1. What is CarbonCare® Label Scheme?
The CarbonCare® Label is a unique scheme. Since its launch in late 2011, over 500 labels have been awarded. The Scheme is designed to encourage corporates/ organisations for the transition to the low-carbon economy, including decarbonisation, specific carbon measurement for construction sites, recognise good practice of disclosure in ESG reporting, and promote circular economy. Each of the labels requires substantive efforts to achieve, but they all are a recognition of excellence in the journey to sustainability.
2. Who runs the Scheme?
CarbonCare InnoLab (CCIL) runs the CarbonCare® Label. CCIL is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the nurturing and development of innovative solutions, policies and practices in response to today's climate change and sustainability challenges. CCIL is a charitable body registered in Hong Kong, enjoying tax exemption status under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.
3. What are the benefits to the corporates and organisations participating in CarbonCare® Label Scheme?
Obtaining the CarbonCare® Label can provide corporates/ organizations with a range of benefits that can help them protect themselves from climate change risks, capture new opportunities, and enhance their reputation as sustainability leaders, including:
- Credibility of a rigorous protocol based on latest international standards and best practice;
- Expert advice on carbon accounting, reduction/offset solutions, ESG reporting and recycling for circular economy;
- Sustainability innovations to reduce risks and costs related to climate change impacts;
- Invitation to award ceremony and photo-taking opportunities with officiating guests;
- Enhanced brand value through achievement publicity package and media exposure;
- Usage of CarbonCare®️ Label logo as a recognised sustainability leader.
4. What are the differences between each of the Label? Can my company/ organisation apply for more than one Label?
There are five Labels to represent carbon reduction and sustainability achievements in different aspects. CarbonCare® Label encourages and recognises the efforts to tackle climate change and achieve carbon reduction/neutrality status by Measuring, Reducing and Offsetting (MRO) carbon footprints. CarbonCare® ESG Label gives special recognition to best performers in ESG reporting. CarbonCare® Circularity Label to provide a framework for public or private sector organisations keen to introduce Circular Economy concepts into their operations. CarbonCare® Construction Label encourages and recognises achievements in carbon reduction associated with construction process and/or material production.
Applicants can apply for multiple Labels as long as they can fulfill the relevant criteria.
5. What are the acceptable standards for carbon emissions assurance/ verification?
Here is a list of acceptable standards of carbon emissions assurance / verification:
- ABNT NBR ISO 14064-3:2007 (Associação Brasileira de Normas Técnicas)
- Advanced technologies promotion Subsidy Scheme with Emission reduction Target (ASSET)
- Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) des Airports Council International Europe
- Alberta Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER)
- Attestation standards established by AICPA (AT105)
- Australian National GHG emission regulation (NGER)
- California Mandatory GHG Reporting Regulations (CARB)
- Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Handbook: Assurance Section 5025
- Carbon Trust Standard
- Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) verification standard
- The Climate Registry's General Verification Protocol (also known as California Climate Action Registry (CCAR))
- Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (CNCC)
- Corporate GHG verification guidelines from ERT
- DNV VeriSustain Protocol/ Verification Protocol for Sustainability Reporting
- Dutch Standard 3000A
- Earthcheck Certification
- ERM GHG Performance Data Assurance Methodology
- European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)
- IDW PS 821: IDW Prüfungsstandard: Grundsätze ordnungsmäßiger Prüfung oder prüferischer Durchsicht von Berichtenim Bereich der Nachhaltigkeit
- IDW AsS 821: IDW Assurance Standard: Generally Accepted Assurance Principles for the Audit or Review of Reports on Sustainability Issues
- ISAE 3410
- Japan voluntary emissions trading scheme (JVETS) guideline for verification
- Korean GHG and energy target management system
- NMX-SAA-14064-3-IMNC: Instituto Mexicano de Normalización y Certificación A.C
- RevR6 procedure for assurance of sustainability report
- Saitama Prefecture Target-Setting Emissions Trading Program
- SGS Sustainability Report Assurance
- Spanish Institute of Registered Auditors (ICJCE)
- SSAE 3000
- Standard 3810N Assurance engagements relating to sustainability reports of the Royal Netherlands Institute of Registered Accountants
- State of Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection, Verification of GHG and emissions reduction in Israel Guidance Document
- Swiss Climate CO2 Label for Businesses
- Thai Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation (TGO) Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Verification Protocol
- Toitū Envirocare’s carbonreduce certification standard
- Tokyo Emissions Trading Scheme
6. Is a company/ organisation eligible for CarbonCare® Label if this is the first year we conduct a carbon audit?
A company/ organisation is still eligible for CarbonCare® Label if this is its first year to conduct a carbon audit. Once it has its carbon audit independently verified/ assured, the company/ organisation has to commit to reduce its carbon footprint by 5% or more next year compared to this year.
7. What is base year for carbon audit? Can it be changed?
The base year for a carbon audit is the year against which an organiszation's carbon emissions are compared over time to track their progress towards reducing their carbon emissions. It is typically the first year for which an organiszation has collected data on its carbon emissions, and is used as a reference for future carbon emissions calculations.
