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Defining the New ISO 14068-1 Carbon Neutrality Standard

Quality InsightsQuality Insights Volume 18April 19, 2024

What is ISO 14068-1 and how can it help you show your carbon neutrality?

What is carbon neutrality?

The European Union (EU) defines carbon neutrality as having a balance between emitting and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks.

What is a carbon sink?

A carbon sink is any system that absorbs more carbon than it emits. The main natural carbon sinks are soil, forests and oceans.

What is ISO 14068-1?

ISO 14068-1 is the globally recognized standard for climate change management and transitioning to low-greenhouse gas (GHG) emission activities. The standard specifies principles, requirements and guidance for achieving and demonstrating carbon neutrality through quantifying, reducing and offsetting the carbon footprint.

Why is ISO 14068-1 important?

ISO 14068-1 provides a methodology for assessing carbon neutrality, ensuring that efforts are true, fair, science-based and transparent. It unites carbon neutral and net zero to remove doubt and provides a defined structure that supports the journey to carbon neutral/net zero.

ISO 14068-1 was built upon and replaces PAS 2060 (carbon neutrality). It also builds upon existing GHG quantification, reporting, validation and verification standards, including ISO 14064-1 (quantify and report GHG emissions and removals).

Who is ISO 14068-1 for?

Any entity (including companies, local authorities and financial institutions) and product or service (including events and buildings) seeking to achieve and demonstrate carbon neutrality.

What are the benefits of ISO 14068-1 verification?

Verification follows successful completion of an audit. The benefits include:

  • Plan and achieve genuine climate management goals
  • Enhance credibility and trust in your carbon neutrality claims
  • Promote ambitious, science-based GHG emissions reduction strategies
  • Support on your carbon neutral/net zero journey
  • A comprehensive value chain and life cycle approach to carbon management
  • Built upon existing international standards like ISO 14064-1, ISO 14064-2, ISO 14064-3 and ISO 14067
  • Contribute to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1-16

How can you meet ISO 14068-1 requirements?

The standard requires carbon neutrality to be achieved through a hierarchical approach:
Commitment → select subject and boundary → quantify GHG emissions and removals → carbon neutrality management plan → GHG emissions reductions and removals → offsetting → reporting → claim → verification.

Does ISO 14068-1 include specific GHG emissions thresholds for carbon neutrality?

ISO 14068-1 provides a methodology for assessing carbon neutrality, not specific emissions thresholds.

How does ISO 14068-1 align with other environmental standards?

It complements other environmental standards, such as ISO 14067, by focusing on carbon neutrality across many subjects like organizations and products.

How does ISO 14068-1 contribute to global climate goals?

The standard provides a structured approach to carbon neutrality, aligning with global net-zero GHG emissions efforts and supporting Paris Agreement objectives.

Why SGS?

As a sustainability leader for over 30 years, we offer in-depth expertise on ISO 14068-1 verification requirements to determine your competency and support your ongoing improvement.

We have been supporting clients in climate change management for over 25 years and have core expertise in GHG emissions verification. We ensure that GHG emissions and reductions are reported completely, accurately, consistently, transparently and faithfully. SGS verifies GHG inventories, emissions and reductions worldwide to guarantee compliance with the relevant eligibility criteria, regulations or voluntary reporting.

Contact us today to discuss your ISO 14068-1 requirements.

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 99,600 employees operate a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

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