 14060 series standards:
This involves setting a hierarchy so that GHG emission reductions are made first, as this is the most cost-effective way to reduce a carbon footprint.
Once emissions are reduced where financially feasible, you must then offset the remaining emissions through the purchase of verified carbon credits which are assessed to this new standard, which has 3 main steps:
Please note: this includes all types of GHG emissions.
To achieve carbon neutrality, organisations must accurately quantify their GHG emissions.
You must then recognise all economically viable opportunities for GHG emission reductions and then demonstrate that you have a plan with a hierarchy to make these reductions before purchasing carbon credits to offset any remaining emissions. This includes short and long-term targets to minimise your carbon footprint. Any carbon credits used must be of high-quality as set out in the standard.
Quantifications, reductions and your carbon management plan must all be verified by an independent party.
All of the above steps are essential to qualify for the ISO 14068 standard.
There’s been a recent increase in unsubstantiated claims of carbon neutrality. Following BS ISO 14068, organisations can demonstrate that their claim is underpinned by tangible action and a clear pathway to reduce all possible GHG emissions so it doesn’t fall back on purchasing carbon credits in the market. This drastically improves the credibility of a claim.
It complements other environmental standards such as ISO 14067 by focusing specifically on carbon neutrality across various subjects including organisations and products.
As a carbon neutral fuel supplier that adheres to PAS 2060 standards, we’re already following the steps outlined in this framework: we’re reducing our GHG emissions and offsetting those that we cannot avoid using high-quality certified carbon credits.
Our move to the new ISO 14068 standard for our FY23/24 reporting will further cement our claims through full transparency and accountability, proving our ongoing commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.Learn more about our sustainability efforts >