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How do I know you are an expert in carbon?

It can be tricky to recognise an expert in carbon footprinting as there are no formal qualifications available. However, when looking for an expert we would suggest asking the following 6 questions:

1. Is your "expert" a member of a recognised professional association? 

    • You want to know that you expert is knowledgeable about the subject and one way to do this is to ask whether they belong to a professional association that has rigorous standards.  
    • Our Chief Carbon Coach, Eoin McQuone, is a Practitioner member of IEMA (the Institute of Environmental Management). This required him to pass an exam and submit a portfolio of evidence of impact. It also requires that he keep up to date with the latest issues in sustainability through continuous professional development.

2. Is your "expert" clear about the standards they use and the standards you will need to adhere to?

    • For most businesses, calculating and disclosing their carbon footprint is voluntary, so it is important to understand how your calculation is being done and whether it is being done in accordance with any published standards.
    • At Go Climate Positive we adhere strictly to The GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. this is the most widely used standard in the world and ensures consistency. Unlike some other programmes, we also insist on all members doing a full carbon analysis of their supply chain and customer activity using the optional GHG Corporate Value Chain Standard (this is known as "scope 3" in the jargon). We do this because the only way to achieve "net zero" and the low-carbon future we need is to address all sources of emissions, even the ones that are hard to do. Don't worry though, we have ways of simplifying this task so that it is not as hard as you might think. 

3. Does your "expert" insist on carbon calculation and reduction before carbon offsetting?

    • There are many carbon offsetting providers that will tell you that your carbon footprint can simply be offset by planting trees or buying carbon credits. Some even tell you that you can do this without calculating your footprint first. Whilst these schemes are attractive because they are easy to do and indeed some of them may be doing some good things, an expert will tell you that we cannot offset our way out of the climate emergency. There is not enough space to plant enough trees to offset all our emissions, and in any case we need to first replace all the trees that have been cut down in the last 100 years before any planting we do can truly be classed as offsetting. Equally there are not enough carbon credits to go round if every business wanted to buy enough for them all to go carbon neutral.
    • At Go Climate Positive, we do believe that offsetting has an important role to play and we do offset on our members behalf. However, our goal is to help all our members reduce their footprint in line with the latest scientific advice, so that eventually the amount of offsetting required will be minimal.

4. Does your "expert" make things easier or more complex for you?

    • Carbon management can be a complex business. So, you need to know whether your expert will make it easier or more complicated for you. You should quiz them about how they work and ask their customers about how easy they are to work with.
    • At Go Climate Positive we handle all the complicated stuff for you. We don't expect you to become an expert in carbon or to do lots of data entry into carbon calculators yourself. All we ask is that you provide us with information about what your business does. We then turn that into insights about how you can most effectively reduce your carbon emissions and help you create a practical action plan to start doing it. We then help you find other businesses and organisations who can help you if you want us to.
    • If you would like to talk to some of our existing customers please contact us and we would be delighted to put you in touch with some. In the words of Gill Smith of the Business Kitchen:

"Eoin made the process very straightforward and did all the heavy lifting…if you are delaying because you are not sure how to do this…then Eoin is your answer!”

5. Does your "expert" have a track record?

    • You want to know that the person you are working with has done this many times before so that they have the experience to answer your questions and handle the unique challenges inherent to your business.
    • At Go Climate Positive we are totally transparent about who we work with and publish our list of members, the certificates they have achieved and the work they have done to reduce and offset their footprint. You can view an up-to-date list of all our members here.

6. Is your "expert" up front about pricing?

    • Running a business is more challenging than ever these days and so, if you are going to employ an expert to help you manage your carbon, it is only reasonable for you to know up front exactly what it will cost you. Yet it is surprising how few carbon consultant and certification programmes publish their pricing, expecting you to contact them to find out.
    • At Go Climate Positive we think a large part of the answer to tackling climate change is transparency . We think this should extend to the price that you pay to engage someone to help you. That is why our membership fees are fixed and published on our website here. We have no hidden costs. The only thing that is not included is the price of offsetting your carbon footprint as we cannot know how much this will be until we done your calculation. However, we do publish the price per tonne of offsetting here.

Good carbon management is vital to the future of your business and the next generation. There are many good experts out there who can help you so, regardless of whether or not you choose us, we hope you choose someone who can help you make good, informed, data-based decisions.

Contact us to to discuss how we can help you.

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21 Naunton Lane, Cheltenham, Gloucs, UK GL53 7BJ


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