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What is PAS 2060?
PAS 2060: A Guide to Getting Certification and Contributing to the Race Against Global Warming
Global warming and climate change are a serious problem. If we do not act now—and countries, companies and communities do not work together to lower the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases—the Earth will be inhabitable. We destroy the planet, millions of plant and animal species, and the entire human race.
That is why the industrial and business sectors are working to reduce carbon emissions and become “carbon neutral”. They are replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy, reducing waste, and looking for sustainable materials and packaging.
But the most important step that a company can take to reduce its carbon footprint is to analyse its greenhouse emissions. You have to know the problem before you can solve it. That is where the PAS 2060 standard can help.
What is the PAS 2060 standard?
The PAS 2060 standard is the only internationally recognised, accepted and respected standard for carbon neutrality.
It is based on the PAS 2050 standard, which was first released in 2008 by the British Standards Institution. This was the first framework for measuring a company’s carbon footprint.
The updated PAS 2060 standard, which was released in 2010, has a more detailed methodology for measuring the life cycle of greenhouse gases across the entire value chain. Companies can use this to measure reduce and offset emissions, and the impact of their goods and services on climate change.
Ho do you apply for PAS 2060 certification?
The PAS 2060 methodology and framework has four steps, which require both a thorough evaluation of your processes and verification from accredited bodies.
- Measure Emissions
- Reduce Emissions
- Offset Emissions
- Document Success
PAS 2060 divides emission sources from different areas, called Scopes.
- Scope 1 includes direct emissions like fuel combustion. This is under the company’s direct control.
- Scope 2 includes indirect emissions, which are created by electricity, heating, or cooling. This is not under the company’s control, but can be properly managed or minimised.
- Scope 3 includes emissions from activities that are part of the business value chain, but are beyond the control. This can include transportation or waste treatment.
To get PAS 2060 certification, companies must meet standards for Scope 1 and 2, and limit Scope 3 emissions to 1% of their total footprint.
The next step in PAS 2060 certification is to present a Carbon Management Plan, which includes a timeframe, specific targets, and how they plan to reduce or offset emissions. Each activity should have a justification, and provide a methodology and timeframe for measurement.
The company must also make a public commitment to carbon neutrality, and declare a maximum amount of annual emissions, or the ratio of emissions per unit of production.
To achieve carbon neutrality, companies don’t just have to reduce emissions but offset them. This can include investing in environmental projects like tree planting, using clean energy technology or programs like capturing methane gas from landfills, or buying carbon credits.
Unfortunately, carbon offsetting has generated a lot of public mistrust, after several reports of abuse and fraud. To avoid a backlash, make sure to engage in quality programs that provide real environmental benefits.
The offset credits must also be documented and verified by an independent third party, and meet the criteria. There are different standards for the compliance market and voluntary market, so you should know where the programs fall under and the necessary requirements.
Any offset credits have to be used within 12 months from the date they have been declared to be achieved.
At the end of the program, the company must present a report, which includes supporting documents such as a copy of their Carbon Management Plan, proof of reduced emissions, and the Carbon Footprint Report.
Who can apply for PAS 2060 certification?
Companies and organisations can get carbon neutral certifications for products, services, buildings or sites, transportation systems, and even events.
What are the benefits of applying for PAS 2060?
- Stronger brand image. Being an environmentally responsible company or brand can help build customer trust and loyalty, and improve your relationships with stakeholders. This includes the media, local government, stockholders, and investors.
- Increased credibility. You will be able to declare certification on product labels and marketing collaterals. Since PAS 2060 is the only internationally recognised standard, you immediately differentiate yourselves from other companies who can only “claim” that they are Clean and Green.
- Clear action plans. The PAS 2060 framework can help you find clear, concrete and cost-effective ways to lower your carbon emissions. This is better than blindly implementing projects without knowing the real impact on your business and global decarbonisation efforts.
Align your business with global initiatives
The PAS 2060 framework also companies align with a global target, set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. You could call it the biggest business plan in history: world governments committed to lower the rise of global temperature to below 2°C, in order to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change.
The only way to meet this goal is for companies worldwide to cut emissions by 50% before 2030, and achieve net-zero by 2050. The clock is ticking. While everyone plays an important role, most carbon emissions are generated by the business and industrial sector.
Unfortunately, total carbon emissions increase every year. Even with the existing commitments from countries, we are still producing 60% more carbon than safe levels. In other words, companies need to try harder. It is not enough to “reduce, reuse and recycle” while hoping that it is enough.
The PAS 2060 framework provides a more systematic way to reduce emissions and measure success. It can serve as the foundation for long-term environmental strategies, while setting milestones for every year. It can be a tedious procedure, but there are companies that can assist with the process, from developing a plan to gathering the necessary documents, reports, offsetting credits, and third-part accreditation.
With the global warming crisis, PAS 2060 is not just a standard, but a tool for survival.
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