The base year is an important reference point for tracking progress towards carbon reduction goals, and changing it can impact the accuracy and comparability of carbon footprint data over time. Therefore, it is generally not recommended to change the base year for a carbon audit unless there is a compelling reason to do so, such as a significant change in the company or organisation's operations, structure, or ownership.
If there is a need to change the base year, it is important to clearly document the reasons for the change and the impact it has on the company/ organisation's carbon emissions data. This will help ensure that the data remains accurate and comparable over time and can be effectively communicated to stakeholders.
8. What would happen if the physical boundary of my company/ organization changed?
If the physical boundary is changed, carbon emissions intensity can be used to track the carbon reduction progress. Carbon emissions intensity is a measure of the amount of carbon emissions generated per unit of activity or output, such as per unit of revenue, production output, or passenger-kilometers. It is commonly used as a metric to track the efficiency of an organisation's operations in terms of carbon emissions.
9. Why does the CarbonCare® ESG Label include a new set of criteria?
The CarbonCare® ESG Label is designed to give special recognition to best performers in ESG reporting in four important areas: company board accountability, materiality assessment, disclosure of social KPIs, and corporate climate actions. Its criteria are upgraded for 2023 to reflect the latest international trends, regulatory requirements and community aspirations.
10. What is a waste snapshot survey?
A Waste Snapshot Survey refers to a real-time survey of the type and estimate of the amount (in weight) of waste disposed within the compound of the entity, with a minimum sample size of 50 independent acts of waste disposal. Types of waste include, but are not limited to, each type of paper products, plastic bottle, other plastics, aluminum cans, glass, food waste, packaging materials, signage, display materials, etc. For offices, the survey could be conducted in the form of a self-assessment by staff. Staff would record each act of waste disposal, by noting down the type and amount of waste disposed in a log book located next to the common trash bin. For larger entities, e.g. property management / shopping malls, a representative could be stationed next to a general waste trash bin or general waste collection station to keep a record of the type and amount of waste disposed. This can be done by either observing or directly approaching the actor about the type and amount of waste for each act of waste disposal. Entities have the flexibility to choose the duration of the survey, as long as a minimum of 50 independent acts of waste disposal are recorded. The result of the waste snapshot survey should be endorsed by an entity representative at managerial position and presented in the form of a report.
11. What is the meaning of Business As Usual (BAU) for comparison of the carbon reduction achievement in construction site?
Business As Usual (BAU) practices are based on prevailing mainstream practices, which assume that few or no steps are taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions, for example using traditional concrete or using diesel to generate electricity. We refer to the CIC Carbon Assessment Tool as the BAU practices.
12. What types of carbon credit can a corporate/ organisation purchase?
A company/ organisation can purchase accredited carbon credits with internationally accepted standards, such as VCS, CDM, CCB, Gold Standard VER or equivalent.
13. What is the application process of the CarbonCare® Label Scheme?
Applicants should fill in the online form and submit the required supporting documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For CarbonCare® Label:
- independently verified/ assured carbon audit reports of base year and current year
- carbon footprint management plan
For CarbonCare® ESG Label:
- ESG report of current year
For CarbonCare® Circularity Label:
- waste audit within the last three years or a waste snapshot survey for the latest accounting year
- evidence of recycling rate of purchased paper products for the latest accounting year (%)
- evidence of recycled content in purchased paper products for the latest accounting year (%)
- evidence of recycled content in third-party supply of paper products (%)
For CarbonCare® Construction (Material) and CarbonCare® Construction (Process) Label:
- independently verified/ assured carbon audit reports of current year
- carbon footprint management plan
14. Does the CarbonCare® Label qualify for Caring Company nomination?
To qualify for the Caring Company or Caring Organisation, all nominations must fulfil a minimum of 2 criteria from each of the three scopes, namely Caring for the Community, Caring for the Employees and Caring for the Environment. Conducting carbon audit would fulfil criteria 3 (Reduce carbon emissions) under the scope of Caring for the Environment, and obtaining CarbonCare® Label as a collaboration with CarbonCare InnoLab would fulfil criteria 4 (Green Partnership) under the same scope.
15. How much is the CarbonCare® Label Scheme?
The application and registration fee for CarbonCare® Label is HK$10,000. The fee for CarbonCare® ESG Label, CarbonCare® Construction (Material) Label, CarbonCare® Construction (Process) Label and CarbonCare® Circularity Label is HK$20,000 each.
A HK$10,000 discount will be provided for applicants who apply for both CarbonCare® Construction (Material) Label and CarbonCare® Construction (Processes) Label.
The application and registration fee covers scheme administration, cost of the Award Ceremony and support for CCIL’s climate action work.
16. What will the Label awardees receive?
The awardees will be invited to an award ceremony cum a post-COP28 sharing event in January 2024 with a photo-taking opportunity with the officiating guests. The awardees will also receive a Certificate (in both hard copy and e-format) and the graphic of the respective Label showing the certificate serial number.