- How do I become Climate Smart?
It’s simple. And it’s hard work. Complete the Climate Smart training program, either in a cohort or individually. The program guides you through creating a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory then helps you build a GHG emissions reduction plan including actions to address the most significant sources of emissions measured in your GHG inventory.
Once you have completed your certification, you will receive your Climate Smart seal!
- What’s involved in Climate Smart’s greenhouse gas inventory review?
We review your GHG inventory to ensure it adheres with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP), an internationally accepted standard for greenhouse gas accounting. It was co-developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
In our review, we look for these five principles of the GHGP:
We also review (not audit) your methodology and calculations. And when we’re through, we’ll provide you with detailed feedback, ask clarifying questions, and request necessary inventory revisions.
- What is required to certify?
To become Climate Smart certified, a business/organization is required to:
- Complete the Climate Smart training program, either in a cohort or individually.*
- Complete a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, according to the GHG Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, and have it reviewed and approved by a Climate Smart client advisor.
- Create a GHG emissions reduction plan that includes actions to address the most significant sources of emissions measured in its GHG inventory. The emissions reduction plan must be approved by a senior decision-maker in the organization.**
* Completing the training program is only required in a company’s first year of membership with Climate Smart. However, many businesses choose to send additional staff through training in subsequent years.
** For companies that have been working with Climate Smart and reducing GHG emissions for multiple years, it may be difficult to find new actions they can take to reduce their most significant sources of emissions; in this case, they will need to have taken action in prior years.
- How do I update my Climate Smart Certification?
- Easy: Click here
- What are greenhouse gases? What is GHG management?
It’s okay if you don’t know. There’s a lot to learn.
Here are the basics: Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases that trap heat and keep the earth warm. Greenhouse gas management is the practice of measuring an organization’s greenhouse gas emissions and then implementing strategies to reduce them.
- What is carbon neutrality? Can my company be carbon neutral?
- Your company is considered “carbon neutral” when you can prove that you have measured your emissions, reduced them as much as possible, and purchased offsets to balance the remaining emissions with reductions elsewhere. Do that, and your company could become carbon neutral.
- What is unique about Climate Smart?
A thousand things! The most pertinent is this: Our Climate Smart training programs allow businesses to achieve their business goals and lead in their industry while cultivating a climate-conscious culture internally at the same time. Our unique combination of training, tools, and technical assistance enable small, medium, and large businesses to measure and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, make informed decisions to invest in efficiencies, and communicate compellingly about the action they’re taking on climate change.
Climate Smart is distinct from other consultancies in our capacity-building approach. Climate Smart-certified businesses come away with the internal ability to analyze, measure, and reduce their company’s impact. We train key staff from each participant business in GHG management through training sessions, one-on-one coaching and access to Climate Smart’s online software tool. The idea: You get Climate Smart Certified AND your team has the tools to lead the emissions reduction charge from within your organization ongoing.
- How do I know what to measure?
- Sign up for Climate Smart training and you’ll learn how to create a GHG inventory (the stuff you’re going to measure) on the first day.
- Can you guarantee cost savings? And what is ROI?
- No. Cost savings are directly related to your team’s follow-through on your GHG reduction plan. If you take the action and follow the steps, chances are high you’ll realize cost efficiencies. We train you to seek out and achieve a cost savings outcome. Some businesses do and other do not. We believe you can.
- How can I track my progress?
Our custom Climate Smart software tool enables you to aggregate, store, and manage your data from a variety of different sources. It’ll clearly show you on easy-to-read-and-understand graphs which areas of your businesses have the highest emissions, so you can pinpoint where to focus your reduction strategies.
The backbone of our training and advising is the WRI GHG protocol, the most recognized international standard in carbon accounting and the standard used by the majority of fortune 500 businesses.
- Who from my business should attend the training sessions?
Ultimately, it’s up to you. Generally, up to two people from each organization attend the Climate Smart training sessions. Ideally, one should be able to help locate emissions data (e.g., electricity, gas and fuel bills, travel records, etc.). Think about who is best to lead and champion the climate change charge within your organization. Who can inspire the team to act?
If you want to send more staff, you absolutely can! Many businesses do. Add +$500 for additional staff (above two). When there is budget available, we encourage getting as many staff involved from multiple departments.
- How long does the process take?
Approximately 4-6 months. This includes:
- 3-4 half-day training sessions (live online or in-person)
- Greenhouse gas inventory compilation
- Inventory review by Climate Smart technical experts
- Development of a cohesive, action-oriented emissions reduction plan
- How much staff time does the process take?
- In addition to expected participation in the training sessions, you can expect Climate Smart participants from your business to spend 25 hours on average to complete certification for your organization.
- How much does it cost to participate in Climate Smart?
- The cost varies depending on the size of your business and on what host partner discounts may be available to you.
- Where can I attend the training sessions?
- Locations vary. In the past, training sessions have been held in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Mississauga, St. John’s, and Portland, OR. We also work remotely over the phone and online with companies in other areas. Check our training dates for upcoming training sessions.
- How many other companies are in each training session?
- Attendance averages between 8-25 attendees per session. If we have a full house, you can expect a maximum of 30 people from 15 companies in the room or on the call with you.
- What is the range of company sizes that participates in Climate Smart?
- We accommodate businesses of all sizes; however, Climate Smart training is best suited to businesses with staff of five to 500. For reference, the median annual carbon footprint of a Climate Smart Business is approximately 130 tonnes CO2e.
- What will I learn at each session?
- Check out our robust Climate Smart curriculum here.
- What makes the Climate Smart team qualified to do the review?
GHG accounting is a rapidly developing field. It’s important to us and integral for our program that all of our technical support team members are consistently updating their qualifications. Every one of our reviewers has direct experience conducting GHG inventories. They also are educated through the GHG Management Institute .
We are currently evaluating qualifications such as the Canadian Standards Association’s GHG Inventory Quantifier and the GHG Management Institute’s Certificates in Organizational GHG Accounting and GHG Accounting and Verification.
- Can I continue measuring my emissions after my first year with Climate Smart?
You bet you can. In fact, greenhouse gas management and accounting are best when completed annually, just like any other accounting practice. Climate Smart-certified businesses can renew their membership annually. Renewals include the Climate Smart software application to compile an updated inventory, access to Client Advisors, an updated Climate Smart seal, and access to all key learning events.
Click here to renew.
- My business is growing. Can I still reduce emissions?
Absolutely! Growing your business and cutting emissions go hand-in-hand. Many Climate Smart Certified businesses have reduced their emissions based on an “intensity factor”. This is the level of GHG emissions per unit of economic activity. Some of the intensity factors businesses have used include emissions reduced by number of staff, square footage, or in the case of port businesses, by throughput of cargo.
For a great example of a growing business that’s reducing emissions as they grow, check out Neptune Terminals. They’ve reduced emissions 12% per 1000 MT of product handled.
- Once I sign up, what is my obligation to Climate Smart?
- Read our Climate Smart Certification Participant Agreement for all of the details.
- What is Climate Smart’s policy for certification?
Climate Smart Businesses Inc. will provide our services to all companies committed to measuring and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. We reserve the right not to certify companies that have not in good faith made efforts to reduce their emissions, and whose plans and actions fail to address the most significant sources of emissions in its GHG inventory.
We do not convey Climate Smart certification to companies whose process or products results in a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions, for example, businesses solely focused on the extraction, processing, and distribution of fossil fuels. Companies may not use Climate Smart’s name, seal or logo publicly without our permission.